Last Updated on Thursday, 25 August 2022, 21:39 by Denis Chabrol
Opposition Leader Aubrey Norton on Thursday slammed government for allegedly corruptly using government monies to pay temporary government workers to work for the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPPC) during the Claims and Objections period, but President Irfaan Ali rubbished that claim as part of a divisive plot and a failed attempt to discredit the employment scheme.
“The APNU+AFC condemns the use of the temporary workers of the state as political workers in the present claims and objection process. We demand that the PPP/C ends this corrupt practice immediately. It is clearly an abuse of state resources and corruption,” Mr Norton said in a statement. He said the opposition has been “reliably informed by people in all regions” that that was happening.
Asked to back up his claim with evidence such as a sample of names of persons who were performing such duties, he did not provide any but said “they are all around” in Alexander Village, Georgetown; Mahdia in Region Eight, and at Bagotville, West Bank Demerara. “The PNCR activists were monitoring those employed temporarily and our Scrutineers are identifying them,” adding that that could be journalistically verified.
Mr Norton pummelled the government for allegedly siphoning off state funds solely for the PPPC’s benefit. The Guyanese people must condemn this abuse of public funds by the PPP/C. We demand that public funds (the people’s patrimony) must be used fairly and equitably to serve the interests of all citizens and not as a slush fund for PPP political activities and corruption. The people must demand an immediate end to these additional acts of corruption by the PPP,” he said in a statement.
But President Ali, when contacted by Demerara Waves Online News, dubbed the opposition’s claim as “absolute nonsense.” Describing the employment programme as public, open and transparent, he said Guyanese of all walks of life, ethnicity, political, social and religious persuasion are part of that job-creation initiative in which an estimated 8,000 persons are being paid $40,000 monthly to work at a maximum four days per week in government institutions. “My government is not in the business of that approach but it seems as if he is stuck in his battle field of lies, hate and outright racist form of thinking. I am tired of this non productive narrative,” the President added.
The Guyanese leader accused the opposition coalition of A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) of double standards by deeming reliefs to farmers, public servants, children and other groups “handouts” and the employment of persons as “corrupt practice.”
The President challenged the Opposition Leader to produce the facts to the population about the composition of all services provided by the state of Guyana.
Dr Ali restated that APNU+AFC government during 2015 to 2020, to the contrary, put thousands of persons, including 2,000 Amerindians, on the breadline but was today objecting to job creation which is leading to increased disposable income for families of all walks of life.
“When in a public and open way we provide jobs to put disposable income in people pocket it is corrupt practice….It does not take much to understand the reckless and hopeless motive of Norton,” he said. The President hinted that more Guyanese would soon be hired.
The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) is currently having a Claims and Objections exercise in an effort to sanitise the list.
Mr Norton has for several months now ben leading the charge for a clean voters list before the next election.