Government’s Chief Spokesman, Director-General at the Ministry of the Presidency Joe Harmon today said that the administration plans to properly gazette the name of the national archives to recognize the late Dr. Walter Rodney.
Although Dr. Rodney’s name was added to the national archives several years ago under the previous government, the change was never gazetted and therefore could not be used on official documents or for agreements.
The current government recently changed the sign of the archives to its original “National Archives” name, removing the sign that carried the name of the late WPA Leader and that created a furore among some members of the WPA.
The Working People’s Alliance is one of the parties that make up the current coalition government.
At his weekly press conference today, Mr. Harmon addressed the issue and said there is no disrespect to the legacy of Dr. Rodney with the removal of the sign. He said the government’s intention is to properly gazette the name change.
“It was never gazetted and so this issue came to the fore and the whole idea between doing that and in fact calling for a Commission of Inquiry weeks before the last general elections, was in our view, an attempt by the PPP to drive a wedge in the APNU between the rest of the parties in the APNU and the Working People’s Alliance”, Harmon said.
He said the Partnership (APNU), in which the WPA is a member is strong.
“We are engaging the Working People’s Alliance and we will address that matter. It was a temporary measure. The sign which was there before was taken down and we will do all that is necessary to ensure that the law is observed and then we will put up the appropriate sign once that is done”.
Pressed by reporters as to why the government did not just gazette the name that had not been gazetted before, Harmon said the decision is to now move in that direction.
He accused the opposition PPP of once again attempting to use the issue to create conflict between the WPA and the rest of the coalition.
But it was WPA elder, Eusi Kwayana who first raised the issue in a letter to the press and brought it to the public’s attention.
When the PPP added Dr. Rodney’s name to the National Archives, there was some concern that there was no consultation over the move. While the party went ahead with the name change, it never gazetted that change.
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