…in the hospitals
The PNC is SO predictable: whenever the PPP goes high, you know for sure they’ll go low!! Take the latest incendiary intrusion by the PNC’s Joseph Harmon at the end of the Budget debate to insist that Public Servants’ salaries are moribund while the PPP indulges in “wasteful spending”. He honed in specifically on “our health care workers, our teachers and our joint services”.
Who was then surprised when nurses at three hospitals – including GPHC – simultaneously came out in protest not just for salaries by also for “risk allowance” and other benefits on account of the COVID-19 crisis? After all, teachers are out on vacation and the Joint Services can’t very well strike since there aren’t any crisis like – Venezuelans invading – for them to attend to!!
But point of the matter – as explained by President Ali – the Government had already set aside a whopping $150 million in the just approved Budget for exactly that contingency!! Harmon had illustrated his “wasteful spending” charge by pointing to the $95 million – IN A $329 BILLION BUDGET – allocated for several vehicles for the Executive! But what made it quite obvious the move was political was while the gripe may have some grounds, the nurses had been working in identical circumstances up to August when the PNC finally demitted office!!
No strike under the PNC!! But under the PPP, they ignored the benefits in the pipeline – and their own responsibilities under the terms of their contract as “Essential workers” especially during the biggest health crisis Guyana (and the world) has faced in a century! Several of the demands by the nurses – such as their claim they weren’t provided with Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) – just weren’t true. And demands that they all get duty-free vehicles were plain unrealistic.
What we’re witnessing is a new PNC war of attrition against the PPP that will be waged via their surrogates in the Public Service, whose members are dominated by their loyalists. Remember the morning prayer pep talks held by Volda Lawrence – of “all my friends are PNC and I only hire them” fame – during her stint as Minister of Health? The nurses are the shock troops of the new war. Remember they played the same role in the 1999 Public Service strike.
Unfortunately, this PNC war is also designed to stoke racial hostilities in the country: the PNC contrasted the PPP’s supposedly miserly stance towards the Public Service versus their “generosity” towards sugar workers. All Guyana knows that these categories of workers are merely tropes for “African Guyanese” and “Indian Guyanese”. And never mind the sugar workers don’t even have jobs!
The PNC can’t possibly sink lower that this!
…but progress continues
When the PPP demitted office in 2015, they’d already drafted a plan for a new fixed span bridge across the Demerara River. The floating one built in 1978 had looong passed its 25-year expiry date. The in-house crafted design was thrown out by the PNC’s James Patterson, who sole-sourced a $170 million Dutch design that was laughed out of existence by the Chinese Ambassador who was forced to (undiplomatically!) dub it “19th century”!!
Well, less than two months into his term, President Ali has announced that with Expressions of Interest being solicited this week, he’ll have the Bridge in place within 4 years. But what will shock the PNC is that the new bridge won’t end on the western side on the property of their financier – and rigging conspiracist – Stanley Ming!! Nope, this has been shifted to La Grange to eliminate the “Ming Swing” necessary to land it on Ming’s land!!
The futuristic Bridge will “flyover” the EBD highway and connect with it (and the bypass) via clover-leaf exits and entries!!
…as enablers face criminal charges
GECOM CEO Keith Lowenfield and his Reg 4 Returning Officer Clairmont Mingo have now both been slapped with criminal charges for their nefarious role in trying to steal the elections for the PNC.
Justice must be condign!