Last Updated on Thursday, 6 July 2023, 8:18 by Denis Chabrol
Longtime People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) member Heston Bostwick says two allegations of corrupt transactions have been concocted as part of a plot to ensure he is not picked from the list of Proportionally Representative (PR) elected persons to sit in the Georgetown City Council.
“That is where the issue lies. When I learnt that I was not being selected after I won my constituency, then I am hearing I was involved in corruption,” he told Demerara Waves Online News.
He claimed that a number of senior PNCR officials were aware of the bogus correspondence dating back to July, 2022 when he was on leave that had been circulating stating that he had taken monies from two persons for them to acquire stalls but so far he has not been called in to face his accusers. “If you have issues with a Comrade; this is not no ordinary comrade; you have issue with a patriotic comrade, you have seen letters of that nature, almost a year you said nothing,” Mr Bostwick said.
Detailing one of the accusations that he was bribed GY$200,000 to assist someone to acquire a stall on the Merriman’s Mall, he said that made no sense when the actual cost is GY$80,000. He denied those allegations.
PNCR Chairman Shurwayne Holder had promised to speak with Mr Bostwick, a “long-standing member” but the latter said he was not contacted. He said apart from a missed call from Mr Norton, there was no other attempt by that political leader to reach out to him. Mr Holder said aggrieved persons should document their concerns to the executive. “I think the correct route, if there is a grievance, would be to write the party leadership or even come and see me. My office is open, the Leader’s office is open. I did see it on Facebook. I don’t think it’s the best thing to do in politics,” Mr Holder said.
He sought to dispel the view that efforts were being made to push people out of the PNCR but rather efforts were being made to get people to join. “It wouldn’t be a sensible move to push away somebody like Mr Bostwick who would has been a long-standing party member,” he added.
Without specifically referring to Mr Bostwick, that party Chairman said there was need to make way for new and younger leaders to emerge, in light of limited seats and the need to recognise hard work. “We have to make space as well for young blood, fresh blood because if the party is to continue tor grow and continue to survive and continue to be alive, then you need fresh people, fresh ideas not to say you are going to do away with seniors,” he said. Mr Holder said there were roles other than elected offices that persons could function in.
Responding to that, Mr Bostwick said that remark could not apply to him because it was he who had opted to make way for a younger person to replace him as a first-past-the-post/ constituency candidate. “I did not chose to go back as a constituency councillor. I had already made way for a younger person in the name of Travis Ellis to be a constituency Councillor. I had already made way for the young blood and I supported him to the end, I supported him on to victory,” he said.
Additionally, Mr Bostwick said he not only campaigned in every area in the constituency for the new candidate but also campaigned for other A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) candidates elsewhere.
Mr Bostwick said he was being unfairly characterised that he did not work to secure victory for Albousytown. “That is ungratefulness,” he said.
Though Mr Bostwick appeared set to distance himself from the PNCR with which he has been associated since 1979, he has no intention of associating with the People’s Progressive Party (PPP). He said President Irfaan Ali recently met him in Albouystown and has indicated that he wants to meet him, a request he would accommodate because of respect for the presidency. On the other hand, he ruled out meeting with Mr Bharrat Jagdeo because he is the PPP’s General Secretary.
“I don’t believe the President could want to call me to discuss any political matter. If Jagdeo call me, I will tell Jagdeo plain tat he has no right calling me but I wouldn’t tell the President of the country he has no right to call me and he shouldn’t want to see me. I believe my place, as a citizen, is to go to know what the President wants to see me for; not that I am going to beg for anything,” he said.
Mr Bostwick, a carpenter by trade, said he remained loyal to the PNCR even in the face of money having been offered to him by PPP agents not to run in the June 12, 2023 Local Government Elections. The PPP has denied that it has engaged in vote-buying in the LGE which saw that party securing gains in a number of PNCR/APNU traditional strongholds but not sufficient to take control.
He said “anytime I am finished with the PNC, I am finished with politics.”