In his rebuttal, the Minister of State, Joseph Harmon tired to defend his Government against the onslaught occasioned by Opposition Leader Dr Bharrat Jagdeo, where he pronounced, among many things, that government took away the $10 000 grant for school children.
However, Harmon’s continuous references to personal matters earned him reprimand from the Speaker, Dr Barton Scotland.
While he did not not address the Opposition Leader’s most contentious charges, Harmon focused on the D’Urban Park celebration for Guyana’s jubilee and other extraneous issues.
In fact, the Minister made a case for the importance of D’Uban Park, a project shrouded in controversy.
Debate surrounded the construction of the Park after it was revealed, in 2016, that most of the stands had significant defects. After embarrassing disclosures about the poor construction work on the stands, President David Granger had announced that the Ministry of the Presidency would take over responsibility for completion of the first phase of the project.
An audit subsequently found that the D’Urban Park had cost some $1.37 billion. Despite the enormous cost to build and continually repair the facility, it has been grossly underutilised, with mostly vagrants using it for shelter, apart from some recreational activities ongoing there in the afternoons.
Meanwhile, when Harmon referred to the parliamentary Opposition as an “annex of evil” Scotland again rebuked him for his unparliamentary language.
Harmon however, continued to brag that his Government was able to construct the edifice in just one year.
“The park is a central location, it has convenience for parking and has the ability to hold 50,000 ” Harmon said.
Harmon also bragged of the increase of visitors to Guyana.
Touching on Jagdeo’s criticism of the lack of job creation, Harmon pointed to the recent graduation from the Board of Industrial training.
According to the Minister, the no-confidence motion pushed by the Opposition is aimed at dividing the Guyanese people.
Further, he contended that not only did the coalition Government bring back confidence and the symbols of nationhood to Guyana but he also expressed confidence that his administration has brought back Guyana to being a land of opportunities.