Days after he received backlash for disclosing the grounds for the contract termination of Opposition Member of Parliament (MP), Amanza Walton-Desir from a State agency, Public Works Minister Juan Edghill says he offers no apologies. He contends that the people of Guyana have a right to know.
The Opposition, A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC), does not share that sentiment. In fact, they have threatened the minister with legal action; saying that he was wrong to divulge this information publicly.
Edghill said today that it was Walton-Desir, during her presentation in the National Assembly who alleged that the PPP/Civic Administration terminated her employment on political grounds.
She was a legal advisor to the Civil Aviation Authority (GCCA), a statutory body corporate, over which Edghill holds Ministerial and Parliamentary responsibility.
“The allegations of Ms. Desir are completely false and without any basis whatsoever. It is therefore my duty to respond. Respond I did, for which I have no apologies,” he said.
The APNU+AFC said that the termination of the professional’s contract is tantamount to “political persecution”.
But the Minister refuted the claim; saying that he had nothing to do with Walton-Desir’s dismissal.
“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,” he said.
The Public Works Minister continued: “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.”
The Bishop said that he rejects all allegations of political persecution, and that Walton-Desir is free to challenge both the termination of her contract as well as his public disclosures.
“I wish her well,” the Minister said.