I would classify the suspended Town Clerk, Royston King as the saddest manifestation of a post 2015 journey gone wrong. I met King in the parking lot of Survival Supermarket about two weeks before the Local Government Commission of Inquiry ordered him on leave.
Using unambiguous language in a tone that was deadly serious, I told King he oppresses poor people and harasses vendors.
Then I told King that I have information of a particular development between him and a businessman that I could write about. I did not go into details, but his reaction was not a combative one. I left it at that. I would definitely say that Royston King personifies the inexplicable nature of power.
Without hesitation, I would classify him as the most autocratic Town Clerk we have had compared to any of them when the PPP ruled Guyana for twenty-three years. I once wrote in a column that if ‘Georgetowners’ had to vote for the Town Clerk and only King and Carol Sooba were the contestants, I would close my eyes and vote for Sooba. Any contestant would not be as dictatorial and power drunk as Royston King.
Royston King and the City Council personify all that went horribly wrong with post 2015 democracy in general in Guyana. When you look at the performance of the Georgetown City Council since it was elected in 2016, then you have to conclude that democracy keeps eluding this nation.
It is disappointing that the ABC embassies in Georgetown that spent money and energy to have the long awaited LGE, have been silent on the caricature that passes for democracy in the Georgetown City Council. If pressed, those diplomats would say it is interference with local government but it wasn’t interference when they participated in the realization of LGE in 2016.
To use the word caricature would be a misnomer; what has taken place in the Georgetown City Council since elections in June 2016 is nothing short of a tsunamic catastrophe especially in the area of incestuous awarding of contracts.
With elections for a new city council two months away, Georgetowners have seen the implementation of a commission of enquiry to examine wrongdoings in the office of the Town Clerk and the City Council in general.
You have to be an idiot not to see meaning of the timing. The leadership of the PNC knows that its faces a Sisyphean task to win the City Council. Its best strategy is to have King out of the way and pretend that it is cleaning the millions of Augean stables that currently occupy the compound at City Hall.
This strategy is the only one it has to win the election. So here is what is going to happen and my predictions will be a hundred percent accurate. Justice Kennard will definitely find evidence of saturated administrative and financial wrongdoing. Kennard doesn’t have to look far. He will present his findings, which will contain incontrovertible evidence to back his findings.
King will be removed. There will be changes at City Hall and promises of “never again.” Already one high APNU profile councillor (actually, he represents my area in Turkeyen – if he visits my home, he is certainly going to be told he is not getting my vote) said that APNU apologizes for certain mistakes.
But this very councillor was head of a re-examination committee of the parking meter contract and recommended acceptance of the contract with modifications that were nonsensical in my opinion.
The enquiry was called as a vote-catching strategy. The APNU bigwigs think that Georgetowners are imbeciles; that we will not see the motive. But even if they don’t see it, I think commentators like myself can offer their opinions. And the opinion of this columnist is that the Kennard enquiry is a barefaced attempt at fooling Georgetowners.
This columnist predicts the Kennard enquiry is going to be used as a propaganda weapon at the forthcoming public meetings of APNU.
One brave soul should go up to the platform and politely ask the speaker why with all the depravities that were exposed at the City Council in 2016 and 2017, the commission was brought into being just two months before the election.
It would be interesting to hear the answer. But politicians are barefaced people. One answer I am sure that will be offered goes like this – “Oh, no, we were planning this enquiry since 2016 but we had to have certain arrangements in place.”
You have to be a moron to believe that asininity.
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