Sep 07, 2015 News
– PM to appoint special liaison officer soon
Government has recommitted itself to addressing the issues affecting the residents of Region Six and has announced that a special liaison officer will soon be appointed in this regard.
The announcement was made by Vice President and Prime Minister, Moses Nagamootoo, when he addressed hundreds of Berbicians at the Whim Community Centre on Saturday at a community outreach meeting organised by the Office of the Prime Minister.
The Prime Minister told the gathering which included residents of Whim and neighbouring villages, that the administration is aware of the suffering of the people of the Region. He explained that the Government believes in the ‘people-approach’ and it is his intention to employ measures to ensure the sustained development of the region while creating avenues for Berbicians to have their grievances heard and eventually adddresed.
“We will set up an office for the Prime Minister representative here in Berbice where he will receive all the complaints and channel them to the various officials and Ministers for attention and action, so that you know that we are your servants elected to serve you and to attend to your problems and to your needs,” the Prime Minister told residents.
The Prime Minister informed the gathering that Dr. Versammy Ramaya has been identified as the new Regional Executive Officer of Region Six and asked that he be given the full cooperation of Berbicians to effectively execute government’s developmental plans for the Region.
The Prime Minister; who hails from Whim Village, is of the view that the Region was stifled under the former administration. Reference was made to the lack of maintenance and deplorable state of the community centre ground, the venue of the meeting.
Addressing the overall development of Guyana, the Prime Minister advised that ‘all hands are needed on deck’ since the Administration cannot undertake this process alone.
He called on the opposition People’s Progressive Party Civic to join forces with the government to ensure a better life for all Guyanese.
“We would like them to join in the process of governance; we would like them to enter into talks with us. I am heading a committee that would engage the leadership of the PPP in talks where we can cooperate on many of the things we have to do for Guyana and we are prepared to open the doors to the PPP if they want to enter this government because we want to have an inclusionary government,” Prime Minister Nagamootoo stated.
The residents were told that the coalition government means business and were reminded that the administration is working in their best interest.
“We are a serious government and we are working in consultation with the people, not to have the politics of protest, not that we are afraid of protest, we want to move the country forward and we need all hands on deck,” he emphasised.
He expressed heartfelt gratitude to, especially residents of Whim, for allowing him to be the first Prime Minister from that area.
“I want to thank you very much from the bottom of our hearts as I bring you the gratitude of President David Granger and the Cabinet and, we want to renew our pledge to you, that we will come to you as often as we can, as we set up those offices and desks where we can take your complaints, where we can have solutions to all your problems over time. This meeting above all, is about you. It is for the respect of Berbicians, respect for the people of Whim.”
Meanwhile, addressing security concerns in the Region, Second Vice President and Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan; also a Berbician, told the gathering that the administration is doing everything possible to reduce crime in the country and more specifically in Region Six.
He explained that unlike what is said publicly by the opposition, the crime situation has been increasing since February 2014.
“We have put in place a number of mechanisms which have resulted in a drastic decline, especially in the Berbice area. What is important now, is that we are catching the criminals,” Minister Ramjattan said.
He admitted that there has been an upsurge in crime but said that the upsurge has been happening since last February. Ramjattan said that there will always be instigators creating propaganda in the minds of the people that the crime skyrocketed only when the new administration took office.
The Minister also fired a salvo at former Prime Minister Sam Hinds, stating that ‘while he came at Number 45 Village and hug the (alleged) murderer, we had detectives working,” referring to the recent No 45 killing of cash crop farmer Pamela Kendall.
The Minister also charged to the gathering that the current administration will fight crime to the full extent.
“Your administration will not develop Death Squads and Phantom Squads. We are going to develop a professional Police Force, give Policemen better salaries, give them the body armor so that they could go and tackle the serious crimes out there, better weaponry, better transportation; at water and land, more vehicles, also we want to give them the training necessary.”
The Minister told the gathering that the 2015 national budget has provided approximately $350M to strengthen the Police Force and to ensure that police stations countrywide are equipped to effectively respond to the needs of the population.
According to Minister Ramjattan, senior ranks of the Police Force are now much more committed and dedicated in the crime fighting process as the administration fully supports them, without intervention in the operation of the force.
”This time around, they mean business. They have a special comfort level now that tells them that the administration is behind them, that the administration does not want to cover up any kind of fraud or corruption because this government wants all of that to be brought to the light, so we are giving the police force a brand new comfort zone to do their jobs.”
The Vice President is of the view that the government is leading by example and does not condone corruption. “If you are a Minister today and you do wrong, arrest that Minister and jail him, that’s what we want and that’s what my administration will do,” Ramjattan told residents to loud applause.
On the issues of gender equality, the Public Security Minister has called for more involvement of women in leadership positions in the Police Force as the government intends to fully support more leadership training programmes for them. He is of the view that women in the force play a special role in crime fighting.
He called on the citizens to play their role in crime fighting by reporting all illegal and other activities to the police as it is their civic and constitutional responsibility to do so.
“I am urging you to be fearless. Whenever you see a crime, speak about it because it is your civic duty to do so. It is your constitutional obligation as a citizen of this country that you give that information to the police.
We have gotten the full cooperation of the Commissioner of Police and even the hierarchy of the Guyana Defence Force in the crime fighting efforts and, with your help we can stop this crime but, we need a coordinated effort from all of you.”
Ramjattan called on the parents to encourage their children to join the police force. “We have a school at Hogstye for those of you who don’t want to go to Georgetown. It can accommodate approximately 60 persons for training every six months. Do not be afraid because the administration is making the conditions comfortable for you so we are encouraging you to join the force,” Ramjattan urged.
Regarding the issue of corrupt police ranks, the Minister told the residents to report any police officer who is taking bribes and the ‘rogue cops’, who trample on the rights of citizens. “We can set them up to make them get caught. It calls for a perfectly rounded approach, a fresh approach to ensure that the persons who commit these acts are caught. We are going to ensure that they get justice and then we send them where they belong,” Ramjattan told the residents.”
Minister Ramjattan asked the Berbicians to continue to support the APNU+AFC administration in the 02.00 hrs curfew and gun amnesty initiatives, as they are both aimed at creating a disciplined society.
“It is your society to build and it is not going to happen if there are so many illegal guns out there, especially if they are in the hands of young people. More patrols will be put on the roads, but we still need the help of the citizens, so that we can have a better approach to addressing these issues,” the Minister told residents.
During the meeting, a booth was set up with representatives of the essential services in the Region namely – Guyana Power and Light, National Insurance Scheme, Guyana Water Inc, Guyana Police Force, to listen to the complaints of residents.
The community outreach meeting also saw the participation of Regional Member of Parliament, Charandass Persaud, Regional Chairman David Armogan, REO designate, Dr. Verasammy Ramaya, Director, Regional Health Services, Jevon Stephens and Mayor of New Amsterdam Claude Henry among others.
The meeting was the first to be held by the Prime Minister and team in Region Six since the ascension to office of the APNU+AFC coalition government in May 2015.
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