Christmas shoppingWith Christmas Day only days away, Georgetown is buzzing with activities as excited persons fill the city’s streets and sellers display their festive commodities.Georgetown — in particular along Regent Street to Avenue of the Republic — is becoming more congested, as exuberant vendors look forward to an exciting Christmas with their families this year.However, when Guyana Times caught up with some of the vendors on Monday, they expressed that all is not as merry and bright as it may seem. A clothing vendor who gave her name only as Natasha said sales are slow although theVendor Don Paulstreets are filled with persons.“Right now things lil slow, but I’m hoping that it will pick up, maybe by weekend into next week. People not really buying clothes…but in between yuh still getting one and two things sell. I know things will pick up later on, man,” she told this publication.Meanwhile, a beads and craft vendor related that “things going nice” so far for the season.Leon Anthony said people are shopping every day. He took the time to encourage the Guyanese public to be safe on the road ways, and to always designate a driver if consuming alcohol during this season.“Everything nice, man! Everybody doing deh shopping; businesses blooming and so on. No complaints. My wish for Guyana is for everyone to have a merry Christmas and a blessed new year. Make sure to use the roadways safely, and just have a nice time,” Anthony declared.Don Paul, a fruits vendor, highlighted the reason for the season as he stated thatVendor Jerry Londonit’s a time to spread love and joy to each other. “It’s not only shopping up and suh; this time is to spend time with yuh family and people close to you. My plans for this Christmas is just to eat, drink and be merry. Season’s greetings to all Guyanese near and far”.He also noted that even though “things are slow”, he is contented with whatever he sells at the end of the day.When Guyana Times spoke with plants vendor Jerry London within the city about business sales and his plans for the season, he related that even though the holidays are near, the sales are still quite low.“Well, even though things are slow, I know that Guyanese are late shoppers; so I’m hoping that it will pick up in the week.”These vendors remain positive that things will change over the coming week.SafetyFor business persons, the Guyana Police Force has called for checks to be made to Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) systems to ensure they are working properly. In fact, the Force is encouraging that Digital Video Recorder (DVRs) be properly secured to preserve valuable information.Advice was also issued for visitors in the capital city by ‘A Division’ (Georgetown-East Bank Demerara) Commander Marlon Chapman recently, as he urgedNatasha (only name given) along with other vendors on Avenue of the Republic, Georgetownshoppers to “carry your wallet in an inside jacket or inside trousers pocket. Avoid rear pockets. Keep purses on your lap when dining out, Not dangling over the back of a chair.”According to Chapman, Police patrols and outposts around the city will be boosted in a bid to ensure a secure shopping environment.He revealed that part of the efforts to ensure increased safety is the splitting of Georgetown into seven sub-sections, as compared to six last year.These sub-sections run from Agricola, Greater Georgetown to Central Georgetown. The areas will be equipped with mobile outposts and frequent patrols will occur, with senior members of the GPF in charge of each sub-sector.
The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) has labelled the recent claims of its Region Nine (Upper Takatu-Essequibo) office issuing fake birth certificates to persons as not only false, but noted that it shows the desperation of the APNU/AFC coalition Government as elections looms.Opposition Leader Bharrat JagdeoOn Friday the State’s newspaper published an article in which the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) – the leading party in the APNU fraction of the coalition – Region Nine Chairperson, Wendella Franklin alleges that the PPP Region Nine office is issuing fake birth certificates. However, in a statement on Friday, the PPP pointed out that this “false accusation” is demonstrative of the Government’s increasing desperation since the successful passage of the December 21, 2018, No-Confidence Motion (NCM).“Having failed abysmally in office through unbridled ineptitude and corruption and having failed in its sinister plan to disenfranchise thousands of Guyanese through House-to-House Registration, the caretaker Government will continue to fabricate scenarios to distract from its unrestrained violation of the Constitution and the rule of law,” the party contended.It went on to say in the missive that the taxpayer-funded State newspaper has been usurped as the mouthpiece of the dominant party in the coalition, the PNCR, which will spare no effort to wantonly spread misinformation to deliberately mislead and to create a sense of uneasiness as election looms. To this end, the PPP called on Guyanese not to be misled by the increasingly desperate APNU/AFC caretaker Government.“The PPP urges that Guyanese not succumb to the deviousness of this most desperate APNU/AFC caretaker Government,” Friday’s missive stated.Only on Thursday, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo accused the caretaker coalition Government of misleading Guyanese with the conduct of House-to-House Registration.According to reports, Public Relations Officer attached to the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Yolanda Ward had said the matter would be looked into. However, efforts by this newspaper to solicit an update from her on the matter to ascertain whether these claims were true or not proved futile.These new allegations come as the controversial House-to-House Registration comes to an early end today. The exercise, which the PPP had long opposed saying it would delay the hosting of early elections, was scrapped by the Justice Claudette Singh-led Elections Commission on Tuesday.GECOM said that the information gathered thus far via the H2H exercise will be merged with the existing National Register of Registrants (NRR) database. The Commission said too that it will be moving to an extensive Claims and Objections exercise but no date was set for this.However, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo on Thursday argued that the merging of the data will not only create duplication within the database but will further delay the hosting of General and Regional elections to April 2020, which is what the PNC-led coalition wants.Jagdeo noted that there is a much simpler way of ensuring that everyone, including new registrants, gets on the voters’ list. He explained that of the 285,000 registrations that were obtained during the H2H exercise, only approximately 2000 are new registrants.As such, instead of adding the more than 280,000 registrations to the existing National Register of Registrants database, which would cause massive repetition, the Opposition Leader said GECOM should filter out those new registrants and have them re-register at their local divisions.This, he added, will save some three months off the merging process.“With this merger, the optimistic scenario is to go to Claims and Objections in November because the merger will make about three months and then elections on the 27th April, next year. So you understand this merger will not improve the database. It’s a delaying tactic once again,” Jagdeo stressed.