IMCs are not the solution

Dear Editor,

We have been without local government elections for the past 18 years and the ruling party is not in the least bothered by this sorry state of affairs and the impact it has on the development of our beloved country at the grassroots level. The ruling party is hell bent on playing party politics with the legislation at the parliamentary level whilst allowing its Minister of IMCs (Local Government), who is so empowered by the current Act, to fire any and everyone and replace as he sees fit with party supporters in anticipation of the next planned local government elections. The Guyanese people are not stupid; it has taken them 18 years to break from the shackles of race and fear-mongering and deliver the PPP a minority in Parliament, and they are carefully watching the way in which they are managing this economy. The judiciary is being overburdened and abused by the Attorney General any time they cannot get their way, and they cry foul whenever they lose. It is amazing how quickly the judiciary acts when the state has a matter to be heard. I noticed Mr Raj Singh complaining recently in the press about the GCB matter not being heard after more than 6 months.  The powers that be are holding the judiciary hostage since they are in charge of confirming the appointments of the Chief Justice and the Chancellor. Well respected counsel Nigel Hughes wrote a very refreshing letter about this recently, but more persons need to come out of the woodwork and call a spade a spade.

The government has so many major problems and concerns with important segments of the economy and there are widespread allegations of corruption in almost every department, but the only four ministries which are active seem to be the Ministry of Sport and the Ministry of Local Government now specifically tasked with forming IMCs; the Ministry of Housing (Trade and Commerce has really been forgotten) and the Ministry of Legal Affairs. Prior to accepting the AG’s position Mr Nandlall  lost every single cricket matter in the courts and is now trying to seek a solution through empowering the Minister of Sport through a cricket act to hire and fire as he sees fit, just as the Local Government Minister does. This does not work.

Even without the legal power, the Minister of Sport has already illegally embarked on forming IMCs and disbanding the legally elected bodies in the cricket and horse racing fraternities with both turning out to be colossal failures. He has carefully sidestepped the football fraternity, obviously out of fear of FIFA. Clive Lloyd was recruited to be the head of the IMC in September 2011 and also to be a campaign figurehead for the PPP in 2011 during elections, but he disappeared during the elections and was strongly rebuked for this absence. Clive allowed himself to be used by this government and has severely damaged his credibility and reputation and lost a huge chunk of the star capital that he had. His acceptance of the position of head of the IMC caused him to lose his directorship on the WICB and not to be reappointed head of the Cricket Committee of the ICC.

Surely, it has been proven that IMCs are not the best path for the resolution of such thorny issues. It is crystal clear that the agenda of the government is to govern through IMCs and legislate powers to ministers, which strategies have proven to be huge failures. They want to hijack and nationalize the cricket board for political reasons and use the same as a campaign tool in the next elections. I say hands off cricket and all other sporting organizations! The opposition needs to step up to the plate and represent the people of Guyana and not allow the government to take over sports, and go backwards like the communist countries of Cuba, North Korea and China. It was pleasing to see the AFC head, Mr Ramjattan, speaking out very forthrightly about this grave injustice by the government. Pay the same relentless obsession to the woes of the state corporations and entities, GuySuCo, GPL, GWI, UG, NDIA, NICIL, etc, by employing competent persons to manage them and hopefully something good will come out of it.
Yours faithfully,
Intikhab Sankar

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