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“The PPP is not committed to the ordinary Guyanese people, so don’t let them come into your communities to tell you that, because they are going to be fooling you,” are the words of Shadow Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Mr. Roysdale Forde, S.C.
Touching on the Thomas Street vendors’ issue and government’s effort to remove their stalls by heavy duty vehicle, in as much as vending falls under the municipality act and a responsibility of the City Council, the Member of Parliament (MP) said the issue is a perfect example to show the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) government is complete without any sincerity about its ‘one Guyana’ mantra.
Appearing recently on Sherrod Duncan’s ‘In the Ring’ show, Forde said “The PPP/C, and in particular Bharrat Jagdeo, we would recall that in 2016 when they were in Opposition, they went to the very vendors to tell them they must stay on the streets, they must not come off.
“But now they’re in government, once again, in a position to execute the diabolical plan against the working class, they need them off the streets, the vendors now become a political impediment, a political problem.”
The shadow minister advised it is important for people to know the private sector is not limited to the those who have massive buildings, and the activities undertaken by street vendors constitute private sector; it is entrepreneurship. “The category of private sector is too entitled to earn an honest living.”
Speaking to Village Voice on the status of the vendors’ situation, the MP said the vendors are still there. However, he shared, the government has not abandoned effort to remove the vendors but has postponed it.
He pointed out there is nothing in the 2023 Budget to address the issue of street vending and assess the economic resources of this group. “There is no indication on the part of the government to fund the municipality with the resources to address the issue of street vending, whatsoever.”
Going further, the shadow minister said the failure of government to fund the municipality “reveals the government is not committed to all Guyana and to a complete plan for the private sector as a whole, to which these persons constitute as a substantial percentage as they are small business.”
This is a perfect example he said to show the ‘one Guyana’ mantra lacks any substance; it is completely without any sincerity.
According to Forde, like the vendors, the ordinary people are no longer useful to the PPP/C after elections, and this Budget is another classic case because these groups in society were left out. “There is no vision, no plan to demonstrate President Ali is interested in all of Guyana.” He said, “time after time, after time, they’re going to be fooling the people.”
Touching on the $25,000 cash grant last year, Forde said the distribution was not only unfair and inequitable, but he wants people to understand when you divide $25,000 by 365 you get about $69 a day, that is effectively what the government gave Guyanese in an economy that has raked in more than US$1 Billion in oil and gas revenue, US$150 million in royalty, and saw the Gross Domestic Product grew by more than 60 percent.
The MP said Guyanese must unite and rally against the pervasive injustices, wrongs, and government’s mismanagement of the economy, which he said has seen increase in prices and reduction in purchasing power.