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Residents in several communities in West Coast Berbice are concerned about what they consider to be the “haphazard and largely partisan manner” in which the registration of beneficiaries for COVID 19 relief is being carried out in that part of the country.
Their complaints came in the wake of an announcement Monday by President Irfaan Ali that Government would be providing $25,000 per household as a relief due to the impact of COVID-19. The residents say that they are happy about this announcement but feel that many eligible persons may lose out either because their names have been mistakenly left out due to the inefficient manner in which the registration process is being carried out or deliberately left out because they were not considered supporters of the Government.
One resident stated that in her area most of the people doing the Registration for COVID 19 are known activists of the PPP/C and some of these persons have been verbally abusive when approached by perceived non-supporters for information. She said: “One PPPC activist in charge of the registration told me that she can’t register me; that APNU AFC people got to register me. Let me go and let APNU register me. Some people particularly from the villages of Number 4 and Number 5 have been told that Granger never do nothing for anybody so : Wha alyou come here for now.”
“I told them: when was Granger you never used to hear bout APNU and AFC; everybody was treated equally. I just stormed out of that NDC office. The way they behaved left a bad taste in my mouth. I ain’t interested in that COVID 19 relief anymore.”
She further added that homes of known PPPC activists have been used as Registration points for those interested in Government provided in getting COVID 19 relief. “Some people are told to go to PPPC Headquarters at Freedom House at Bath Settlement; walk with the Identification Cards and so on and get registered there,” she said. An APNU AFC official asserted that in many cases the registration was done by PPPC activists and not done in a professional manner. “With some people it’s just pure luck that their names ended up on the list as eligible for COVID 19 relief,” he said. “To date no one from the villages of Lovely Lass Golden Grove # 8 #9 and #10 ain’t know what going on.
“I think that at the moment much of the registration exercise is being done in a haphazard manner; lacks equality and fairness and is too much Party directed rather than Government directed. People who genuinely need help will get left out if this haphazard and partisan behavior by the organisers continues. He added: And that wouldn’t be fair.”