At the helm of the delegation was Chairman of A Partnership for National Unity (APNU), David Granger who listened to concerns and satisfactions by ordinary people and business owners.
In many instances at Rose Hall, businessmen and women did not complain about security and the performances of their businesses. Rather, they were upbeat about the performance of their stores.
A businessman at Rose Hall recalled that the PPPC-led government had refused to renew his concession for fish farming because it was realised that he was associated with the Peoples National Congress Reform (PNCR), the largest partner in APNU. He also expressed concern about corruption. “You all got to keep up the pressure. … A bear thief-man ah run this country,” said the devout Muslim.
Against the backdrop of government’s major public relations offensive on the opposition’s stance on amendments to the Anti Money Laundering and Countering Financing Terrorism (AML/CFT), Granger assured the businessman that his party was not unreasonably blocking passage of the law. “People misunderstand us. All we said we want a clean bill, we want a strong bill that’s enforceable. We are not causing the delays,” he said.
In meeting with the owner of a drug store, who is also a rice farmer, Granger hoped that the unrest in Venezuela would not disrupt Guyana’s rice and paddy sales.
A woman, who is a graduate in Public Management, complained bitterly that graduates of the University of Guyana (Tain Campus) were not getting jobs and when they do get any, they are unrelated to their qualifications and offer no room for promotions. She said that some employers prefer to employ holders of CXC Certificate. “My friends graduate with a distinction in Public Management and they are clerks at the (sugar) estate. You cannot have a promotion there. It is like a dead-end job,” she said.
In that regard, Granger said APNU was campaigning for Local Government and Central Government to provide and facilitate employment opportunities through cottage/ microenterprises. “We would like to think that the local system could help rather than just looking after solid waste management and drainage and irrigation, to start more income through micro-enterprise,” he said.
The Opposition Leader later told reporters that the visit to the Corentyne was part of its Local Government election campaign. Noting that Region Six was the only administrative area with three municipalities- New Amsterdam, Rose Hall and Corriverton- he said “by strengthening the municipalities, the people of the communities themselves will have a greater voice in their well-being.”