“Blame game is good; everybody must have their say because people will be educated in the process…we say, they say and the people listen.” This was the contention of People’s Progressive Party (PPP/C) General Secretary, Clement Rohee as he sought to give merit to the fact that no one is taking responsibility for any of the wrongs that currently bedevil Guyana.
Rohee was at the time speaking at a Press Conference held at Freedom House. It was one that largely addressed the recent flooding of Georgetown— which has long lost its title of being the Garden City.
Junior Minister of Local Government, Norman Whittaker, who accompanied Rohee at the press conference in his capacity as member of the PPP Central Committee, said that the government is not at fault or responsible for the recent flooding of the City which resulted from a few hours of rainfall.
Whittaker said, “Georgetown is under the management of the Mayor and City Council. (Mayor) Hamilton Green is an executive member of the PNC (People’s National Congress). The majority of his councilors are either members or supporters of the PNC/APNU (the main opposition party A Partnership for National Unity (APNU).”
After moving on from that fundamental explanation, the junior Minister moved on to say that, “this grouping shamelessly refuses to ever accept responsibility for their mismanagement of the affairs of the City. They have wielded control over the City for the past sixteen years.
“They receive billions of dollars in rates and taxes every year from the citizens of Georgetown. Yet garbage is everywhere, the drains are blocked, parapets are unkempt, and flooding takes place whenever there is excess rainfall.”
He said that Central Government is regularly forced to pump millions of dollars into the City Council annually to bail them out of their financial woes.
Whittaker added that the PPP government continues to be blamed for the atrocities and negligence which occur every day at the Georgetown City Council.
He said that the “fact,” however, is that it is Hamilton Green and the PNC who are in charge of City Hall. They must accept responsibility for the state of the City of Georgetown.
Whittaker concluded, “They must accept responsibility for the flooding and the destruction caused by the flooding. The PPP and the citizens of Georgetown must no longer fetch the burden of their incompetence. Enough is enough.”
Whittaker added that the power to remove what he described as a ‘failed’ City Council, and replace it with an Interim Management Committee (IMC), rests in the hands of Georgetown residents.
He said that a petition must be sent to the Ministry by residents and members of the private sector before an investigation can be launched, resulting in the Council’s removal.
According to Whittaker, this is a consequence of the City Council’s neglect. “Untimely servicing of pumps and kokers, untimely cleaning of drains and untimely collection of garbage no honest and fair minded Guyanese would deny was responsible” he added.
Rohee questioned the “PNC/APNU…the caterpillar and butterfly” ability to run government.
He said that if they cannot run the City Council effectively and prepare a budget in a timely manner then how can they be expected to do the same in government.
However, City Mayor Hamilton Green maintains his position that he continues to meet strong opposition in managing the affairs of the city.
Green in the past had said that the lack of resources both financial and technical have been hampering operations.
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