Dear Editor,

Our Constitution makes it unambiguously clear that sovereignty belongs to the people and the elected representatives exist to give effect to the will of the people.

As an RDC Councillor, when I took the oath I swore to discharge my duties “without fear, or favour, affection or ill will”, and I intend to do just that. In addition at every RDC meeting the prayer is read by the Clerk of Council who exhorts everyone to invoke “divine guidance” in all our deliberations so that we would be able to serve our Region. I have never taken this prayer lightly either.

I have written many missives on corruption with the intention of opening the ‘eyes’ of the relevant authorities so that our citizens can have value for money. When in opposition this government made ‘corruption and transparency’ their mantra on the political platform. Now that they are in government the corruption chant suddenly died and those who highlight corrupt practices are being attacked and threatened to keep their mouths shut.

I wish to make it clear that I was expelled from the AFC because I dared to expose corruption and cronyism within the AFC. Today the same practices are in existence but have multiplied exponentially.

In one of my letters, I wrote about corruption in Region 6 and I made reference to the “junk” bulldozer issue. The REO wrote a strong letter to the Chairman which was circulated to all the RDC councillors demanding that I recant what I have written. She claimed that I implied that no bond was in existence when what I stated was that I queried the existence of the bond. In that letter she claimed that a bond is in existence. However, at the last RDC Statutory meeting it was discovered that no such bond was in existence. In fact, a bond dated 13th March, 2018 was for an entirely new contract for the supply of a D3 angle blade bulldozer.

In another part of the said letter, I wrote what the fishermen at No 43 Village told me with regard to the work which was done on the No 43 Canal and the excavation work which was supposed to commence on the clearing and excavation of the channel. What I did was to relate their grievance so that it could be heard. I bore no malice towards anyone, especially the contractor whom I did not name, when I reported the fishermen’s conversation with me. I bear absolutely no ill will or malice, and I do unreservedly apologize if he feels that way.

It is my understanding that as a Councillor I need to communicate and collaborate widely, and I need to engage citizens in my Region, listen and highlight their grievances and advocate for them. In the case of the No 43 fishermen’s plight, the situation had reached a crisis point with no resolution in sight. They were losing money and they were frustrated. I had to make known their grievances so that their lives could return to normal. My intention is to represent those people and to make a difference to the quality of their lives which had been deteriorating for more than a month.

At the last RDC meeting an APNU Councillor took offence at the fact that I was highlighting alleged practices of cronyism and corruption. Mr Fraser in addressing the Council demanded that I stop writing negative things in the press and that I should highlight the progress. What progress he is referring to I am still in a quandary to fathom. He fully supported the REO even though it was clear that no bond existed on the junk bulldozer. I think Mr Fraser should revisit the oath he took and the prayer he recites before the start of every meeting.

Yours faithfully,

Haseef Yusuf

RDC Councillor

Region 6

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