Recent events in Guyana suggest that only in this republic can certain things happen.
The city is a classic case of the unbelievable. There is the government’s ill treatment of the duly elected officials of Georgetown by a democratic process (forget for too long) where daily we see an administration determined to flout the express wishes of the majority of voters in Georgetown (73%). This assault on the principle of democracy has been heightened over the last year with the insertion of Ms Carol Sooba as acting Town Clerk.
We need not remind the public that in the first instance the lady is unqualified for the post; she scored the lowest marks at the interview conducted by the Personnel and Training Committee.
Owing to her strange behaviour and consistent refusal to carry out the decisions of the council, the council on two occasions by resolution expressed a lack of confidence in her and asked the Minister for her removal. The Minister has not only refused but has failed to re-advertise for the vacancy as he promised at the last engagement with a delegation from the Mayor and City Council.
On Tuesday last, the Mayor had to leave for an urgent and critical ophthalmic evaluation by a team of specialists in Texas, USA. The day before, the council by a motion in the absence of the Deputy Mayor identified Councillor Ranwell Jordan to perform the duties of mayor.
Using the technicalities of the law, the Town Clerk (ag) deemed that process unlawful and determined that it should take place on Friday afternoon; this was supported by the Minister.
The key to the Mayor’s office was therefore handed over to Councillor Jordan at the Mayor’s instance.
The Mayor expressed grave disquiet when he subsequently called to inquire about some information he needed urgently, and learnt that the key to his office was neither with his secretary, as is the norm, nor with Councillor Jordan.
The inability of the Mayor’s secretary to gain access to his office from Wednesday to Friday has caused the Mayor great inconvenience and stress. He recalls leaving a pouch containing US dollars and medical records, which were needed urgently. He had inadvertently forgotten them in his haste to make his flight out of Guyana.
Recall that recently a bullet was found in the Deputy Mayor’s office and the evidence was that its entry was immediately above the chair where the Deputy Mayor sits in her office. This is a serious incident, yet the Georgetown City Hall administration led by Ms Sooba was reluctant to call in the police; this had to be done by the Mayor.
May I add, the disappearance of the pouch with the money is serious but my family has come to the rescue. The unavailability of the medical records is worrisome.
I ask citizens to see this development in the context of an August 4th Stabroek News editorial and with prayers, love and faith we hope for better things for the city. As a colleague of mine once said: “We may be beaten but remain unbowed.”