People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Councillor Khame Sharma was escorted out of City Hall’s compound yesterday afternoon on the instruction of Mayor Patricia Chase-Green, who said he was disrespectful to her.
As Sharma sought to exit the council chambers ahead of a vote on ejecting him from yesterday’s statutory meeting, Chase-Green instructed a constabulary officer to escort him out of the compound.
“Councillor Sharma, I have not acknowledged you. I am still speaking, I have not acknowledged you. You must have respect for me or I can ask for permission to have you escorted out of the chambers,” Chase- Green had said earlier to Sharma as he continued to argue his point.
The PPP/C councillor was at the time attempting to table a motion with recommendations on the way forward to address the restoration of City Hall.
The motion was not allowed as the Mayor explained that the recommendations in the motion had already been placed on the statutory meeting’s agenda and she did not see the need to allow the motion to be tabled.
Sharma contended that the recommendation before the council was made at a special meeting, where the City’s Engineer Department made a presentation on the way forward and a quorum was not present. Responding to this concern, Chase-Green said that on the day of the Extra-Ordinary Statutory Meeting, a quorum was established. The Mayor also pointed out that the motion was not tabled in a timely manner to be placed on the agenda. “He submitted a motion to me on Friday. I spoke with him and told him that he was required to submit the motion 96 hours before the statutory meeting. He didn’t listen and brought it to council today, so there was the issue with timing,” the Mayor pointed out.
Nonetheless, as the Mayor was speaking on the rationale of not allowing the motion, Sharma kept interrupting her and it was at this point Town Clerk Royston King asked her to address the issue.
The Mayor used the opportunity to caution the councillor but he disregarded the warnings and continued to mumble his views. As he tried to make his concerns known, Sharma told the Mayor, “It seems like you and Mr. King can do your own thing.”
This was where the Mayor became annoyed and asked councillors to indicate whether Sharma should be ejected from the chambers. As the Councillors cast their votes, Sharma picked up his belongings, got up from his seat and announced, “I am walking out of this meeting as a protest.”
As he reached the door, a City Constabulary officer was instructed to escort him out of the compound.
Eight APNU+AFC councillors voted in agreement with the Mayor’s action, while Sharma’s fellow PPP/C Councillor Bisham Kuppen voted against the move and a few others remained silent.
It was pointed out by councillors that it was not the first time Sharma had demonstrated disrespect to the chair of the statutory meeting. At the first statutory meeting for July, Sharma competed with Deputy Mayor Akeem Peter for the floor as he raised concerns over damage to his vehicle, which he claims was done by a vehicle belonging to the Mayor and City Council.
It was disclosed that the matter was fully investigated and the council had agreed that no compensation be paid to the councillor since the vehicle was not registered in his name nor could he show ownership of the vehicle.
Sharma has been upbraided at other meetings for inaccurate statements he would make around the horse-shoe table on matters under discussion. In March, the council passed a motion to have councillors disciplined for misconduct.
The motion, which was tabled by APNU+AFC Councillor Heston Bostwick, called for any councillor or officer of the Mayor and City Council who conducts themselves in any manner that is deemed to be gross misconduct to the Mayor or Presiding Member of the City Council to be sanctioned according to the Municipal and District Councils Act.
That motion invoked the oaths taken by councillors under the Act to abide by the Laws of Guyana and referenced sections 27 to 31 of that Act, which give “clear guidance with regards to misconduct of any member/councillor.”