This charade that is taking place at City Hall should be brought to an end. It is turning out to be a Naipaulian farce.
How can the City Council pass a no-confidence motion against the Town Clerk whom it had previously passed a no-confidence motion against? What is the point that it is making?
How can it pass a no-confidence motion against a Town Clerk whom it does not recognize? How can it pass a motion sending the Town Clerk on administrative leave when it has no powers to do so?
The Court has ruled on a challenge to the appointment of the Town Clerk. It has held that it is the Local Government Commission that is empowered to appoint the Town Clerk. That Commission is not in place and therefore the Town Clerk has been allowed to continue until such time as her appointment is confirmed or rejected by the competent authority.
This is the gravamen of the court’s decision. This decision has been challenged. This challenge has not yet been determined.
Until such time as that challenge is determined, the men and women sitting around the horseshoe table have to live with the implications of the Court’s original ruling. This is what a commitment to the rule of law entails.
As such, all wars, both overt and covert, need to be called off. It is making a mockery and laughing stock of the Council. There are good men and women on the Council and it is time for some civility and patience to be exercised. If there has to be a final hurrah for those who do not anticipate returning or being returned to City Hall whenever local government elections are called, this hurrah should be one of reconciliation, not confrontation.
If the charade at City Hall does not end, the government should intervene and dissolve the Council. The public has long lost confidence in that body.
It is testing the patience of the people to ask them to continue to read about the weekly infighting that is taking place, when Council should instead be out there trying to find solutions to the serious drainage and garbage problems affecting the city. If the Council fails to stop these almost weekly hostilities against each other, it is for the government to intercede and put an end to the life of this Council.
The opposition is firmly opposed to such an intervention. The opposition is calling for local government elections. But it is not supportive of a recall of this ineffective Council. At the same time, however, it is moving a no-confidence motion for a recall of the government. Why recall a government outside of elections and not recall a Council which was elected way back in 1994 and which has long lost its way?
How about a no-confidence motion against City Hall? Is it not time for the opposition to join Desmond Hoyte in calling for the existing Council to be disbanded. Desmond Hoyte was in favour of this!
All the municipal councils in Guyana are cash-strapped. All of them need more revenue. But none of them have experienced the sort of infighting that takes place at City Hall. And to what end? To prove who is right and who is wrong or is it to prove who is wrong and strong?
The entire Council should resign. Let a non-political body be appointed to administer the Council until such time as democratic renewal can take place. Is that asking too much for these good men and women around the horse table? It has happened before. The Council in Linden was dissolved and an IMC put in place. So what happen to Georgetown? Goat bite it?
And what is this nonsense about padlocking the offices of the Town Clerk. This is a descent into lawlessness. It should be halted. The police should be called in and action taken against those found responsible for this action.
If this is not done, the situation is likely to get worse. We are setting a terrible example to the younger generation. If this sort of pulling and tugging, hemming and hawing is what they will see as representing politics, they will become indifferent to politics and want to keep as far away from it as possible.
Do you know that politics is no longer a degree programme at the University of Guyana? And do you know why? When students saw what politics was like under Burnham, they shied away from that field. They wanted nothing to do with politics and thus they stayed away from it as an academic discipline. They became indifferent to politics.
You want to know another secret? The vast majority of those who did not vote in the last elections were young people. Want to know why? Just take a look at what is taking place at City Hall!
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