Last Updated on Monday, 29 November 2021, 20:29 by Denis Chabrol
Leader hopeful for the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR), Aubrey Norton is promising to train party members how to manage money, amid a raging controversy over government minister Charles Ramson saying that Black Guyanese do not have proper role models especially in the area of wealth creation.
“Most importantly, we intend to train them in financial literacy and small business development,” he told a campaign outreach meeting in Linden at the weekend. “One of the things I want to see this party do is to focus more on making our support base employers rather than employees,” he added.
He said the party needed to invest rather than sell its properties as a means of generating income. “This party has a lot of assets but we wake up and sell rather than taking those assets and put them to earn income,” said Mr. Norton, adding that “under the leadership of Aubrey Norton and team our party assets will be transformed into income-earning assets.
Over the years, the PNCR has sold a number of properties including a large tract of its land to a well-known privately-owned city business.
Mr. Norton, who had been previously responsible for training and education in the PNCR, lashed out at the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport for his position on the privately-owned 94.1 FM. “Listen carefully to what he is calling a role model- people with plenty money who (are) corrupt. Tell him keep that model. We don’t want it,” said Mr. Norton. He listed the PNCR’s model as one in which people work, are decent and law-abiding. “We do not want your kind of role model so I think you should stay in your corner and leave the People’s National Congress Reform,” he said.
The government minister, at the weekend, created a firestorm on Social Media when he flatly stated that the PNCR-led coalition of A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) had done little for the Black Guyanese community. He contended that Black Guyanese do not have anyone who they could emulate in generating wealth and opportunities. “I think in the Black community, young Black kids also need lots of examples of success because they have to be able to see that there is a pathway in order for them to build that successful life,” said Mr. Ramson, an Indo-Guyanese who reflected on seeing his father as a role model in becoming a lawyer.
The government minister expressed disappointment with Black leaders who are criticising companies rather than seeing them as examples of success for others to be inspired. He contended that the PNCR, APNU and AFC do not have anyone who could be held up as prime examples of being wealthy. “They don’t have examples of how they have taught their own followership to be wealthy; they don’t have the examples and they don’t know what to teach them so all they can talk about is politics, politics, politics, politics,” he said.
Mr. Norton’s main rival for the leadership of the PNCR, Joseph Harmon, has similarly promised to make their party business-like. Mr. Harmon has also condemned Mr. Ramson for what he termed racist and divisive statements.