His actions did not go down well with the major opposition party, the APNU/AFC Coalition as well as civil society and many persons on social media and before long, began to severely backfire on him.
The file belonged to Amanza Walton-Desir who up to two weeks ago, was the General Counsel at the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority, (CGAA) a position she held for seven years. She was terminated two days after she took the oath as a Member of Parliament for the APNU+AFC.
In a statement to the Government’s Department of Public Information, Edghill who waved around documents from Walton-Desir’s personnel file at the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) admitted that he requested the file from the organization’s Human Resources Department.
Edghill said Walton-Desir was terminated for not doing her job and other issues and not because she is an APNU+AFC member. He also released the details of her contract with the GCAA.
The termination has been seen as a political hatchet job by the new PPP Civic Government and there are reports that the GCAA boss, Egbert Field was instructed to fire the General Counsel.
Former Minister in charge of the GCAA David Patterson, said “on the question of performance, Edghill is most deceitful, he is well aware of the quality and depth of Ms Desir work.”
Patterson pointed out that “Ms Desir was not employed under the APNU+AFC Government, she was actually employed to the position of General Counsel to GCAA by the then PPPC Government prior to 2015, under the same contract terms and conditions that Edghill now finds questionable and egregious - Ms Desir contract remained almost the same (save and except the statutory increases granted to ALL Public Servants under the term of the APNU+AFC government) – why does he now find fault in her employment contract which his government initially signed, the answer is simple.”
He said “Edghill was a member of the Parliament Special Select Committee which examined Clause by Clause, the Civil Aviation Bill 2017 for over 12 months, Ms Desir was the principal drafter of this ground-breaking Bill – which passage assisted in moving Guyana’s ICAO ranking form 44% to 78% compliance – a ranking above the world average, such was the success in our aviation sector, Guyana was named one of ICAO 10 most improved countries – in part due to the efforts of Ms Desir and the staff of GCAA.”
“What is of great irony, said Patterson, “on Edghill’s desk currently are several draft Regulations and Bills for the aviation sector, which has to be laid shortly in the National Assembly in keeping with the requirement of the ICAO and the New Civil Aviation Act.
What will he do with those Regulations and Bills since they were drafted by a “non-performing General Counsel”? Patterson questioned.
The APNU/AFC Coalition said it was aghast by the odious, calculated political persecution of Amanza Walton-Desir by Juan Edghill, who “in his protracted tirade, slandered Ms. Walton-Desir, an attorney-at-law, a professional woman and a sitting Member of Parliament. Mr. Edghill brazenly announced to the nation that he demanded Ms. Walton-Desir’s employment file at the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority,” the statement said.
“This is entirely out of order, improper and the height of authoritarianism. Had Minister Edghill been interested in informing himself on the issue of Ms. Walton-Desir’s termination he ought to have acted properly and responsibly by requesting a report from the GCAA’s Director General,” the APNU/AFC statement continued.
“For a minister to request the employment file of a member of staff of an agency within his portfolio is tantamount to political interference and in fact confirms that Edghill is the intellectual author of Ms. Walton-Desir’s termination.
“Edghill, in a display of ministerial thuggery, proceeded further to disclose confidential details of Ms. Walton-Desir’s employment file and use these to impugn her character in a repugnant display of arrogance and lawlessness,” the Coalition said.
The statement noted that “this is a chilling development which will drive fear in the hearts and minds of all public servants - that ministers are now demanding their employment files for perusal. Every public servant is now exposed to unbridled political persecution at the hands of the vindictive, lawless and dictatorial PPP regime.”
According to the main opposition party, Edghill, who is a Christian Bishop in a church with his own congregation, “acted way beyond the parameters of acceptable conduct, indulged in misconduct in public office and will suffer the legal consequences for his abhorrent and nauseating actions in maligning Ms. Walton-Desir, who has 17 years’ experience as a practicing attorney.
In the meantime, Edghill is not only being criticised by the Opposition, he has also earned the ire of several professional women, and civil society organizations have taken to social media to strongly denounce him.
Several women have also accused Edghill of being abusive and violent to his wife and other women. His character has also taken a severe battering with other allegations of a personal and sordid nature.
- Countries: Guyana
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