Georgetown, Guyana (May 19, 2017) President David Granger, this morning, said that the nine municipalities, which are established by the Constitution of Guyana, must demonstrate to the people whom they have sworn to serve, the values of representativeness, inclusiveness and effectiveness as he noted that there is no place for partisan or political interests and the will of the people must take priority.
The President was at the time delivering the feature address at the opening ceremony of the two-day Inaugural Municipal Conference 2017, which commenced today at the Marriott Hotel, under the theme “Positioning Municipalities as critical partners in national development”.
The Head of State said that the municipalities are responsible to their constituents who have elected them to office and as such, the will of the people is paramount. He noted that they must exercise the authority, which was given to them by the people, in a democratic manner.
“Once you are elected, almost in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, your responsibilities go to your constituents. Your responsibilities go to the people of the whole town, of the whole city and at the regional level, your responsibilities are to the people of that region,” President Granger said.
The President told the municipal office holders that they cannot succeed in politics if partisan or personal interests are placed ahead of “popular will” as he reminded that they have been elected to serve the people and as such, their performance will determine whether they are re-elected.
Speaking to his vision of having capital towns established in the Essequibo Islands-West Demerara (Region Three), Demerara-Mahaica (Region Four) and Mahaica- Berbice (Region Five), the President told the regional officials that a concerted effort is required to make the towns thriving commercial hubs. In this regard, he noted that Regional Agriculture and Commercial Exhibitions can play an important role in developing these three regions, along with Bartica, Lethem and Mabaruma.
President Granger said that people are looking to their municipalities for leadership and vision and this must be provided. The Head of State expressed the hope of seeing the capital towns becoming hubs for eco-tourism even as Guyana continues to pursue a ‘green’ economy, with each town adding value to the products that they have, making them attractive for tourists.
“Once the Regional Chairmen, once the Mayors realise what a gem they have on their hands, they realise they have been sitting on their hands. People want to come and see our flora and fauna and they often say the Kanuku Mountains have more species of birds than the whole of Western Europe…that’s what Mayors do, look for business opportunities,” President Granger said.
Speaking on the transition of Guyana to a ‘green’ state, President Granger said ‘greenness’ is not a fad but it is about proper disposal of solid waste, pointing to the fact that improper waste disposal leads to the emergence of diseases.
“When we speak of the ‘green’ state, we speak about healthy communities. When we speak of a ‘green’ state, we speak about the sustainable generation of energy so that schools, hospitals, police stations, clinics could all be powered by renewable energy sources. Every region has abundant sunshine, abundant wind; some regions have biomass possibilities because of the sugar industry or rice industry. Some regions have hydropower potential,” the President pointed out.
However, for the vision of national development to be realised, the Head of State said that it is imperative that every citizen work together.
The Municipal Conference creates opportunities for networking and discourse on key local government issues affecting Guyana’s nine municipalities. Pivotal to the agenda is the advancement towards capital towns and incorporating a ‘Green Economy’ framework.