The Current Crime Situation – Khemraj Ramjattan, M.P Leader of the AFC
The AFC finds the current upsurge in crimes across the country, ranging from petty theft to domestic violence to an execution type murder, as extremely worrying. What is even more stressful in this Covid time, is the large number of non-apprehension of the offenders.
This steep crime wave will only further dent the promised economic recovery of the PPP and crack further the public security architecture which was incrementally being constructed by the previous APNU/AFC administration.
The AFC appreciates the heroic efforts of the large majority of officers and junior ranks in the Guyana Police Force. Somehow these are overshadowed by the greedy and unprofessional within. These rogue elements must condignly be dealt with.
The AFC is aware that there has been, on the part of the PPP Government, a retrogression and complete disinterest in implementing a number of the Recommendations which emerged out of the British Security Sector Reform Report and the follow up consultancies. The attitude of the PPP prior to 2015 was to stay clear from such reform as the British had suggested. Now that the study is completed and is depending on implementation to bring it to fruition, that unwilling attitude remains.
The AFC calls on the Government to give account on how far it intends to take these recommendations of Russell Coombe, and the other expert consultants, forward.
AFC Concerned about increasing numbers of COVID+ cases and emerging strains
The Alliance For Change is concerned that enough is not being done to tackle the COVID 19 and its evolving strains pandemic. Over the past few months new variants of COVID 19 have been found in the UK, South Africa and in Brazil, as close as Manaus, that seem to be more deadly taking a heavier toll on humanity. Other countries are also being affected, a clear indication that globally, we are not on top of this pandemic.
While we sympathise with our neighbours, we need to take every precaution to isolate ourselves from this new P1 variant. It is devastating our neighbouring country and could do the same here.
The AFC calls for the sealing off and robust monitoring of our borders that is not limited to the official point of entry, monitoring the road arteries connecting the hinterland with Linden and the coastland We must take every measure to protect our people.
Our citizens also must play their part. Sadly, some of our citizens are not adhering to the COVID 19 guidelines. The AFC has observed the lack of social distancing in many public spaces. We note especially, that during the first week of each month, pensioners flock Post Offices across the country and they can be seen sitting almost shoulder-to-shoulder. While we understand the need of the pensioners to collect their monthly Old Age Pension, we strongly recommend that the Ministry of Social Protection revert to a staggered distribution system, similar to what was implemented under the Coalition Government. This is where Old Age Pension is paid out on an alphabet-based system. This would reduce crowding at Post Offices and minimize opportunity for the spread of the devastating COVID19 virus.
Further, we have observed persons not wearing masks and, a number not seemingly confident about taking the vaccines available. The AFC urges that wearing masks and getting vaccinated are integral in this fight against the virus.
The AFC supports all sensible measures to stop the COVID pandemic including supplementary budgetary provision. We believe the Guyana Police Force should be more involved in enforcing the guidelines, including, inspecting public transportation to ensure all passengers are wearing a mask properly, stopping persons on the streets who do not have on a mask and after curfew patrols of bars, restaurants and nightclubs.
While the Administration has a significant role to play in reversing the pandemic, the AFC wishes to remind citizens that we all have a primary responsibility to ourselves to take care and protect our health. Our human resource is our most precious resource.
Statement on Public Procurement Commission – David Patterson , M.P. GS – AFC
At the last Public Accounts (PAC) meeting held on April 12, 2021, the PAC unanimously agreed to move forward seeking applications for suitable candidates to fill the vacant positions of the Public Procurement Commission.
The Public Procurement Commission was established under article 212X of the Constitution, which reads as follows:-
(1) the Public Procurement Commission shall consists of five members who shall have expertise and experience in procurement, legal, financial and administrative matters:
(2) The President shall appoint the members of the Commission after such members have been nominated by the Public Accounts Committee and approved by not less than two-thirds of the elected members of the National Assembly.
The first Commission was established in 2016, however the life of the Commission expired in October 2020. The PAC agreed that letters will be written to the individual political parties in the Parliament inviting them to submit nominees to the PPC directly to the PAC, and such letters were dispatched yesterday to the General Secretaries of the PPP/C, APNU, AFC, LJP, TNM and ANUG.
Additionally, commencing tomorrow, public advertisements will be placed on radio, television, the print media and the Parliament website, inviting the general public, private sector agencies, NGOs and other institutions to submit names of suitable applicants to the PPC.
PAC has set May 17, 2021 as the date for return of all applicants, after which applications will be considered and recommendations forwarded to the National Assembly for ratification.
The AFC is committed to ensuring that this important Constitutional Commission is fully established in the shortest possible time.
New Local Government Commissioner – Nicola Trotman
I am deeply honoured to be afforded the opportunity to serve my country and my fellow Guyanese in this most important capacity as Commissioner of the Local Government Commission.
I have had a lifelong passion for service in the community and the wider society and this appointment, I believe, will allow me to make a small contribution towards the advancement of democracy and good governance of our country.
The Local Government Commission is empowered to deal with all matters relating to the regulation and staffing of local government organs including employment and dismissal of staff and with dispute resolution within and between local government organs.
It is also, among other things, empowered to monitor and review the performance and implementation of policies of all local government organs, including policies of taxation and protection of the environment.
I wish to assure the public that I will be sincere and steadfast in the execution of my functions as a Commissioner and shall, at all times, put the interest of the people of Guyana first and operate only within the confines of the Local Government Commission act.
Finally I wish to thank the executives and members of the Alliance For Change and the APNU+AFC Coalition who have reposed confidence in me to serve in this capacity.
I am ready and eager to get to work to improve local government in our country.