Parliament now accountable to the people for the first time in our history
- AFC official tells Berbicians
Executive Member of the Alliance for Change (AFC) Gerhard Ramsaroop told a gathering at Rosignol Village, West Berbice on Thursday evening that the type of power that exists in Guyana today is the “people’s power”. The politician said that for the first time in Guyana’s history, the Guyana Parliament is accountable to the people and “that could not have happened without Berbice”.
Ramsaroop sought to clarify what he called misconceptions being peddled by the State media and some newspapers concerning the budget cuts.
“When they say that the budget is being cut by some$20B, it is a lie! Because 18 and a half billion dollars did not even belong in the budget”. He was alluding to the LCDS money which he said has not yet been received by the government from Norway, “so we are saying, when you give that money, come to parliament, and then it will be spent”.
He noted that the only cut to the budget was to the Government Information Agency (GINA). The AFC chided GINA for not providing any “proper service…it is a propaganda arm of the PPP”. He said that GINA should not depend on the government subvention since they already have a lot in their coffers for their propaganda work.
He also lambasted the government for saying that the AFC had cut monies to the Customs Anti Narcotic Unit (CANU).
“That is a lie because $70M was already approved to CANU”. He said that the remaining money they need will be approved when that organisation is moved to “the correct ministry”.
“They say we cut the Ethnic Relations Commission (ERC). We didn’t cut ERC just like that…it is not properly constituted and when they do it properly they will get the money”.
Ramsaroop claimed that NCN, last year, made half a billion dollars in profits “but they are not telling you that…NCN has enough money to keep running”. He said that the lies being peddled by the government concerning the budget cuts are all about protecting the ‘fat cats’. “We were talking about these ‘fat cats’ since in the campaign, but we didn’t know of them, this information is now coming out and again, it is thanks to you in Berbice who voted AFC, so we can put this kind of pressure on the PPP to get the information”.
He added that Presidential Adviser Odinga Lumumba is making over $700,000 in salaries per month and PPP Chief Whip Gail Teixiera makes $900,000 a month, “but there are several more persons making a million dollars per month and then you have the highest one of them all— the Adviser on Information Technology…he makes $3M per month! So this is what the PPP is all about; they coming to cry and tell you people gonna lose their jobs, but these are the people’s jobs that they want to protect and they hide those things from us”.
He promised that the AFC will ensure that the waste and fat will be cut “so that you the people can get more…we want more than the $10,000 that they recently gave to the pensioners”. “We want better salaries for public servants and the Berbice Bridge toll to come down and competition on the river so that people can afford to cross more, particularly the school children”.
He pleaded with Berbicians to understand what the fight is about. He said that the Head of GPL is making more than $2.5M a month—- “just the salary”— and GPL is “working at a 33 per cent loss…but they come lying and telling you all that we chopped up GPL and all of that nonsense, so understand what is going on brothers and sisters”.
“Worse than that is the racial dimension they are bringing to these things…they are coming to all parts of Guyana and going to Linden and telling them how we want to raise electricity, but we don’t want that— that is a lie!” He alleged that all of the monies spent in Linden by the government were spent on their contractor friends. He said that the reason Linden is undeveloped and in trouble is because of the government’s attitude, “they have billions to put monies into GPL but none to invest in the Linden Power Company”.
“When they come to you and lying…they want to invoke racial hatred against the people of Linden.”
Another speaker at the meeting, Freddie Kissoon talked about how the PPP party was embarrassed and shocked at the same time by the remarks of Dr. Jagan’s daughter, Nadira Jagan- Brancier’s comments recently at Babu John in Berbice.
He said that when she made the remarks that the current leaders of the PPP are not living up to what her father’s ideals were, they [the PPP leaders] could not tell her anything or “cuss her out” like they are accustomed to do with politicians. Nadira Jagan, he said, “put it on their backsides— put it on the present leadership on the PPP government and these people who come here and fool you— Nadira Jagan said ‘my mother and father lived as modest people and they were people who could not be corrupted and people who had no interest in wealth and look what they see today in the party that my parents left’”.
He said that Chronicle, NCN TV and Radio, Guyana Times and the Mirror, “none of them carried what Nadira Jagan said. He invited Jagan- Brancier to come on board and join the team he is on. He urged the people of Berbice not to go back “from whence we came”, but, like the people of Trinidad, Barbados, France and U.S.A., “vote with a conscience”. The next elections, he said, will be no snap elections, rather “a last elections” for the PPP.