Kaieteur News – The International Decade for People of African Descent Assembly – Guyana (IDPADA-G) on Friday announced that it has filed legal proceedings against the Government in a bid to have its subvention reinstated.
Speaking at a Press Conference the Assembly’s Attorney, Nigel Hughes said that the court document examines three violations by the Government. He said that IDPADA-G is seeking an Order of Mandamus to have the subventions, already budgeted for this year, to be returned to the Organisation ahead of the final determination of the matter.
Hughes explained that IDPADA-G had a legitimate expectancy to the subvention based on engagements and agreements made with the previous and current Governments. The Organization was given no reason or notification as to why the funds were ceased.
The Attorney said that the Government has “breached the legitimate expectancy” to pay the annual subvention which is handed over in 12 equal parts as per months of the year. He said too that the act of cessation of payment is an abuse of power.
Further, he said that the Government should have declared or placed on notice that changes to the distribution of funds would occur and given the Organisation an opportunity to be heard.
He told Reporters that IDPADA-G’s case is also supported by the fact that the Government budgeted for the sums to be disbursed to the Organization and by law, this should have been done.
IDPADA-G had consulted with and developed relationships with both the David Granger-led and Irfaan Ali-led Administrations; both sides committed to funding the Organisation within the United Nations designated decade. The Organisation received funds from the Government up to August 2022 when it was abruptly stopped.
“Because of the acts of the Government, IDPADA-G has suffered tremendous loss,” Hughes told Reporters while referencing the fact that the Organisation was forced to lay off some staff.
The Lawyer also noted that the Organisation has been exposed to litigation because it is unable to meet its financial obligations which include payments for projects and services rendered.
For the breach of contract, Hughes said IDPADA-G is seeking damages from the government, but its value is to be determined by the Court following the testimony of witnesses.
Meanwhile, Chairman of IDPADA-G, Vincent Alexander detailed that the Organization was forced to downsize by laying off staff, reduce the number of projects it worked on, and the services provided.
Alexander told Reporters that the Organisation has been receiving donations to continue its work but will soon be establishing a GoFundMe page.
The UN Decade for People of African Descent is themed “People of African descent: recognition, justice and development.” It calls on Governments around the world where people of African Descents reside to put mechanism in place to help improve their state of existence.
Alexander said that IDPADA-G has been fulfilling its obligations based on the UN mandate. IDPADA-G said it has assisted hundreds of Guyanese in the process of developing businesses through training in the writing of business proposals financials.
While the organization said it is not a grant agency, it has provided many African Guyanese with finances to develop new and existing small businesses.
Persons seeking skills training and educational advancements have also benefitted through IDPADA-G’s programmes. The agency has also provided various types of assistance to its 65 member organisations that make up the assembly.
Alexander said that the People’s Progressive Party Civic Government is well aware of the organisation’s work programme and its need for finances. The Chairman said too that the Government through the Ministries of Culture, Youth and Sport and Finance are well aware of the Organisation’s financial records and status. Every year, audits are completed and the reports submitted to the Ministry of Culture. Further, the Ministry of Finance has also conducted in-depth audits of the Organisation’s operations and accounts.
Alexander has accused the Government of preventing the Organisation from serving the African Guyanese community and other citizens during the UN designated decade. He believes that Organisation stopped receiving the Government subvention because ‘Cuffy 250’ a member organisation indicated advertised and subsequently hosted a forum themed, ‘Resisting the Emerging Apartheid State’’. The subject of the ‘Cuffy 250’ forum sparked much public debate and was strongly condemned by the Government.
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