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In less than a month the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) government has gotten rid of more workers in the public sector than the A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC) coalition government did in its entire five years in office. Those appointed by the coalition to serve the people of Guyana have every reason to fear. If the government has not fired them, sent them on administrative leave, refused to renew their contract, it is likely they will get to them. It is only a matter of time. The politics of recrimination, discrimination, and witch hunt is in full force.
The only thing that would probably save some is if they claim allegiance to the PPP/C, provide the government some ‘scoop’ on the coalition, of Carl Greenidge’s pedigree who if let go, given his recent portfolio, could carry international consequences, or retaining someone could be seen as a political coup. It is revenge time. Akin to Santa Claus’ List, the PPP/C is checking off names to be punished (let go) or rewarded (retained) based on their vengeful politics.
Dr. Vincent Adams, scientist and energy expert, who worked at a high level in the administration of the United States President Barack Obama, is the Head of the Environmental Protection Agency. He has been sent on administrative leave and unsure if his service will continue. Transparency International Guyana Inc (TIGI) responding to the government’s decision noted Dr. Adams has been asked to proceed on leave at a critical time when the Agency has to make key upcoming decisions on ExxonMobil without his presence.
Dr. Richard Van West Charles, Chief Executive Officer of the Guyana Water Inc (GWI), contract was not renewed. His certifications, international credentials in public health serving at a senior level in the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO), and outstanding performance in expanding quality potable water to communities, including in the hinterlands, mean nothing. He has been replaced by a predecessor who held the position longer but failed to match his performance record.
Next, was Ms. Claudette Roger, Director General of Maritime Administration. She has been replaced by Mr. Stephen Thomas and repositioned as Adviser on Maritime Affairs. Mr. Lelon Saul, Chief Executive Officer of Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA), was fired. The named are by no means all but space does not permit the numerous who suffered similar faith, inclusive of Regional Executive Officers and other staff, working in various levels in the public sector and state agencies.
Undoubtedly, the revengeful feel Guyana is theirs alone or subscribe to the ‘us time’ mentality. Private citizens are also playing a role by fanning the flames via letters to the newspapers. They argue the coalition and supporters have forfeited any possibility of power sharing because they form part of the “multitude of social and economic ills.” Another rhetorically questioned if Dr. Paloma Mohamed Martin should continue at the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Guyana, given her appointment was made during the “caretaker government,” her deceased husband’s scholarship on Marcus Garvey and her writing on the same subject disqualifies her. Culturalist Professor Vibert Cambridge responded the appointment should be “re-affirmed.”
Trade Unionist Lincoln Lewis in a letter titled, ‘No group or citizen must be excluded from this nation’s development’ carried by this newspaper addressed the revengeful politics. He said: “Those advocating exclusion of others from involvement in the nation’s management and decision-making, on whatever pretext, such action is not only promoting discrimination and alienation of sections of society, but could eventually lead to destabilisation and social unrest. Purveyors of this attitude are reminded should similar treatment be meted out to them they will shout violation, demanding their rights be respected, and will be in order to do so.”