Rodrigues urges St Cuthbert’s residents to tell her about their concerns
October 30, 2003
GINA - Amerindian Affairs Minister Carolyn Rodrigues is urging residents of St. Cuthbert’s Mission to notify her Ministry about their concerns.
This appeal came in the light of a story on the ‘Evening News’ telecast of October 28, 2003 that residents of the Amerindian village along the Mahaica River are concerned that the Captain is contesting the Village Council Elections slated for November 8, even though he is at the centre of an accountability matter.
The Minister said she is unaware that the Captain is under investigation for any matter. She is asking residents to bring their concerns to her Ministry’s attention. She said she received an anonymous letter, but that her Ministry could not take any action on the matter.
Ms Rodrigues noted, also, that the Treasurer, who is part of the Village Council, should deal with financial matters. Attempts by GINA to reach the Captain for his comments were unsuccessful.
The Regional Executive Officer is responsible for the holding of Village Council elections, which are held bi-annually. Elections in St. Cuthbert’s were last held two years ago.
As for a statement in the news broadcast to the effect that the Captain is close to a Government Minister, Rodrigues said that persons are free to interact with anyone they choose. She stated that Captains are not elected based on their political affiliation.
“There is, for instance, an Amerindian Toshao, who is a People’s National Congress/Reform (PNC/R) Member of Parliament,” the Minister said.
She also pointed out that there were problems with the previous village leader. Further, there have always been problems in the village, the Minister said.
Rodrigues noted, too, that there are accountability problems in other Amerindian Villages such as Santa Rosa and Manawarin in Region One. She said that her Ministry is taking actions to deal with matters of accountability in Amerindian communities.
Principal Regional Development Officer in the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs Mr. Lloyd Andrews told GINA that Village Captains are expected to report to the village on their assets and other accounting matters. He said that they were instances where Village Captains did not report to villagers prior to contesting elections and the Ministry had to intervene to prevent them running for office. (GOVERNMENT INFORMATION AGENCY)