The rift between Region Eight’s Regional Democratic Council (RDC) and Government’s Regional Executive Officer continues to widen. Complaints by Councillors that demands for accountability and transparency are being met with arrogance from the Administration have surfaced again.
According to Mohammed Gafoor, Alliance For Change Councillor, the new argument between the two parties stemmed from the recently held RDC meeting.
Gafoor informed that the argument erupted while questions were being posed by Councillors to REO Ronald Harsawack about a construction project executed to the Engineer’s living accommodation. Councillors believe that the project was unnecessary and the tendering process was not adhered to.
Gafoor, a member of the Regional Works Committee, said both Harsawack and the Engineer could not provide a proper explanation for $1.1M which was spent on the bottom of the Engineer’s quarters without tendering for the project.
According to Gafoor, it was observed that it was only after the works were completed that the contractor placed bids in the tender box for the same project. Councillors also questioned if the accurate expenditure was given for the project, which was executed a month ago. The scope of the works, included constructing concrete flooring of 47-ft x 16-ft 10 inches.
Gafoor claimed that Harsawack insulted the RDC by not giving a proper response to the Councillors. He also claimed that Harsawack was disrespectful in his demeanor during the meeting.
“Instead of answering the questions appropriately, he was disrespectful and cock-up his foot and lean back like if we don’t deserve to know anything…This is the general behaviour of the Administration,” Gafoor said.
Gafoor stressed that the project is a reflection of how the Regional Administration “wastes” money. He noted that the money could have been spent on more meaningful projects such as rehabilitating roads, improving the piping of the teacher’s accommodation at Princeville and or enhancing the schools.
He stressed that Government needs to understand that the RDC and people of Mahdia and neighbouring communities do not want Harsawack as the REO.
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