SEE BELOW THE STATEMENT ISSUED BY THE MAYOR OF GEORGETOWN UBRAJ NARINE:
Thank you for the opportunity to respond to false assertions made by Vice President (VP) Bharrat Jagdeo during a recent TV interview. The assertions were repeated in an article published by the Guyana Chronicle on June 8, 2023.
Editor, I am not at all surprised by the VP’s false claims because – having observed the behavior of the individual over a number of years – I have come to the inevitable conclusion that Bharrat Jagdeo is a pathological and compulsive liar. He just cannot stop himself from peddling lies in pursuit of his own narcissistic agenda.
Let me address each one of Jagdeo’s lies.
First. In the article published by the state controlled newspaper, Jagdeo said that the current Mayor & City Council (M&CC) is afraid of financial audits. The fact is, nothing could be further from the truth.
Editor, in January of every single year, since I became Mayor of Georgetown in January 2019, I have written to the Auditor General requesting an audit of the accounts of the Municipality. The last such letter was sent by me in January of this year. I have never received a response to my repeated requests. I have copies of the letters in case anyone wants to see them.
Second Editor, In the article, it was reported that Jagdeo said that a People’s Progressive Party (PPP) controlled council would live-stream statutory meetings and committee meetings. Editor, that is funny because – as is typical of the PPP – that idea was proposed by the current council in the year 2020 ,however when it was received by local government commission ,it was rejected and they directed the administration of the council ( town clerk department) to not carry out such. Hence the proposal never came to reality .
Third. The vice president claimed that a PPP-controlled city council would do a better job of managing the city. Editor, I beg to differ. Will the PPP manage the city in the way it is managing the central government? Will all the city’s money end up in the pockets of corrupt PPP officials? Will public buildings in Georgetown burn down with children locked inside? Will people’s homes be bulldozed to the ground in the heart of the capital? Is that what Jagdeo is proposing?
Editor, permit me to make a few points.
Jagdeo’s PPP regime has been strangling Georgetown.
In 2020 the council got zero subversion while budgetary allocation was $ 10 million for that year . In 2021,2022 and 2023, the subvention was $30 million (US$150,000). Editor, how can such a paltry, pitiful sum of money maintain this country’s capital city – a city with a population of some 355,000 residents and visitors, in an area of 70 square kilometers?
Furthermore, the PPP controlled central government has not done any property valuations since 1996 – the law requires that the Ministry of finance do valuations every five years. That willful refusal of the PPP regime to do valuations has resulted in City Hall being starved of rates and taxes. Let me tell you, there are malls – valued at billions of dollars – that pay absolutely no rates and taxes because they were built after 1996, and the PPP regime still refuses to do valuations.
Editor, the people of Georgetown, Guyana need to have certain facts.
The PPP government owes City Hall more than $1 billion in rates and taxes, and the administration is not paying.
Guyana Power and Light (GPL) owes about $10 billion, and the company is not paying.
Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) and other entities controlled by the PPP regime owe the city large sums of money. The fact is, if the PPP government and the companies it controls simply pay their debts, the M&CC would be able to do much more for the residents of Georgetown.
Editor, citizens need to have the facts so that they can recognise the PPP’s lies.
The people of Georgetown are not stupid. Georgetown’s residents will absolutely not have their intelligence insulted by a lying vice president. We all know what the PPP officials want – they want unlimited power; they want their corrupt hands in every purse in Guyana. But the people of Georgetown will not give it to them; Georgetown will never be controlled by the PPP.
Pt. Ubraj Narine JP, COA
City of Georgetown