PRESS STATEMENT By the People's National Congress Reform To the Press Conference on Thursday, August 20, 2005 Hall of Heroes, Congress Place, Sophia




SUMMARY:
• The PNCR calls on Bharrat Jagdeo and the PPP/C government to suspend the entire allocation process of vendors at Parika in order to allow for an independent enquiry.
• The PNCR takes this opportunity to publicly congratulate Bradford and Associates for the preparation of a thorough report that contains quite a few useful recommendations.

VENDORS AT PARIKA

The Government Information Agency (GINA) has recently issued a statement on the removal of vendors at Parika to facilitate the construction of the Parika Approach Road. According to GINA the Ministry of Public Works and Communication has given vendors a two weeks notice to remove to the much touted tarmac at Hydronie. GINA claims that with the advertisement of the notice vendors have started occupying the facility though they were reluctant to do so earlier.

It appears that GINA would have us believe that this is an orderly process with which vendors are totally satisfied. However, the PNCR understands that vendors have a number of concerns that are still to be addressed.

These include:

1. The daily vendors who are being placed at the Marketing Center Tarmac are concerned over the method used for allotment of stalls. PNCR has learnt that there are no clear criteria for the size and location of stalls. PPP/C activists who have been inserted into the process are making allocations solely on the basis of personal discretion.

This situation has allowed for significant corruption, victimization and political discrimination. As a consequence, a number of persons who were not previously vending have been allotted places while long established vendors have been overlooked. Some persons who were allotted places have had them arbitrarily taken away without explanation. In addition there have been a number of inconsistencies in relation to the size and position of a numbers of stalls.

2. There have also been inconsistencies in relation to the criteria for allocation of stalls at the Hydronie Tarmac. Some daily vendors who have been assigned stalls at the Marketing Center Tarmac are being told that they cannot obtain stalls at Hydronie for the Thursday and Sunday market days. At the same time others are being allotted places, the basis for which is not known.

Daily vendors are claiming that they are being discriminated against since they are being denied the opportunity of being in the mainstream of the Thursday and Sunday market days.

3. Lot numbers at the Hydronie Tarmac were randomly assigned after the tarmac was sequentially marked. However, after the lots were assigned PPP/C personnel changed the numbers of some of the lots on the tarmac. Therefore, a number of persons who thought that they were lucky in pulling prime lots turned up subsequently to find that their lots were renumbered and that their original numbers were placed in remote parts of the tarmac.

4. Vendors are concerned that while all these issues are unresolved the Government is forcing them to accept the situation by sending in bulldozers.

The PNCR finds this situation, in which corruption, victimization and political discrimination are rife, totally unacceptable. The PNCR calls on Bharrat Jagdeo and the PPP/C government to suspend the entire allocation process in order to allow for an independent enquiry. The PNCR stands ready to be part of this process that will ensure that the vendors of the Parika Market are given justice.

BRADFORD REPORT

The PNCR has noted the release of the Final Report of the Guyana Fiduciary Oversight Project by international consultants Bradford and Associates Ltd. The report covers three important areas of governance namely, strengthening fiduciary oversight, limiting use of discretionary powers and disclosure of public officials’ assets.

PNCR takes this opportunity to publicly congratulate Bradford and Associates for the preparation of a thorough report that contains quite a few useful recommendations.

The next step in this process is to have stakeholder consultations to determine the method of implementation of the Bradford recommendations. The PNCR therefore calls on the PPP/C Government to make the three volumes of the report available to stakeholders and to commence consultations without delay.

People's National Congress Reform
Congress Place, Sophia,
Georgetown, Guyana.
Saturday, August 20, 2005