PPP Councillor of the Regional Democratic Council of Region Four, Kwame McCoy, has accused Regional Chairman Clement Corlette of being a ‘control freak.’ This accusation was made during a press conference held at Freedom House on Monday.
The war between the two men began last week, after Corlette banned McCoy from speaking at meetings of the RDC until he apologises or withdraws two offensive comments he allegedly made against Corlette.
However, McCoy has since denied making any offensive remarks against the Regional Chairman. He said that all he did was point out the fact that Corlette has committed an illegal act.
According to McCoy, on March 6 last, the Region Four Chairman wrote a letter to a city bank requesting that the bank resuscitate an account.
Corlette has since denied the allegation that he attempted to resuscitate the bank account, as all he did was inform the bank that the Regional Women’s Affairs Committee of Region Four wishes to resuscitate the account.
Kaieteur News was able to get possession of the letter to the bank, signed by Mr. Corlette. The letter informed the bank that the current names of persons as signatories to the account were no longer valid, and named the new signatories to the account.
At the press conference on Monday, McCoy noted that this is an illegal act, since Corlette does not have the authority to resuscitate any bank account of the council.
He explained that under the Financial Management and Accountability Act of 2003, under section 45, it clearly states that only the Minister of Finance has the responsibility to resuscitate any bank account.
He added that the Finance Minister can delegate that responsibility to the head of a budgetary agency, and in this case it would be the Regional Executive Officer (REO). “So this is a clear violation of the laws. For Mr. Corlette to write to a bank to resuscitate an account shows not only an act, but a clear intent to act illegally,” McCoy told reporters.
McCoy explained that, due to the vigilance of the bank, where the officials are familiar with the financial regulations and procedures, they referred the letter to the REO, who did not have any knowledge of the letter until it was brought to his attention.
“What is really interesting is not only that this was an illegal act, but this is someone who boasts of having knowledge and being very familiar with all the laws… 2801, 2802, FMAA, all the regulations, the public health ordinance, everything…He is extremely knowledgeable, and he usually makes his references to where he had some of his exposure in London. How then, in this particular matter, the Regional Chairman was not familiar with this particular part of the law that says you have no authority to establish, re-establish any bank account? And this is what is frightening,” McCoy said.
He added that, over the past few months, the RDC has been dealing with administrative matters, but he has noticed that the Region Four Chairman is trying to take general control and direction to the council.
“What we find here is someone who is a control freak. He wants to have control of everything and to be involved in the administration of the region. He wants to ensure that, at the end of the day, he is dominating every aspect of the RDC, so much as to say for the first time in the history of Guyana that councillors must submit their names before speaking, and he will determine the questions to be asked,” McCoy noted.
He noted that he was never officially informed by Corlette that he would not be able to speak at any future meetings, but was only made aware of it through the media.
Mr. McCoy assured that Corlette will not continue to have ‘his way,’ as the PPP councillors will continue to ensure that they defend the interest of the people in Region Four.
McCoy claims that the continued dictatorial behaviour and attitude of Corlette is coming into conflict with many councilors, including some on the PNC side, who from time to time comment on his deliberate attempt to suppress, dominate and control every single aspect of not only the RDC statutory meeting, but also the region as a whole.
“Even in instances where there are issues relating to the administration of the region, we see the Regional Chairman becoming very involved in a way that brings on great suspicion. He’s a political directorate of the region. He is expected to guide the region and the Regional Democratic Council along the line of quality-oriented issues. Whenever these issues are being discussed at the level of the RDC, it must take into consideration the policies and objectives of Central Government.”
McCoy noted that it is not his place to say so, but it is now up to the Ministers of Local Government and Finance to do their part in dealing with the issue.
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