Some people will never
learn, I have stated over and over again that if you attack me unreasonably
because of a commentary, I will crucify you.
On the 21st
January I did a commentary on GUYWA pointing out that bringing in expatriate
managers to manage GUYWA will change nothing, since the system is badly
designed and cannot serve the public effectively. On the 2nd of February 2002, I received a bill for water rates from GUYWA dated 14th January 2001. Ladies and gentlemen don't ask me how it took nearly seventeen days
for this bill, the first one I have ever received from GUYWA, to go the ¼ mile
distance from Pouderoyen to Versailles, like the water from GUYWA it just does
not come well. Maybe we should do a commentary on the postal system. But after
doing a comment on the stupidity of GUYWA and its boss Baksh I receive a padded
bill a week later. Coincidence?
This bill, the first I
have ever seen from GUYWA, required me to pay one hundred and twenty two
THOUSAND dollars, I handed it to my accountant Basdeo and asked him to go into
GUYWA personally and ask them what the hell was going on. So GUYWA telling the
public that I did not pay their bill is defamatory and I am thinking of
teaching them a lesson in a court, we'll see about that, but I have paid this
122 thousand dollars. GUYWA spends 8 million dollars per year on stationary why
can't they send a bill on time?
Before I fix up Mr. Baksh
who I was told insisted that an answer be published in the newspapers by GUYWA
attacking me personally, let me address his GUYWA's claims.
Now ladies and gentlemen
we are living in the tropics, so we have to bathe sometimes twice a day, almost
all of us rural folk have kitchen gardens or plants in our yard, indeed we have
been encouraged to do so by our successive governments, GUYWA telling us that
they are using European standards to establish that we need 120 liters per day
per person is patent nonsense. We are wasting water they tell us, since unlike
the Europeans we bathe every day sometimes twice and we are watering our
gardens and our ponds with this water they are giving us.
This 120 liters per day per
person maybe be appropriate for Europeans who live in skyscrapers, and condos
and who do not have backyards and bathe once per month. But that is what GUYWA
is using as the standard for Guyana. My 5-year son JO JO is still laughing.
GUYWA tells us that
elevated tanks are expensive to install but that electricity is costing them
60% of total operating costs, I thought that that was the point I was making
i.e. we are installing cheap systems that we cannot afford to run because of
the high and unreliable electrical costs. Ladies and gentlemen this sums up the
entire farce of the Guyana situation today, we are building substandard,
unworkable nonsense that does not last and is not sustainable and the people we
are paying to do it for us, do not understand that this is poor management of
our limited financial resources. Equally incredibly they even try to defend
And listen to this
masterpiece of stupidity ladies and gentlemen, they tell us that if GUYWA puts
in overhead tanks which will run 24 hours per day to the public they will be
putting it into a distribution system that will be wasted because of leakage.
Let me understand this Baksh, you are going to put an overhead tank directly to
the consumer without a regulatory valve that allows you to shut down the flow
to effect repairs etc? Are we also to understand that when you are pumping
water at high pressure into the present distribution system it does not leak?
Can anyone suggest a word for this statement Ladies and gentlemen? My
vocabulary fails to come up with one. That I can utter on Television.
GUYWA tells us that in
1995 they prepared audited accounts for the first time in 30 years and
submitted it to the subject Minister and that they have done so every year
since then, I never said that GUYWA did not prepare audited accounts, I would
not know if they did or not, I said that they broke the law since the document has
not appeared in Parliament where it is statutorily required to be taken to
discharge the requirements of the LAW.
So as far as I am concerned
GUYWA has not produced an audited account in 30 years, because IF it does not
go to the Parliament it does NOT exist. Got it now Baksh?
By the way Mr. Baksh since
as the Minister of Water you have found it necessary to attack my credibility
and integrity, were you not the General Manager of GUYOIL when a tanker with
thousands of gallons of diesel oil in it sank whilst moored alongside a
Georgetown wharf, which contrary to all norms of nature did not leave any trace
in the Demerara River. Were you not the General Manager of GUYOIL when they
were allowed to bid on the supply of fuel to GEC and Linmine thrice, contrary
to our laws and was finally awarded the contract even though you were selling
the oil at two or three United States dollars per barrel HIGHER than the
Petrosol company who had the lowest bid, and is it not true that the extra cost
was in the shipping of this oil, Which cost the consumers of GEC power several
million US dollars extra until GP&L stopped it?
Now if one were suspicious,
one may very well suspect that there was a scam to defraud the people of this
country several million US dollars by getting a kick back from the shippers of
this oil. As far as my having the luxury of a swimming pool Mr. Baksh how many
ministers who were in abject poverty in 1992 now have multi million dollar
houses with 5 million dollar in ground swimming pools, property that they
cannot possibly afford to buy in 7 years given their salaries?
The price of the
Pouderoyen installation being 6 or 9 million Euros still means that 1.1 billion
dollars was spent on a system that does not work. I did make this one error ladies
and gentlemen; it is the Demerara Harbor bridge renovations, which was 9 million Euros. But
let me ask this question, because we don't have to pay it back, it gives us the
right to waste it and not spend it wisely or allocate it to something else? Grant
Aid is not infinite.
Ladies and gentlemen
sometime in 1980/81 Mr. Burnham personally called me, he was changing the
regional system from the district commissioner type system to a democratic
council system and since I was the administrative manager of Versailles he
asked me to be a member of this regional council to help them to administrate
the region. It was in its own way a compliment from Mr. Burnham recognizing my
administrative skills and I accepted. Region number 3 made me chairman of 5 committees
and member of 7 committees. It was more work than my estate business but not
once was I ever accused of racial behavior or of fraud or corruption, in fact
Komal Chand the top PPP representative of the council and the head of GAWU,
will tell you that he and Fazil Rayman [The Regional Chairman at the time] and
I used to meet at my house privately, to ensure that the pie was shared
equitably, much to the chagrin of the PNC members of parliament people like
Abel Felix and Conrad Wrights, The day Mr. Burnham died I resigned. I am not
ashamed of those years Mr. Baksh, I tried to help, and I tried to give the PPP
more say in what was going on in the region, and had several major battles with
the PNC administration because of it. Unlike you people I practice what I
preach, this region under the PPP is riddled with corruption today, Baksh, like
No one accused me of
developing only Afro Guyanese areas and not Indo Guyanese areas Mr. Baksh and I
was chairman of the Housing and Land selection Committees. I believe that you
are now being accused of this lopsided type of development Baksh, it is public
officials like you who cause civil wars.
Finally ladies and
gentlemen GUYWA says that I have neglected to cast any proper blame on GP&L.
I thought that the main point I made was GUYWA's use of high powered pumps
which were being systematically destroyed by the poor voltage and the high cost
of electricity provided by GP&L and was the main problem with the GUYWA
system in the West Demerara, since it relied so heavily on this expensive
electricity rather than gravity from overhead tanks.
However in view of this
accusation made by GUYWA, I would like to offer my profoundest apologies to
this nation for negotiating the ridiculous privatization deal of GEC, for my
utter stupidity of making a management contract I cannot now pay, for raising
the electrical costs beyond the reach of the common man or indeed GUYWA, for
entering a contract with a company which has not had a significant effect on
the quality or reliability of our electrical supply despite numerous price
increases. For all of these transgressions, I humbly crave your forgiveness.