Oct 01, 2020 Letters
Please permit me to respond to a statement from the Former Minister of Public Service, Tabitha Sarabo-Halley dated September 30, 2020. The former Minister lamented the Government’s decision for the return of a singular, most important center of any Government, the Office of the President, to full-time work as “irresponsible”.
This duplicity and hypocrisy of this woman enhances our doubt that this bunch of people should never ever get to handle the affairs of the Guyanese people. However, I should start by defining what irresponsibility is. To the gentle lady, irresponsibility is when positive COVID-19 victims have to wait for their results to get confirmation from Ms. Lawrence before they could get to know their status. Irresponsibility is when you place a criterion that Guyanese must be symptomatic before they could be tested, despite Mr. & Mrs. Granger being asymptomatic and getting their tests done. Irresponsibility is when you have COVID-19 testing machine on the wharf for months. Irresponsibility is when you appoint a politically motivated taskforce rather than consult with technical expertise. Irresponsibility is when you could not have lobbied with vaccination companies to prioritize your country’s vaccination against the virus. Irresponsibility is when you can only do approximately 50 to seventy70 tests per day, as compared to 300 plus tests per day, merely because you lack the ability to speak to foreign countries for additional testing kits. Irresponsibility is when you mold people to protest every single week despite COVID-19; you molded people for the protest in support of Mingo, Lawrence, Lowenfield) and in the coming days you are now molding for Carol Smith and when the numbers skyrocketed, you dare say “irresponsible”. Irresponsibility is when you instructed the pathology teams not to test the dead for COVID-19 because you don’t want your numbers to show ‘big’. Probably, the former minister should express sympathy with those families who are under the impression that their family member died of some other disease rather than COVID-19. I could go on to list even more irresponsibilities by the previous regime but let me leave it here for the honourable lady to contemplate before she speaks.
Guyana is maybe the first country to allow only one office to return full-time to work as compared to other countries. I shall draft a number of examples:
1. “The Australian Public Service Commission has directed public servants back to the office where it’s safe to do so in a move that could reset workplace standards, boost the economic recovery…”(Financial Review, 2020)
2. “… after the government urged companies to bring millions of white-collar workers back to their desks, in part to help revive city center economies…” (The Guardian, 2020)
3. “Schools Re-Open Monday Amid Covid-19 Fears” (The Voice, 2020)
The Government merely got this particular office reopened and got termed “irresponsible” by a woman who still can’t tell the nation which political party she represents in Parliament. The gentle lady, went on further to state: “Staff even though not physically present were significantly more productive and got work done faster,” when every Guyanese could attest to the state their children were left in after the start of the pandemic, there was no plan or policies to teach the children, the scholarship department did no social media campaign on their scholarship availability and more unproductive behaviour surfaced and whose fault is this? Our public servants were most ready to work and serve from home, but the Government then, didn’t have any agenda to achieve, and as such we all, as citizens felt the squeeze.
In addition, the former minister stated that “… the Public Service shifted to the rotation where no more than 50% of staff should be in any Government building…” while this is true, we saw the then government molding 100% of Guyanese onto the streets. This makes one question whether the attempt to get them out of the Government building was merely to protect themselves from the virus or was it truly a COVID-19 precautionary measure?
Further, the former minister said she was considering a substantial $100,000 allowances for the healthcare workers. In response, I would say to any Guyanese who believes this, then something is particularly wrong with you. These people are yet to fulfill their 90 days promise as they had so ‘considered’, also one should not forget the teachers who had to protest for their allowances, while their minister chose rather than to give the teachers their money, she sent unexpended sums of monies back to the Treasury. So I would guess, just as they are under the misapprehension of their term “irresponsible”, they also misunderstand the difference between ‘considering’ and ‘fulfilling’. The PPP considered the $150 million and fulfilled. The PNC considered and say, “Let Guyanese suffer more”.
In conclusion, before this gentle lady could speak about the health of Guyanese, she should consider stop molding citizens every single day onto the streets for their political charade.
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