By Zena Henry
Continuous, and in some cases heavy rainfall caused a slight delay in post-Mashramani clean-up efforts yesterday. The Mayor and City Council (M&CC) said that while operations commenced subsequent to Monday’s Republic Day celebration, the activity will take some time before the routes used are completely cleaned.
Yesterday’s downpour prevented the efficient functioning of the systems put in place to clean the litter-filled areas. Areas such as Merriam’s Mall are still to be cleaned completely. This and other popular vantage points had seen the largest accumulation of spectators.
Kaieteur News was told that the country’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Prison Services, the Council’s staffers and Cevons Waste Management are involved in the clean-up efforts. It is expected that the littered locations would be cleared by the weekend.
On the other hand, the Mashramani confusion between the Mayor and Councillors and acting Town Clerk Carol Sooba seems still alive. The two sides could not agree on who would distribute Mash spots and they now cannot agree on clean-up arrangements. This was evident when the acting Town Clerk walked out of Council’s Statutory meeting on Monday.
The Mayor had brought up the issue of Council allowing Mash spots to be free of cost. This prompted the Town Clerk’s interjection that the Mayor should himself go and clean the garbage along the Mash route, since the spots were given for free.
The Mayor responded with an incomplete sentence that ‘the only garbage I wish to clean is…” This angered the Town Clerk who felt that the Mayor was calling her garbage and thus walked out of the meeting. The discussion of cleaning the Mash route was unfinished.
A matter of discussion, also, was the sale of Mashramani spots, which according to the Council saw a few persons coming to the agency for a refund of cash paid. Public Relations Officer (PRO) Royston King told Kaieteur News that at least four persons had visited the Council seeking refunds.
The Executive and Administrative arms of the Council were in a bitter dispute over who had rights to allocate Mash spots. The Mayor and Councillors voted to offer Mash spots for free while the Town Clerk said vendors would pay.
According to the PRO, it appears that most of the Mash spots occupied were done for free. It was opined that a few persons would have purchased spots and there were no major incidents where persons were arrested or ordered to remove from spots.
The Town Clerk had warned persons that they would be dealt with by City Constabulary officers and the police should they vend for free. Many of the persons Kaieteur News spoke to on Mash Day said they had not paid for spots because the Council was offering it for free.
Those who paid and returned for a refund were reportedly unable to receive reimbursement. These persons were directed to the Town Clerk’s office, but “were given the royal runaround and eventually left the compound”, King said.
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