Walton-Desir claims she did not abandon work

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APNU/AFC Parliamentarian Amanza Walton-Desir has responded to Public Works Minister Juan Edghill who recently detailed to the public the reason why she was relieved of her duties as legal counsel to the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA).

The APNU/AFC camp claimed that Walton-Desir was dismissed for political reasons but Edghill explained that the attorney’s contract was actually terminated for dereliction of duty.

Minister Edghill, who has responsibility for the GCAA, explained that Walton-Desir was absent from work during the five-month long elections even though she was not on any approved leave.

He also said there was no evidence of her work done since March 2.

But Walton-Desir told media operatives on Tuesday that she was absent from work initially because she was on leave and then because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

She claimed that during that time, she still participated virtually in management meetings.

Additionally, she denied participating in the recount exercise but admitted that she had visited coalition officials who had camped out at the National Aquatic Centre, which is opposite the recount venue at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre.

Walton-Desir says she is engaging her lawyers on pursuing legal action.

Meanwhile, the APNU/AFC also released a statement condemning the decision to reveal Walton-Desir’s information to the public

In response, Edghill defended the move.

“APNU/AFC describes Ms. Desir as a public servant. She is not. That is part of their incompetence. They do not know who is a public servant. They alleged that I dismissed Ms. Desir for political reasons. I have no power to dismiss Ms. Desir. She has a contract with the Civil Aviation Authority and the Authority terminated that contract in accordance with its terms. I simply disclosed the grounds upon which she was dismissed.”

“As an officer of a public authority, Civil Aviation Authority, Ms. Desir is a public officer being paid by public funds and the terms and conditions of her contract as well as the quality of her performance are all matters to which the public is entitled. I disseminated that information to the public which I have a duty to do as the subject Minister of that Authority.”

Edghill noted also that it was Walton-Desir, during her presentation in the National Assembly on Monday, who alleged that the new People’s Progressive Party (PPP) government dismissed her due to political grounds. Edghill said that since this is false, he was obligated to respond.

Minister Edghill posited that Walton-Desir is free to challenge both the termination of her contract as well as his public disclosures on her performance at the GCAA.