PLEASE refer to an article which appeared in the December 5 edition of your newspaper captioned, “The Commission of Inquiry recommends that compensation be paid to Ex-Town Clerk Carol Sooba for wrongful removal from position.” Mr. Editor, I clearly recall the saga of Carol Sooba and the Georgetown City Council that rocked Georgetown.
The tenure of the new local government lady was characterised by public outbursts, insults and insolence of the highest order. Looking at the television one would be taken aback with the level of debate and the moral and intellectual degeneration that persisted at the Council.
Indeed, the tenure of Sooba was like a tantalising soap opera. Citizens would be glued to their television every day in anticipation of the next episode that would keep them entertained. The media reported that on August 15, 2015, the council moved a motion that the Town Clerk Carol Sooba proceed on administrative leave to facilitate an investigation into the waving of $80 million dollars in rates, the unlawful deduction of councillors’ stipends and utilising of the council’s monies without the permission of the finance committee. The motion moved by the council did not go down well with Sooba and she refused to leave the chambers and City Hall compound.
Citizens can recall the outburst and confrontation that took place between Sooba and City Constabulary ranks in full public view. Finally, Carol left the council and never returned because of the humiliation she experienced. However, in spite of all that happened, it was her duty to return to work after her leave was finished, but her pride did not allow her to humble herself. The fact that she did not show up is an indication that she was no longer interested in the job. By virtue of her actions or inaction, she terminated her own services with the City Council. The CoI has recommended that Sooba be compensated based on a letter she submitted. Did the CoI take the time to study the facts of the matter? If this recommendation is implemented, it would have serious implications for the council, the Local Government Commission (LGC) and the Ministry of Labour. It is implying on the surface that if you terminate your service the state should compensate you.
I suggest that all those persons whom by virtue of their own actions caused their employment to be terminated by local authorities across Guyana should be adequately compensated. This decision of the CoI is inconsistent with the labour laws and regulations. I am of the view that the recommendations of the CoI were written before the investigation. This recommendation is a travesty; it lacks legal substance and should not be implemented.