Letter: Disappointed in Georgetown Mayor and his Councillors

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Mayor of Georgetown, Ubraj Narine

Dear Editor,

On Saturday 16th January, 2022, President Dr Irfaan Ali took a hands-on approach to eradicate the filth and garbage that had accumulated within Georgetown. He was fully supported by his Cabinet, the Private Sector Commission, the Joint Services, Commissioner of Police, Chief of Staff of the GDF, and even members of the diplomatic community.

Notably absent were the political Opposition and its elected representatives. This was fully welcomed by the residents of Georgetown, many of whom themselves joined and assisted with the cleaning efforts to restore the beauty of the place once referred to as the garden city. There were over 1500 volunteers supporting the President’s efforts. These right-thinking Guyanese have clearly seen our leader leading by example and from the front. The President clearly has a plan for the capital Georgetown, and by extension the entire Guyana. As demonstrated over the weekend, we saw inclusivity and unity. We saw Guyanese from all ethnic groups participating, and that shows that Dr. Ali’s One Guyana Initiative has been bought into.

On Friday 15th January, 2022, the Mayor of Georgetown, Mr Ubraj Narine, issued a most bizarre statement. He accused the People’s Progressive Party of destabilising Georgetown and attacking local democracy. This blatant untruth leaves much to be desired. Whilst the Mayor and his political leaders ought not to play politics on matters of importance that stand to benefit and improve the lives of the people, the Mayor, who portrays himself as a leader, started his missive by failing to acknowledge the legitimacy of the Government. This is not the first time either, whilst on the same hand he called on the same People’s Progressive Party Civic GOVERNMENT, that he doesn’t recognise as legal, for subvention.

This shows clearly something is seriously wrong with the Mayor. To further continue his insanity, the Mayor, reading from a People’s National Congress press statement, alluded that Operation Clean Up demonstrated the PPPC’s efforts to undercut and ignore the local government councils in our towns and villages. This is furthest from the truth. The Mayor sought to legitimise his stupidity by quoting the Guyana Constitution, specifically Article 71. This is the same Constitution of Guyana that Mr. Ubraj and his political allies have trampled upon and ignored on numerous occasions.

Article 71 says “Local Government is a vital aspect of our democracy, and shall be organised so as to involve as many people as possible in the task of managing and developing the communities in which they live.” In his quest to seek relevance, this PNC MAYOR attempted to score cheap political points through petty politics.

Unfortunately, the political Opposition, A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance for Change, through its elected Mayor, who controls Georgetown, has taken an unpatriotic position on an initiative that falls directly under the responsibility of the Mayor and City Council. This responsibility has been severely neglected, and as such, the President decided to take action. This was an important idea, as the residents of the capital city have for years been complaining about the state of the city and the way in which it is managed. Time and time again, this nation has witnessed the political immaturity of the People’s National Congress under the guise of APNU/AFC. We have all seen their disregard and disrespect for the people of Georgetown, and for the people’s wellbeing.

Ironically, it is the People’s National Congress Reform who controls Georgetown, and who have failed again their own supporters. How could the Mayor not support the cleanup campaign? It is the residents of Georgetown who voted the Mayor and his fellow Councillors into office.

The People’s National Congress and the Mayor and City Councillors, whether as APNU/AFC or otherwise, ought to have assisted the Government’s initiative, as it would have been fulfilling their mandate to Georgetowners, and at the same time ensuring they honour their responsibility to the city as elected officials.

Sincerely yours,
Adron Pires