Dear Editor,When I first saw the video of my friend and colleague, Charles Ramson Jr declaring his intention to contest for the PPP Presidential Candidate, I was very disappointed in the choice of words used to justify his candidacy. But it was his response to the Leader of the Opposition, that certainly gave credence to the idiom that too much education is just as dangerous as too little.Undoubtedly, Charles is young, ambitious, well-educated and has great potential. It is these very qualities that Bharrat Jagdeo recognized in him, that made him one of the youngest Members of the National Assembly. Without the support of Bharrat Jagdeo, he could not have made it on his own.So what has changed? Ramson has a bone to pick with Jagdeo, Anil Nandall and Irfaan Ali. He wanted time-off from Parliament for one year to pursue studies in the United Kingdom in Oil and Gas while retaining his MP status. This request was denied because the PPP could not afford to reduce its voting powers in the National Assembly at a time when the National Budget and vital pieces of legislation were upcoming. He was subsequently replaced by the young, dynamic Vickram Bharrat.In an email sent to me on May 21, 2018, Ramson wrote:“I know the feeling of giving your all in a team and others not pulling their weight and it’s being allowed to happen. Imagine how I felt when as an MP I gave my all to this and when I got a prestigious scholarship to study an area which we need for the country and will be beneficial to the team and asked for leave and so many “leaders” did not support the application. I had support from Luncheon and a couple others but Anil and BJ and Irfaan did not support. It’s disheartening and discouraging.”Every politically astute person in Guyana knows that former PPP Ministers Anil Nandlall and Irfaan Ali are among others likely to contest the Party’s Presidential candidacy for the 2020 elections, and so this presents Ramson an opportunity to deny them this nomination in much the same way they denied him. Isn’t this vindictiveness, tit for tat?In his recent response to Jagdeo, he mentioned having knowledge of persons making public announcements before going through a nomination process for the 2015 election, and disclosed, “But I would like to point out that far worse has happened like persons being involved in corruption and no press conference has ever been held about it or disrespectful and childish comparisons being made.”As a lawyer and upstanding citizen who wants to be President, did Ramson not feel it was his patriotic duty to report this “corruption” that he saw to the police or better yet, to SOCU?Now that Charles Ramson is writing for the Kaieteur News, it seems he has discovered the Freddie Kissoon syndrome: Criticize Jagdeo and get your face on the front page.In his declaration speech, Ramson said Guyana needs young, fresh leadership. “We need credible leadership—leadership with integrity, passion and vision; leadership that puts the people first.” While both Anil Nandall and Irfaan Ali and others in the party fit the aforementioned description, they both have tremendous success and a well-documented track record in the sectors they were responsible for as Ministers in the previous government. Where is Ramson’s? In the past three years, it was Anil Nandlall, aided sometimes by Priya Manickchand and Adrian Anamaya who defended cash-crop farmers and sugar workers and everyone whose constitutional rights were being violated by this APNU+AFC Administration.With his 10 years’ experience as a lawyer and party member, Ramson has never volunteered his expertise to assist Nandlall with one of these cases. Is this the kind of leadership that puts people first?Editor, behind that baby-face smile is a man who’s ego dangerously rivals that of our Prime Minister. In his letter in the Kaieteur News on June 29 captioned “Charles Ramson through the eyes of someone else”, Dr. Mark Devonish sums it up beautifully when he describes Ramson as “too arrogant, obnoxious and petty” to be President. He forgot to mention his bad attitude.Charles, I’m sure, was spoilt rotten as a child. And although he has grown now, he still wants to get his own way. I’m sure with time, Charles Ramson Jr will make a great President of Guyana, but not now, he has some maturing to do.Sincerely,Harry Gill,PPP Member of Parliament
– even thou demand increasesGovernment had paused the distribution of lands and had instead embarked on an initiative which forced Guyanese into buying pre-built houses.A section of the Perseverance Housing Scheme in ProvidenceThis has caused the distribution of house lots to reduce significantly since the change of Government in 2015 despite the fact that the demand has not decreased. It was evident in the 2017 Annual Report of the Housing Authority which was laid in the National Assembly a few months ago.The report shows that a total of only 1131 house lots were allocated in that year for qualified applicants. In fact, the report states that the original target of allocations for that year was merely 1000.This does not compare favorably with the previous year, which according to the report, 2020 house lots were allocated in 2016, an improvement on its original target of 1100. This includes 625 low to moderate income house lots and 1395 middle to high-income house lots.But both of these years’ figures pale in comparison to the number of houses lots distributed in previous years under the former People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Administration. In the CH&PA’s 2013 annual report, its programme performance assessment had indicated that 4417 house lots were allocated, just shy of the 5900 target.Under the previous Administration, over 100,000 house lots were distributed and over 200 core houses were made available to underprivileged families, while a programme for professional groups provided 200 teachers, nurses and Policemen with fast-track access to loans for home construction.However, as the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) forges ahead with the construction of more core houses, this time in Sophia, Greater Georgetown, the agency has assured that corrective measures were taken to address the faults that were reported by residents at the houses at Perseverance Housing Scheme, Providence East Bank Demerara.Chief Executive Officer of the authority, Lelon Saul said that he is certain that those concerns were addressed while noting that once they are in receipt of complains, they act immediately.Last month, several home owners complained of faults on the core homes, some of which they were forced to fix themselves owing to the long delay.One resident, Seeta Singh told this newspaper that her ceiling was falling apart. She explained that there seemed to be a leakage with the zinc as the ceiling is swollen and the ply board was falling off both inside and out of the home.Another resident, who also lives in the area, complained that his window frames were falling off and he is fearful for his safety. At that time, he said his home was visited by a contractor about two weeks ago, who promised to fix the default but showed up informing him that he had “run out” of materials.Meanwhile, Richard Coddet, another resident in the scheme, told this publication that he had been living in his home for about three years now and is still experiencing troubles because of faulty foundation and roof works. “From the inception when we got this home, we encountered a lot a lot of problems but at the end of the day, overall, we are grateful because we are happy to have a home. We had leaks, we had cracks, we still have cracks and the house seems to be sinking because of the foundation,” he explained.