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Penalties for toshaos who cannot account for village resources – Min. Allicock

Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Sydney Allicock has warned that “toshaos who cannot give account for village assets will face the law.” Minister Allicock was addressing the opening of the National Toshaos Conference (NTC) today, at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC).

Minister Allicock indicated that there have been several instances where past toshaos have utilised village assets for their own’ and could not account for millions of dollars of community resources. Minister Allicock told the newly elected leaders “I want you to get your books in order because if you don’t you will face the law.”

He has recommended, for consideration, the inclusion of provisions for the recall of elected leaders at both the village and NTC executives levels in the soon-to-be amended Amerindian Act of 2006.

“I believe that we must have a system of recall to protect us from the bite of our own ants,” the minister underscored.

Nevertheless, with regard the outcome of the recently concluded Village Elections, Minister Allicock expressed optimism that this group of elected leaders is a reflection of their hard work and the vigilance as well as the legitimate expectations of those who put them in office.

“It is testimony to the voters’ wish to move away from the way things have been for some time, to a more progressive developmental agenda. Our people are moving away from listening to the divisive political messages of despair and placing their focus and energies on their developmental needs. Our people are more and more every day demonstrating their trust, appreciation and admiration for a government which is listening to them and demonstrating its commitment to delivering to them the public goods and services they are entitled to as citizens of Guyana.”

Minister Allicock stressed that the government is committed to adhering to the principle of Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) because “we recognise and respect the integral role that you play in the development of this our beautiful nation.”

By: Synieka Thorne

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