Funds allocated for the staging of Linden Mash yesterday were withheld by Regional Executive Officer (REO), Dwight John. This is according to various leaders of Region 10, who stated that despite the successful holding of the event, the question still remains as to “where are the budgeted funds?”

Region 10 leaders were perturbed during a special press conference on Monday about how millions of dollars were not made available for the council to plan their annual Mashramani observance.

Over $11M was budgeted for Region 10 for the recently concluded mash festivity. The council said that monies were intended to be spent on not only events in Linden but also other districts in the region. This news entity understands that funds were taken directly from the Neighbourhood Democratic Council to stage this year’s celebration.

The council said that when they inquired from the regional organ about its funds, they were instead told that the monies were used to send representatives from the region to take part in the National Mashramani Parade on February 23 in Georgetown.

Region 10 Chairman Derom Adams today explained the funds spent to send a contingent to Georgetown to participate in the Mash festivities went against the decision of the council which voted to celebrate Mash in Linden instead.

Adams told the press conference that, because of the amount allocated, the council made a decision to withdraw from the Celebration in Georgetown and instead stage the region’s own Mashramani celebration.

He further noted that the region started planning for Mashramani in October of last year. Adams said that multiple requests for information on Mashramani went unanswered.

“In January, a calendar of events was made public and we realized that there were no events listed to occur in Linden. We decided to use the funds from the budget to plan our own celebration because this is where the first Mash was held,” Adams said.

The Council then wrote to the regional organ requesting funds to stage its own celebration. Adams however claimed that the Regional Executive Officer (REO) Dwight John, had denied them the funds in a letter on March 2, 2023.

In the letter, John said, “As such as the Accounting Officer, I am required to comply with the Fiscal Management and Accountability Act where the monies appropriated by the National Assembly under 801 Regional Administration and Finance- Chart of Accounts 6291 – National and Other Events are insufficient to execute the Linden Regional Mashramani celebration 2023. Currently I would not be responsible for any unauthorized expenditures since it would be in contradiction with prudent financial management and my accounting responsibilities.”

The Chairman when asked by the Guyana Standard about how monies are usually allocated to the region for Mashramani, explained that the funds allocated by Government is usually divided between the region’s participation in the Georgetown parade and the region’s own programme of events.

He noted that this was the first time in the history of the region that funds were not made available for the council and planning committee to stage the annual event in Linden.

Meanwhile, apart from the debacle with the region’s allocated funds for the mash festivities, Adams claimed that there was a concerted effort to stop the celebration yesterday. He alleged that there were attempts by local law enforcement to change the route at the last minute.

Adams said that the Council had written to, met and agreed with the Commander of the Guyana Police Force Division 10 for members of the public to be able to parade for Mashramani yesterday from the Five Corner Junction to the Bayroc Community Centre Parking Lot.

However, Adam claimed that someone from the current administration had passed orders for the route to be redirected to instead go to Christiansburg. He noted too that based on claims, there were also rumors being spread about the cancellation of the event.

Meanwhile, when asked by the Guyana Standard about whether the council will be taking action against the REO for the alleged financial infractions, Adams said, “We have consulted with our lawyers and other persons to decide on the way forward. What we are doing now is to notify the media about what’s going on and we intend to take action against the REO. He needs to be held accountable for this.”


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