Jul 20, 2016 News
After months of pressure from his colleagues for his removal, the Regional Executive Officer (REO) of East Berbice-Corentyne (Region Six), Dr. Veersammy Ramayya, has allegedly ‘walked off the job’ leaving the entire Council in a state of confusion.
This was the assertion of Vice Chairman (VC) of the Regional Democratic Council (RDC), Dennis DeRoop yesterday. The VC is convinced that the REO has abandoned his post, since no correspondence was received from Dr. Ramayya nor was any temporary replacement made to carry out the functions of the Council.
DeRoop stated yesterday that despite receiving a letter from the Ministry of Communities that Ramayya had requested two weeks leave, he believes that there is a cover-up at hand. He is also convinced that Ramayya has left the job because of his alleged utterance to the Chairman, David Armogan, that he cannot handle the job.
However, DeRoop’s notion that Dr. Ramayya has abandoned his post was condemned by a representative of the Coalition Government in Berbice. Gobin Harbhajan, via a press release yesterday, stated that the remarks that were made publicly by DeRoop at a press conference on Monday last, are a “deliberate lie; a total fabrication.”
Harbhajan stated that he and other councillors are demanding an immediate apology from DeRoop, who is a People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Councillor. He added that DeRoop’s apology must be given as much prominence as the initial report containing his “lies.”
Harbhajan said that in a brief comment yesterday, the Permanent Secretary (PS) of the Ministry of Communities Mr. Emil McGarrell had confirmed that Dr. Ramayya had applied for, and had been granted official leave by the Ministry.
Commenting on this yesterday, Harbhajan said that the “spurious” allegations by DeRoop had sparked outrage among supporters of the AFC (Alliance for Change) within the Region.
“Instead of making enquiries from the Ministry of Communities to find out what the situation was, he, in his haste to attack the REO, called a special press conference to spout that nonsense. We hope that common sense prevails and he withdraws that statement about the REO abandoning his post.”
Harbhajan also stated that observers in the Region have noted that Ramayya and DeRoop have had strained relations over the past months where in April last Dr. Ramayya had publicly accused him of abusing state resources in total disregard for rules governing the use of such resources.
Harbhajan quoted Dr. Ramayya saying, “Mr Denis DeRoop is operating as if the PPP/C is still in Government. He is abusing the vehicle assigned to him; he is deploying machines on his own authority and he is deciding where he wants to work instead of operating as required from the Head office of the Council.”
Dr. Ramayya – according to Harbhajan – had also accused DeRoop of administrative sabotage and had limited the amount of diesel being approved for use by DeRoop’s vehicle.
He continued that subsequent to that, the PPP/C-dominated Regional Democratic Council (RDC) had passed a no confidence motion against Dr. Ramayya.
Harbhajan stated yesterday that REO is currently overseas and added that statements that the work of the Region was being held up due to his absence were “arrant nonsense.”
“The Region has two Deputy Regional Executive Officers. There is an Accounts Department which is fully staffed and functioning, so how come the work is being held up because Ramayya is not there?”
He said that spreading “shameless lies” about the administrative arm of the Region “seems to be the modus operandi of certain elements in the PPP/C dominated council.”
“This is regrettable. We want to move away from this persistent game of one-upmanship and work together to ensure the delivery of high quality services to all the residents of Region 6.” Harbhajan said.
Meanwhile, according to DeRoop, the work of the Council is stagnated because of the number of approvals and contract renewals that are piling up on the REO’s desk, DeRoop said, before continuing, that because of Dr. Ramayya’s “ineffectiveness and one-hour-a-day work ethic”, many staff members including, cleaners and nurses, are yet to be paid for the month of June. He added that some are contemplating their next move, since their contracts have not been renewed as yet.
The VC said that it is a sad situation that workers have to wait for their payments, however meetings were held with the Deputy Regional Executive Officer (DREO) in an effort to sort out as much as they could for the week ahead, even without a formal handing over. DeRoop has assured that “the Council will do all that it can to ensure that the wheels keep on moving”.
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