For over two decades and half St Cuthbert’s Village Council has been malfunctioning.
Although systems are in place quite often the Toshao is left alone because of his attitude. The elections for Toshaos and councillors are held every three years. Nothing happens in our village and for some reason or the other the Toshao and councillors just remain silent.
The Minister of Amerindian Affairs perhaps felt that all was well. Officials from her ministry and from the Regional Office (Region 4) do not hold public forums with us. Our village is left unmanaged, although the newly built police outpost is assisting to an extent.
We live with lots of noise nuisance, even during the school hours, and in the wee hours of the morning children are playing pools and walking around aimlessly during school hours. Illegal rum shops have their doors open until the wee hours of the night hence the loud sound coming from the music boxes. Young men as well as some young women are turning to dope smoking, and dope could also be bought. There is a Community Policing Group but nothing is being done.
The Toshao’s election is scheduled for April 21, 2012, but before the election is held, the residents are requesting an audit of our cash ledger. In some cases in the past other Toshaos did not account for our revenues properly. Very little is being heard about our revenues, and we would like the authorities to hold a mid-term audit and a final audit at the end of the three-year term.
There was a contract to build a guest house in our village, but this is incomplete and no answers are forthcoming.
It is quite difficult to contact the Minister of Amerindian Affairs, therefore we are requesting a hotline, and that a better method of governing the Indigenous people of Guyana be created, as the population is getting larger.
Secondly, there is an issue unrelated to the Toshao, while the Minister may also be unaware of the matter although it has been in existence for about twenty years.
Mr George Simon, now a lecturer at UG was in England when a wealthy man died, leaving money in his will for the Dominican Caribs. Somehow George Simon and Miss Melville who resides in England, managed to secure some amount of money through the late Mr Robinson’s lawyers. This is paid annually into a bank in Guyana, mainly for culture and the most needy.
Mr George Simon came to Guyana and then to St Cuthbert’s (his home) and requested that a committee be formed to manage the affairs of our inheritance.
For about twenty years now, this committee has operated in secret; the public was never informed about the amount of money which came, who the beneficiaries are and how the money is being spent.
Over two years ago Miss Melville and Mr George Simon visited, mainly to meet with the few executive members, but did not contact residents, I was listed among the residents who were there to seek some answers.
We were unable to meet with the Minister of Amerindian Affairs on this matter. At least the committee should meet with the residents and say something as it is our inheritance, and our understanding is that the Robinson Trust Fund has been providing funds to St Cuthbert’s to promote culture, although nothing much is happening here.
We were fortunate to this money and grateful to Mr Simon for making the arrangement, but he should follow up to see if the committee is doing the right thing.
(Name and address provided)