APNU+AFC gov’t did not fire “thousands” of public servants – Harmon

Minister of State, Joseph Harmon.

By Fareeza Haniff

Minister of State, Joseph Harmon.
Minister of State, Joseph Harmon.

[www.inewsguyana.com] – Quite a number of public servants have been fired by the new government while others did not have their contracts renewed but Minister of State, Joseph Harmon is adamant that this does not amount to “thousands” being let go by the APNU+AFC administration.

Harmon clarified the issue at a post cabinet media briefing on Friday, August 21, when he was asked to respond to claims by the Opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) that public servants were fired due to their perceived affiliation with the former government.

But while he defended the decision of the new administration to send some public servants home, the Minister of State could not provide a definite figure as to how many persons were dismissed, sent on leave, or contracts not renewed since they APNU+AFC government took office on May 16.

“I can’t give you an exact figure right now, but I will address this matter in my presentation in the National Assembly…it is nothing of thousands of employees being fired. There are persons, whom I indicated here at these press conferences, who were doing primarily political work for the PPP and being paid by the government. We made a very clear distinction where that is concerned,” the Minister of State said.

He also made it clear that persons were not dismissed because of their affiliation with the former PPP government.,

“We are not concerned which political party you represent, what your political views are but if you are doing government work then we have no problem with that but if you’re being paid by government to do purely Party work then we have a problem with that because the Party must pay you if you are doing their work,” Harmon told reporters.

He also shun the use of contracts by the then PPP government for public servants, stating that it was used as a measure of control.

“There are persons who were on contracts, it expired and were not renewed. This is a jeopardy which in fact the PPP administration placed a number of public servants in. Because had they been in the public service, there is a particular procedure which have to be followed but they forced a lot of public servants to go onto this contract arrangement by giving them inducements of a gratuity every six months or gratuity every three months…but what that gave the government is time control over these public servants,” Harmon explained.

A number of Permanent Secretaries and other government employees were fired when the APNU+AFC government took office in May following the general and regional elections, which saw the PPP losing control after 23 years in government.



  1. Any political party worth it’s salt would work in the best interest of the country and ALL the people. Granger declared that he would be a ”good president”. That he would be a ”president for all the people” in his inauguration speech when he was sworn in.
    Yes, they can appoint their own but not at the expense of the others and the progress of the country. Meritorious appointments preferred, not political patronage.

  2. new administration new breed of people and this happens in any part of the world.To have political appointees from the previous administration working for the new Administration is gross since they are the new Admins enimies and can therefore sabotage the economy and also act as spies for the opposition.Dont you fret urself over these petty allegations Hon Minster,when they took office in 1992,they fired afro Guynese front right and center.Let them now go back and examined their ugly track records and leave the Govt of the day alone.We are the Govt and they have to adhere to the rule and laws that governs the beautiful country of Guyana.Shameless loosers.

  3. It’s kind of difficult to keep track of thing when you know not what you are doing. It’s not witch hunt it’s not ethnic cleansing when the office of the president now looks the GDF army barracks.

  4. Emile Mervin stop insulting yourself. The PNC foreign ministry was the world’s largest so PPP had to reduce it. Answer this. How many cabinet ministers there are in the present coalition government compared to that of the United States of America? Haul y’all baxide? You people? Something Joey said had to really bite your ass to get you so angry!

  5. Hey Joe, no need to account for anything… Let those senior PPP ministers who came from nothing in the cane field or estates to fabulous wealth in a blink of an eye account for how they amassed their wealth… I’m sure their supporters would love to know because if they can do it , 250.000 others can….

  6. Who cares how many political appointees were sent home? It is a given in every democracy that political appointees leave when their party in government leaves.

  7. Do you know how many hardworking Guyanese were terminated in 1992? You people think you have the sole right to terminate those you think we’re political appointees? Haul y’all baxide! The culture has to change, but until then all political appointees and poor performers must not be paid by government.

  8. And you too …why don’t you use your real name…COWARD. And speaking of school you should have stayed in the class room not under the school !!

  9. How can he not know? He’s just firing people willy nilly? Stop making excuses for his incompetence and racism.

  10. You babbling fools that is all you can do criticize this government is just three months old and you want them to fix all the shit the ppp left why you couldn’t tell Jadeao and Ramotar stop the shit they were doing you couldn’t because they would have slap you senseless stop the hate and let love prevail . Jadeao wasn’t saying anything to the people everything was a secret so you must stop talking and go wash your mind body and soul .let love reign in your heart

  11. James, you and Maharanee really need to stop and read what you write from time to time.
    Either you have no comprehension of what you are reading or really lack the ability to process the same effectively. The Minister’s comments were and I quote: “I can’t give you an exact figure right now, but I will address this matter in my presentation in the National Assembly…it is nothing of thousands of employees being fired.”
    He did not say he does not know how many were fired. Obviously he has the statistics for his presentation. But since he knows that some “Jar Heads” are just waiting for him to say a number and pounce on him if he reveals another number at his presentation, he choose not to put himself in that situation. Remember this is just a press briefing.
    But like all empty barrels you have to make the most noise!!!
    It’s one thing to provide constructive criticism and another to just blog nonsense for blogging sake..
    Just some food for thought from a fellow Guyanese. “One People, One Nation, One Destiny!!!”

  12. Wow
    the lying, the deceptions and so openly. it started and so soon.
    can’t say i didn’t knew this all along though.

  13. My favourite American TV Judge Judy usually says at the beginning of a complicarted case; “It’s not going to be easy. You think it’s going to be easy?” I have blogged many times – even BEFORE the May 11, 2015 General & Regional Elections – that it won’t be easy for the new Government. I’ve also blogged that there would be lots of mess to be cleaned up. My, my! It seems to be even more mess than I thought.

  14. Mr. Harmon as the Minister of State you are expected to be honest, transparent and most of all be well informed. It is obvious that you are DISHONEST, SECRETIVE and NOT WELL INFORMED. It is very embarrassing that you are openingly lying to the people and suddenly having dementia. You are fully aware of the hundreds of innocent, hardworking Guyanese of all ethnic background that were deliberately terminated because of their political affiliation. Stop taking the people for granted and know that you have a civilized, decent bunch of people that live in Guysna and that elected officials are there to serve them. If you and your colleagues cannot SERVE them step aside and let some other folks do the job. This is not the PNC era where our people will be forced to run out of Guyana – this time we the people are here the stay and will make those incompetent, dishonest politician like you Mr. Harmon go into exile.

  15. Pack of bumbling fools in charge. How the hell does he not know? Another square peg in round hole. This man should be fired! He is doing a lot of the work that belongs to Nahamootoo anyway.

    The PPP should give the numbrs to the public.

  16. CORRECTION for Mr. Harmon.

    Your government did not dismiss thousands of Public employees, willy, Nilly.

    Some were let go, for various qualifying and functional reasons.

    And giving a number or figure may be necessary, to appease the commonweal’s curiosity too.

  17. What did you say, Harpman? I didn’t get a thing. Your English and grammar are very poor. What’s this guy’s qualification anyway?

  18. how odd as minister of state he did not know how many persons he and his party sent home. pack of jokers


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