Ganga Persaud dodges question on Sooba’s qualifications; concerns abound

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By Kurt Campbell

Town Clerk, Carol Sooba.
Town Clerk, Carol Sooba.

[www.inewsguyana.com] – Local Government Minister Ganga Persaud has refused to provide any clarifications regarding Carol Sooba’s qualifications following her recent appointment by the Local Government Ministry as City Town Clerk.

At a press conference on Friday (December 5), Persaud dodged every question posed to him in that regard and would only say that his ministry was satisfied that Sooba was the most suitable candidate for the position.

“This is my press conference and I’m fully aware that people need answers but the answer that I might give may not be the answer that you want to hear… having evaluated all the candidates we are satisfied that Sooba is the best suited, overall rounded candidate,” Persaud told reporters.

Sooba was appointed as Town Clerk after acting in the position for almost 17 months. Her appointment has been met with momentous rejection by several council members and leading politicians.

In fact, it was Deputy Mayor Patricia Chase-Greene who said that Sooba was the least qualified academically for the position which requires a Degree in Public Management or an equivalent Social Sciences Degree. Sooba is said to possess only CXC qualifications and has been a student of the University of Guyana, Faculty of Law for over six years now.

Even as Minister Persaud sought to convince reporters of Sooba’s aptness for the position, his colleague, Junior Local Government Minister Norman Whittaker sat with his lips sealed alongside him.

In fact it was Whittaker who had deemed Sooba as unqualified for the position prior to her appointment.

When quizzed about this fact Persaud said “Sooba has grown in experience and competence in the position.” He reiterated his point that she was the most suitable while noting that he was not ruling out the importance of academic qualifications.

He refused, even in the face of transparency to release the Town Clerk’s qualifications which he claimed to have seen and to explain the criteria for her appointment.

Persaud in turn asked the journalist who posed the question, what her qualification was for being a reporter then and now.

The Guyana Local Government Officers Union (GLGOU) on Thursday (December 5) issued a 72 hour ultimatum to the Ministry to have Sooba removed as Town Clerk, noting that she is unqualified.

However, Persaud claimed he had not seen a document in that regard which GLGOU President, Dale Beresford said he sent to the Minister and which was disseminated in both the electronic and printed media.

Earlier today Opposition Leader David Granger joined the list of persons publicly calling for Sooba’s removal.  “Ms. Sooba is unqualified; she is unsuited and unwanted by the majority of members on the city council” the Opposition Leader said.

In a previous statement Whittaker had claimed that since Sooba’s appointment as Acting Town Clerk revenue increased, debts reduced [almost to zero], salary payouts were on-time, financial reports became forthcoming and accurate and the general service provided by the council had improved.

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