Broomes sweeps away untruths in mining sector, says PM is ‘stamped’ for change
By Devina Samaroo
Minister within the Ministry of Natural Resources, Simona Broomes rose to “sweep up” the untruths being peddled by opposition parliamentarians on the progress made in the mining sector by the APNU+AFC coalition government.
Before arguing facts, Broomes took a moment to respond to some criticisms levelled by opposition parliamentarians and even defended Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo who has been described as a “rubber stamp” by members of the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C).
“We are proud of you [Nagamootoo]. You are stamped for change,” the junior Minister stated.
Broomes also took a swing at some of the parliamentarians who advocate against corruption, noting that most of the anti-corruption advocates are currently before the court on similar charges.
The Minister, who made significant strides during her term as the President of the Guyana Women Miners’ Association (GWMA), contended that the PPP has no moral authority to speak about the rights of women.
“It is this government which recognised that, in the extractive industry, there are women there! From 2012 to 2015, where were the specialists on women issues? I am qualified to speak on the matter of women issues,” she declared.
As Broomes continued her presentation, she hurled several insults towards opposition members who were heckling and asking her to provide answers on her involvement at “Tasserene” where it is alleged she has mining blocks.
But Broomes called on the House Speaker Dr Barton Scotland for protection from the “honourable member who chews without a chico in his mouth”. Broomes also expressed that she heard a member “barking like a goat.”
Opposition Parliamentarians were in uproar with the insults and began to question if the Speaker will allow the misconduct. The Speaker then intervened and reminded parliamentarians to conduct themselves with dignity.
“Members of both sides are guilty of that and if we want to indulge in insults then the House will descend, insults are not acceptable,” the Speaker said.
Broomes continued with her presentation, speaking about the strides made in the mining sector including the establishment of the mining syndicates, the reduction of mining fatalities, the reduction in human trafficking, the reduction in landlorism, and better management of agencies such as the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC).
She pointed out that the coalition government listens and responds to the concerns of the populace, referring to the reduction in the rate of the tributors’ tax following representation by the Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association (GGDMA).
In 2018, the Minister said government will be embarking on a number of training exercises for stakeholders in the mining industry even as it works to further reduce the spate of fatalities, trafficking and other illegalities which occur in the mining sector. She noted too that the administration will continue to work to improve the services offered by various agencies in order for miners to enjoy a better experience in conducting various transactions.