Ruling party slams APNU for ‘lies’
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GENERAL Secretary of the People’s Progressive Party, Clement Rohee, yesterday flayed the Opposition for what he described as “lies to misinform, misrepresent, misguide and mislead” the public and discredit the ruling party.He said, “The People’s Progressive Party has taken the opportunity to expose the opposition APNU and other opposition elements for grossly misinforming, misguiding and misleading the Guyanese people.
“The Opposition (PNC-led APNU) and the acolytes of the AFC have in recent weeks been making visits into the interior areas and coughing up ‘findings’, which are mostly figments of their imaginations.”
Rohee was speaking at the party’s weekly press conference held at Freedom House, Robb Street, where he sought to clarify the “misrepresentations” made by the Opposition.
“As General Secretary of the governing People’s Progressive Party, I have asked our party activists and the regional officials on the ground to investigate and report on these bizarre opposition charges,” he said.
To this end, Rohee noted that the report clarified the untrue claims.
According to him, contrary to APNU’s claims, there was no flooding of any farmlands in the Upper Mazaruni.
“In those areas where there are agricultural activities the rainfall water runs off very quickly,” he said.
The general secretary added that the Bartica Hospital is not dilapidated; rather the facility is under constant upgrade.
He said, “Extensions are being done to accommodate additional services to citizens, including more surgeries. The hospitals and health centres in the region are well stocked with medications while there may be times when some drugs may not be available. This is the exception rather than the rule.”
Rohee also addressed the claim that the Waramadong School is overcrowded with some 600 students and is understaffed.
“The truth is that the Waramadong School was built to accommodate 500 students and has an authorised staff strength of 21,” the general secretary said, “This is well within the national average student-to-staff ratio. The current student population is 487 and with two staff members attending the CPCE (Cyril Potter College of Education) there are 19 members of staff on hand.”
He stressed too that regional officials are appalled at the call for x-ray equipment for the Kamarang Health Centre, especially since it is known that the centre is slated for a major upgrade starting this month.
“Not only has an X-ray unit been procured, but also an ultrasound machine and a generator. These should be fully operational within a few weeks. Along with the resident doctor, the people of the Kamarang sub-region will have much better facilities and care than ever before. The PPP is about expanding health facilities to all our people,” Rohee said.
The general secretary dubbed the claims unnecessary hullaballoo. He said, “The APNU strategy of casting aspersions, misrepresenting facts and creating their own stories has been used in the National Assembly by their senior officials.
“The PPP commends the regional officials who have been advancing the central government developmental agenda on behalf of the Guyanese people and who have had to take their valuable time to answer the wicked misrepresentation of the political opposition.”
Rohee also commended the officials for their “great sacrifice and commitment” to work hard to execute the programmes for the uplift of the people of the interior regions.
“The hullabaloo that the APNU team created made it sound as if they are the divine gift to Guyanese when in fact they are mere alarmists,” he opined.
The general secretary referred too to the “onslaught” of misinformation “perpetuated in the media”, with “baseless and spurious” accusations relating to payments to regional officials.
He said, “Like the detractors of Region 7 the Opposition elements in Region 8 have publicly accused the PPP Administration of neglecting the elected officials and starving the regional chairman and councillors of resources.
“…what is important to note, is that after the public exposés, unfounded allegations, half-truths, the distortions of information and the usual disparaging references against the regional executive officer, a formal request from the regional chairman was only recently presented by him to the REO for an explanation.”
According to him, all regional councillors received on time and in full, all stipends due to them for the year 2013, payments for which the documented evidence is available, showing the date each councillor signed receiving same.
He said, “The chart of Account 6211 (a budgetary line item) is used exclusively to honour all expenses associated with the operations of the Regional Democratic Council(RDC), for example, RDC meetings, regional chairman and vice-chairman expenses and payment of stipends.
“At the end of the financial year in 2013, expenses exceeding that of the allocation under line item 6211 were honoured by funds emanating from those earmarked for the Office of the regional executive officer. This has been the trend over the past two years.
“For 2013 $14m was voted for this provision, all was spent. What is instructive is that the amount spent on subsistence for the regional chairman for travel outside the region was in excess of $1.1m. I repeat this is for travel outside of the region.”
Rohee added that another $1.2m was spent on office materials, field supplies and other supplies for the regional chairman, while $4.4m was spent on travel and subsistence for the regional chairman and other councillors to attend RDC meetings and other regional functions.
He stated too that some $6m was spent on stipends for the councillors and the toshaos and there were no charges to this account that represented expenditure for non-RDC expenses.
The general secretary made it clear that the Government is committed to exposing, where needs be, the inaccuracies perpetrated by the Opposition.
Written By Vanessa Narine

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