His Excellency, the President of Guyana along with the Minister of Local Government and Regional Development Nigel Dharamlall are both creating political measures which consequences will stifle the development of Guyanese businesses and our citizens by extension.
Both President Ali and his lackluster Local Government Minister, who in this instance is tasked with the responsibility of making arrangements to have the swearing in process of the duly elected Mayor and Deputy Mayor of the Capital City of Georgetown, have failed miserably.
According to the Municipal and District Council Act, Chapter 28:01, section 18 ” The Mayor and Deputy Mayor shall, before performing any of the functions of their respective offices, take before the President an oath of office in the form set out in the second schedule”.
It is instructive to advise that the duly elected Councillors of the Municipality of Georgetown have carried out their election process dutifully and lawfully and have elected their Mayor and Deputy Mayor on the 7th of December 2020.
So it is with great astonishment that one month has since elapsed without any indication from the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development on the status of this simple but ceremonial process .
According to the various Mayors and Deputy mayors -elect who have been in touch from the other Municipalities and regions throughout Guyana, they too are at a loss and are dismayed and dissatisfied with the protracted delay taken to consumate this event and ceremony .This is more than an insult to the Municipalities and Local Authorities.
The Georgetown Municipality cannot at this time effectively carry out its functions and thus, all of the key Council business decisions have been delayed or curtailed at this time!
Should the Mayor and Deputy Mayor of the City not be sworn in soonest, this puerile measure will have serious consequences and the Municipality will have no other alternative but to seek an urgent LEGAL redress in resolving and giving direction to this matter.
Guyanese businesses and citizens of this dear land of ours- reside in Georgetown and depend on the Municipality for the passing of building plans, markets, overall direction of Council and other Municipal matters.
The current stockpiles of Municipal matters to be addressed and the City being unable to function effectively is because of the myopic and scant disregard of our Local Government laws by Minister Dharamlall.
Ultimately, it is time the Minister get his act together and stop playing kindergarten politics with the City’s affairs, especially in light of the advent of the oil and gas matters along with ease of doing business mantra proffered by Central Government. In this regard, he must advise President Ali along the right path and avoid unnecessary contention and further grey areas.
In closing, I would like to appeal to the Umbrella body for all Councils , the Guyana Association of Municipalities( GAM) to join us in demanding that the oath process to be taken by President Ali according to law is acted on with alacrity.
Pt. Ubraj Narine