GUYANA | Gov't to bypass IDPADA-G organization in distribution of Subvention

GUYANA | Gov't to bypass IDPADA-G organization in distribution of Subvention

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, April 17, - “Government plans to disburse the 2023 subvention to 55 organisations representing Afro-Guyanese across the country, who are the founding members of the International Decade for People of African Descent Assembly-Guyana to pursue the objectives of the Decade. 

So says”  Attorney General Anil Nandlall in a statement following the collapse of talks between the Guyana government and the International Decade for People of African Descent- Guyana (IDPADA-G).

The administration on Friday announced that it would go ahead and disburse the budgeted GY$100 million to affiliates of that organisation rather than to the IDPADA-G umbrella body, following the collapse of its formal talks with the Guyana government.

Attorney General Mohabir Anil Nandlall Attorney General Mohabir Anil Nandlall The Attorney General, in his statement, sought to justify the decision to hand out the 2023 allocation, saying that while part of the budgeted sum for the year 2022 is, unfortunately, the subject of legal proceedings, “the monies budgeted and appropriated for the year 2023 are not.”

That decision was announced after lawyers for IDPADA-G and the State informed the High Court that negotiations for the disbursement of the funds to IDPADA-G have broken down. 

Chief Justice Roxane George-Wiltshire agreed with IDPADA-G’s lawyer Dr Vivian Williams that the matter should not go to trial, but the two parties would be allowed to make submissions and then have oral arguments on June 14, 2023.

Dr Williams stressed that the matter is before the court and the High Court had been given an undertaking by the parties not to discuss the matter in public, and a media release by the Attorney General  “is a breach of the undertaking given by the parties not to raise or address this matter with the media or the press generally,” he said.

The IDPADA-G lawyer said he and his client would await confirmation of the authenticity of the Attorney General’s statement, even as they urged the government to “be careful not to pursue any strategy or any decision that would have the effect and intent to create division within people of African descent in Guyana.”

According to Nandlall, The Guyana government remains committed to honouring the objectives of the International Decade for People of African Descent, which spans the period, 1st January 2015 to 31st December 2024.

The Attorney General’s Chambers said that decade was proclaimed by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in accordance with UN Resolution 68/237 of 2013 and was fully supported by the  Government of Guyana on 23 December 2013.

“As a demonstration of its commitment, the Government has allocated monies for the advancement of the objectives of the Decade since it assumed office in 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2023 and will continue to so do until the end of the Decade in 2024,” Mr Nandlall said.

IDPADA-G moved to the court earlier this year to challenge government’s decision on the grounds that over GYD$500 million disbursed so far had not reached a large number of African Guyanese. 

Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo has accused IDPADA-G of misusing the funds, and engaging in political work for the opposition, a charge that has been vehemently denied and the subject of a defamation lawsuit brought by that entity’s chairman, Vincent Alexander. 

IDPADA-G had said that it had assisted in field work to ensure that people benefitted from flood relief.

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