Opposition Parliamentarian, Ganesh Mahipaul has raised concerns about the $40,000 “Because We Care” (BWC) cash grant, labelling it as a form of bribery ahead of the Local Government Elections (LGE). Mahipaul questioned the timing of the grant distribution, as schools have not yet closed for the August holiday period.

Highlighting that schools typically observe a two-month vacation period, Mahipaul argued that the cash grant should have been distributed closer to the reopening of schools. He pointed out that many stores, which parents would normally visit to purchase school supplies, have not yet stocked their inventory for the upcoming school year. Of the $40,000 issued to parents, a significant amount is for the procurement of school uniforms.

“When you look at the elections cash grant and other forms of bribery, one has to understand that school will close on the 11th of July, 2023, and most, if not all, of the stores that parents would normally go to to buy school supplies, they don’t have school supplies.

“Many of the stores have signalled to me after I inquired, that they have not brought in any school supplies as yet for the new school year. So, it is a form of bribery. It is that form of bribery with the expectation that people will vote resoundingly for the PPP,” Mahipaul said during a press conference this morning.

Mahipaul further accused the government of demanding that 10-day workers attend political gatherings of the PPP and show proof of voting in order to retain their jobs. He considered this to be a clear violation of constitutional rights. He emphasized the importance of citizens protecting their right to vote, urging the Guyanese people to recognize that their vote is a secret that must be safeguarded.

Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo, this afternoon, responded to Mahipaul, labelling the allegation of bribery as “pure nonsense”. The VP stated that Mahipaul has not provided any evidence to support his conclusion. He further stated that it was Mahipaul’s party that discontinued the cash grant when it assumed office in 2015. The measure was reinstated back in 2020 when the PPP/C won the election that year.

“It is pure nonsense…It is also unbelievable that you would still hear this sort of this thing from a party that was so callous that it stole billions of dollars every year from our children,” the VP said.

Mahipaul’s concerns over the timing of the grant come against the backdrop of many parents complaining that they will not benefit from the payout since many nursery schools have not yet commenced their enrollment process. One of the prerequisites for the grant is that the child/children must be listed on schools’ registers.


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