Minister Dharamlall pursuing investigation of CDCs
-no evidence groups created, but vast sums spent
Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Hon. Nigel Dharamlall has said an investigation will soon begin to verify the operations of the Community Development Councils (CDCs) under the previous administration.
The Minister said since taking office he has not been able to confirm whether the groups were created as there is no evidence to prove that they had been convened over the last five years.
Minister Dharamlall made these statements in an interview with the Department of Public Information on Thursday.
“It is my pursuit that an investigation will be done of the past administration regarding their involvement of CDCs because if resources were spent and staff were being paid to the tune of millions of dollars per month, then an investigation is warranted. I hope when it is completed, then the handlers of the CDC groups will face the consequences.”
The Minister said the objective of the CDC initiative is to allow residents to contribute to the development of their respective communities.
However, this had not been done as many communities did not benefit. Instead, he said, the former administration politicised the few CDCs that were already in place, hampering development and the country as whole. Currently, the CDC Secretariat has 33 employees.
“There is no comparison because under the APNU there was no CDC. If there was, they must have used it as a slush fund and as a means of political man-handling of their supporters because there is no evidence of intervention pursuit by the CDC.
“The last Government did not produce any evidence of any CDCs established in the five years of the APNU+AFC. I met with the former CDC Director who has produced not a single evidence on any CDC being established during their administration.”
With this in mind, Minister Dharamlall said the Government has established many groups across the regions, including in APNU+AFC strongholds to ensure equitable benefits for the people.