I am responding to a story in the September 13 edition of the Guyana Times captioned ‘Power rationing takes toll on Mahdia.’ The Regional Executive Officer of Region 8, Mr Ronald Harsawack, was quoted as saying that the shortfall in revenue garnered by the Mahdia Power and Light (MPL) is the main cause for the rationing of electricity in the mining district.
Before I go further I would just like to ask the ruling authorities one question. Do members of the Central Executive Committee of the PPP/C have more authority than the ministers? The reason for me asking this question is because on May 16, 2013 the Minister of Local Government Ganga Persaud held a meeting in Mahdia with the board members of the MPL, and at that meeting he instructed the REO to pay the electricity bills that are owed to the company by the regional administration in the presence of his PS, Mr Collin Croal. Also at that meeting he instructed the REO to sign an MoU with the board for any overpayment by the regional administration to the MPL for 2012 to be paid at a later date when the company becomes more viable.
While I do not want to enter into a war of words with the REO concerning the amount of money that was paid in advance to the MPL, I would like him to set the record straight by producing the receipts for the $12 million he paid to the MPL. I would also like to call on our members of parliament to look at this and request an audit into this company.
As I pen this letter both of the engines are down and there is no electricity provided to the residents at this time. I was told that about one month ago the small generating set was damaged by lightning and recently the large one developed a problem.
In my opinion, the members of the MPL board also need to be more proactive; they need to understand that they have a responsibility to the residents here. I find it rather disturbing to know that over a month ago one of the generators was damaged by lighting and to date nothing was done to repair it. If they don’t have the finances or assistance to repair it, they should make it known.
In conclusion I am calling on the government to stop playing politics with the lives of the residents of Region 8. The people of Region 8 must not be made to suffer because they voted in a particular way. Whether the government or an opposition party controls the region, the residents are as much Guyanese as the residents of Region 5 or 6, and the government-appointed REO must not be encouraged and allowed to penalize the residents of Region 8.
Oswald Timothy Junor
Regional Democratic Councillor