The Kuru Kuru Co-operative Society is now in a better place as an Interim Management Committee (IMC) has been established to manage the affairs of the organisation.
This was revealed by Labour Minister, Joseph Hamilton, who on Thursday responded to spurious claims made by Leader of the Opposition, Aubrey Norton.
Norton was at the time addressing a press conference when he made the baseless allegation that the PPP/C Government acted to “take away land from the African Guyanese at Kuru Kuru Co-op to give to PPP supporters”.
This, however, was described as a “patent lie” by Minister Hamilton, who has overarching responsibility for Co-op societies.
Documentation seen by the Department of Public Information revealed that the society was in financial shambles before the intervention of the labour ministry.
“The former management committee could not get dues collected from members, because [the members] had no confidence in them to spend their money and to manage,” the minister pointed out.
This lack of confidence, the Minister said, could have been premised on the fact that the management committee was unable to produce any audits for several years and could not properly account for monies received and spent.
However, since the establishment of the IMC, several developmental plans have been outlined for the community.
The trust of the members has also been retained by the administrative body.
“From the period when the IMC came into being, which is less than a year, they were able to get $9.4 million in dues during that period because the people now have confidence in them and what they’re doing.
“They are opening up lands. They are seeking to have constructed new roads…The ministry of public works has started to do a new road in there…they have reached home affairs to seek to have the police put a police station in the area. They have [also] reached out to the health ministry to seek to have the ministry put a health centre in there and they have already cleared the land,” the Minister stated.
The co-op, Minister Hamilton said, can now stand on its own financially as it is no longer “in the red”.
“These people have moved this co-op society from a society that was limping. When you look at what they have done…the bank balance, as I speak to you, is $28.8 million, moving from a position of R-E-D.”
He affirmed his Ministry’s commitment to ensuring the smooth and effective functioning of all co-op societies in Guyana.
“These things were established to help ordinary people and if people are utilizing them to rob ordinary people, I will bring an end to that. I have no apologies for Norton or nobody…that is what I will continue to do,” the Labour Minister assured.