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There is a crisis of great magnitude at the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs. There are a number of cases where the rights of Indigenous Guyanese have been, and continue to be violated. There are cases where the Minister of Amerindian Affairs, Honourable Pauline Campbell Sukhai, M.P stands accused by residents of Indigenous Villages of improperly handling their complaints and even being (partly) the reason for the complaints. These issues have arisen in the Villages of Wikki/Calcuni and more recently, Hururu.
The residents of Hururu allege that the minister and/or her representative(s) failed or refused to approve their budget for the past three (3) months. The residents are saying that, the money is theirs and is required to pay wages to Village employees and to cover other expenses. Employees remain without wages/ salaries for three (3) months. This situation reportedly remains unattended and the villagers are unhappy.
Within recent times the ministry which is managed by Ms. Pauline Campbell Sukhai, M.P, has declined in human resources. Employees say that the minister’s attitude and her treatment of staff are responsible for senior employees exiting the ministry’s employ.
The following officers have resigned:
- One Senior Personnel Officer
- One Senior Social Worker
- Two Management Development Officers
- One Senior Administrative Officer
- One Projects’ Officer
There is also the case of one Permanent Secretary (P.S) who was reassigned and replaced by the Minister’s chosen candidate. It will be recalled that, the new P.S was placed before the court charged with an offence allegedly committed in the course of her duties. The security service at the center of (making) the allegation has reportedly lost its contract. That P.S remains on leave.
It is the hope of many interested persons that, the Office of the Auditor General may soon address the ministry’s expenditure, particularly those related to the purchase of tractors. It will be recalled that, media reports covering budget 2021 indicated that money was paid to a supplier before the tractors were even sourced, much less supplied. A report from the State Audit Department with respect to the purchase of these tractors will help to clear the air regarding compliance with the Fiscal Management and Accountability Act (FMAA) Chapter 73:02 of the Laws of Guyana. Such a report will also serve to establish whether or not the tax-payers’ dollars utilised for these expenditures have all been properly accounted for.