PPP officials micromanage RDCs and NDCs in the Regions

Dear Editor,

When I read Mr Ralph Ramkarran’s Blog, ‘The Conversation Tree’ on ‘The Fall of the PPP’ I am bewildered as to why the Leader of the Opposition is still hell-bent on accelerating this downward slide of the PPP. In his Blog Mr Ramkarran stated that, “The ambitious Bharrat Jagdeo…had his own plans for personal greatness, which precluded the sharing of political power…by 2006 he was the master of the universe…devoting his energies to micromanaging, manipulating, dominating…ensuring post-presidential authority and control by engineering the presidential candidacy of Donald Ramotar. But by then the PPP’s leadership has been tarnished and its image sullied”.

Mr Jagdeo’s band of ‘loyal lieutenants’ as Mr Ramkarran described them, have shown that they are no less than their scheming General. In all the Regions, especially Region 6, I have witnessed this type of ‘micromanaging’ of the RDC and the NDCs by three senior PPP officials who have used the various caucuses to ‘manipulate and dominate’ these bodies. Sadly they are now moving to ‘engineer and control’ the remaining Chairpersons and Vice Chairpersons who have staged a long battle to remain as independent thinkers and to put the development of the Region and their communities as their priority.

The election of the chairpersons will take place some time in December, but a month ago two of the lieutenants from the PPP became busy. They had already decided who was not ‘political’ enough or who could not be easily controlled and manipulated, such as the current Regional Chairman, Mr David Armogan; the Kilcoy/Hampshire NDC Chairman, Mr Haseef Yusuf; the Chairman of the 52-74 NDC  Chairman, Mr Hemraj Ghansham; the Chairperson for Crabwood Creek NDC, Ms Ramela Bhadrasain, among others. This is totally against the spirit and letter of the relevant local government laws (Chapter 20:02 Section 28) which make it clear that an election held not later than December 16th and comprising the councillors will decide this process. In this case a political directive is given by the lieutenants to the councillors of the various NDCs as to who they should vote for. It is a clear indication that efficiency and effectiveness in running an NDC have nothing to do with this decision. It is all about total control; there is no room for independence. Whatever is done at the RDC and NDC must be sanctioned by the PPP and it is always about the ‘political twist’.

This is yet another example of how the PPP is killing development in Region 6. How can we speak about empowerment when the NDCs are puppets of the PPP?

Another issue which is killing development is the directive from the PPP that the NDCs should not raise the rates and taxes even though many huge property owners are paying between $200 and $2,500 per year. This is compounded by the fact that many new housing schemes have not been paying rates and taxes for a number of years now since they have not been officially handed over to the NDCs. This is why these NDCs cannot do any kind of capital works and have to depend solely on the RDC or the central government. These NDCs have become like GuySuCo, depending on government for subventions and other inputs. How can we speak about empowerment when the NDCs are so dependent on handouts from the government? The people of Region 6 are getting smart and they know the strategy employed by the PPP.

In closing, while Bharrat Jagdeo is walking the length and breadth of the country trying to woo supporters and members from APNU and AFC, his ‘loyal lieutenants’ are busy chasing away its current crop of members and supporters  because of their need to exercise absolute power.

Yours faithfully,

Raj Lakram

Councillor

No 52-74 NDC

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