– accuses Council of discrimination against youthsJust days after Councillors and businesses at Mahdia, Region Eight (Potaro-Siparuni), called out the Administration for discrimination, they have moved to terminate the services of the Town Clerk with immediate effect.Former Town Clerk of Mahdia Hakeem Wong with Communities Minister Ronald Bulkan at a recent meeting held in GeorgetownThe Town Clerk, Hakeem Wong, a 21-year-old, during an interview with Guyana Times on Sunday related that he received the termination letter in his email on Thursday afternoon. The email was sent by the Secretary of the Local Government Commission, Nickalai Pryce.Wong said he was surprised to receive such a letter since he has never had any issues with the Council and was executing his duties diligently. “We haven’t had a problem or anything and the letter stated that my service was being terminated because the Council has lost confidence in my abilities,” he said.Wong, who is the son of a popular businessman, Roger Hinds, told this publication that no accusations were ever levied against him that would warrant a consultation or investigation and as a result, no factual decision could have been made.He accused the Administration of discriminating against the youths in the community. “I see this as blatant discrimination against youths. I am 21 working for my community and I have a family to maintain. I have a daughter and one on the way,” he added.A section of the mining town of MahdiaFurther, Wong noted that he has already indicated to the Council that he is appealing their decision as there were no proper grounds for this dismissal. As such, he called on the relevant authorities to visit the town and conduct a thorough investigation into the matter and also speak to members of the communities who will attest to the positive work he has been doing. Attempts to contact the subject Minister for a comment proved futile.Meanwhile, just last week, a People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Councillor of the region and other party supporters who operate businesses in the mining town accused the Regional Administration of victimisation and discrimination against them owing to their party affiliation.Party supporters accused the regional authorities of taking away their contracts and giving same to A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) supporters. This, they said, is unfair as everyone irrespective of which party they support should be allowed to earn their daily bread.PPP/C supporter and Councillor Davo Ramphal, who reached out to Guyana Times, explained that he was awarded the garbage disposal contract for the region. However, without reason, the contract was taken away from him and given to a known AFC supporter, who is unequipped to execute the job.The businessman added that in some cases, regional officials are deliberately stifling PPP/C supporters.Ramphal explained that during the independence celebrations in the mining town last month, when Public Health Minister Volda Lawrence attended a flag-raising ceremony, she visited the hospital where the garbage was piled up as the newly contracted service provider was doing a poor job.The authorities then requested his company do the disposal of garbage for that day after which they awarded him the contract again and it was this that angered the AFC supporter. “They behave as if only they are entitled … Once you’re a PPP in this region you should not be allowed to make a living,” a businessman said.He noted that in one case, an AFC Councillor (name withheld) was heard in a recording threatening to pull support if any PPP/C supporters were awarded any contracts or benefited in any way from the region. “We are heading into some real unchartered territory here and we are losing grounds because the PPP should not be gaining any work in this community from our Government when we have our supporters who are bending over backwards,” the AFC Councillor was heard saying in the recording.Other business owners also expressed their dissatisfaction with treatment they have been receiving from officials in the region who continue to encourage supporters to boycott “PPP” businesses.Another businessman told Guyana Times on Wednesday that his sales have declined significantly and he was struggling to make ends meet. He blamed the regional authorities for inciting division and discrimination within that region.“All the years we have been living and doing business here, and we have never encountered problems like this. Everyone lived well and supported each other no matter which party they support but now it’s a big race [ethnic] thing. It’s as if once you aren’t a supporter of APNU/AFC, you don’t belong. Imagine you have their Councillors telling people where to shop and where to dine. It’s almost unbelievable,” he said.Meanwhile, Ramphal also disclosed that last week, the region dismissed the Manager of the Mahdia Power and Light Company and hired another AFC supporter who has no experience in that field.