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The Opposition, A Partnership For National Unity and Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) coalition is accusing the governing People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) of actions they said are confirming the government is racist and is seeking to destroy the Afro-Guyanese community, East Indian and Indigenous peoples whom the government perceives to be supporters of the coalition.
Leader of the Opposition, Mr. Aubrey Norton, in a press conference today, said there is a long list of actions that clearly points to the PPP’s racist policies and named some as evidence the goverment “discrimination is obvious and real and on the increase.”
Mention is made of the attempt to take away the lands from Caring for Others, Guyana Inc. – a humanitarian organisation owned by an African Guyanese, Mrs. Eslene Richmond-Shockley. Last month the organisation wrote to President Irfaan Ali pointing out that in 2018 the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL) Properties Department leased lands (Plot A2) in Plantation Peters Hall to them and all payments were made. The organisation has in its possession all their receipts and has put systems in place to start building only to know the property has been taken away. For more on this story click to read…
The humanitarian organisation is requesting the government return the land and has hired the legal services of Hughes, Fields & Stoby to defend and preserve its interest.
According to the APNU+AFC, this is clear indication the government is seeking to impoverish African Guyanese, as attention is drawn to the fact the organisation works to alleviate poverty in Guyana and brings relief to poor people.
“The foregoing must be taken against the backdrop of the PPP taking legal action against Afro-Guyanese who got lands and property at Wales and Enmore [and] it is important to note the government lost these cases and are seeking to appeal.”
Both instances in Wales on the East Bank Demerara and Enmore on the East Coast of Demerara lands were leased or sold by NICIL during the APNU+AFC government. The PPP since its return to government in August 2020 has sought to retake the properties. NICIL initially sent letters to the owners/lessees to vacate the property. The government was taken to court by the owners or lessees. The court ordered the NICIL’s “Notice to Quit be withdrawn.”
Inspite of the court’s ruling the government has been moving to evict persons off the land in Wales by removing the bridges that allow access to the farm or by allowing the bridges to fall into disrepair. Government is responsible for maintaining the bridges and roads from the farms to main roads. For more on the Wales’ story read…
The coalition pointed to dissimilar treatment in the PPP’s stronghold. Citing efforts by the government to regularise squatting at Pigeon Island while at the same time threatening African Guyanese squatters in Mocha to bulldoze their property, Norton says is another indication of the PPP’s racist policies.
Last month the government informed squatters in Pigeon Island that a vesting order to pursue with ownership was published in the Official Gazette and by year-end residents will receive titled documents for the lands they occupy.
Going further, Norton states “the action to take away lands from the African Guyanese at Kuru Kuru Co-op to give to PPP supporters, and the taking away of lands from the Co-op on the Essequibo Coast are clear manifestation the PPP is seeking to build two Guyanas; one in which the PPP’s elites, friends and family are extremely rich and the mass of African, Indian and Indigenous Guyanese are marginalised and poor.”
According to the Opposition Leader recent visit to Baracara, in the Canjie River, revealed similar pattern of discrimination. Reportedly, residents said the Ministry of Agriculture visited their community, assessed their losses, which included many heads of cattle, among other livestock and crops and made promises of relief but nothing substantial was delivered. Residents, he said, were given $50,000 regardless of the fact that they lost far more than that.
Corentyne residents, on the other hand, who suffered “resulted in farmers obtaining millions of dollars as relief” he pointed out. Baracara residents, Norton said, believe the treatment they receive from the government is a clear case of discrimination.
Zeroing in on the Regional Democratic Council, it has been pointed out by the Opposition Leader, that actions by the PPP to ensure most of the contracts awarded in Region 10 go to their elite friends and family is clear indication the government is seeking to dominate and control communities that voted for the APNU+AFC.
The government is also accused of engaging in actions “aimed at preventing Lindeners from owning land along the Wismar/Rockstone Road” which the APNU+AFC says confirms the government is “hell bent on marginalising and destroying the economic base of the people of Region 10.”