Tony Vieira's Comments
18 October 2017

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Outstanding Matters
(Aired 28 August 2002)

     I took my annual leave this year in July/August I have been back for around 3 weeks, my first commentary examines some of the matters that I consider unresolved at this time.

    The police have now appealed to civil society to cooperate in the fight against crime. There have been several Television PROGRAMMES with former PR officer of the city council Royston King making these appeals.

    Well Royston, we all want to cooperate, but could the minister of Home Affairs stop eating for a minute, and tell us why it is that his ministry which is costing this nation 3.7 billion dollars to run the police force and the fire department this year, and has 3000 police officers for the 730,000 people living in this country, one police officer to every 250 persons and he still cannot maintain law and order. The international norm is one police officer  per 500 persons so we have double the amount of police we need,.... The GDF is costing the taxpayers 2.8 Billion dollars a year these two entities are costing us 10 percent of our total Budget per year, what are they doing?      

    You can't just ask civil society for their cooperation Royston, you have to earn their cooperation and respect. The police are yet to do that.

    For example.

    On the 3rd of July 2002 the police complaints authority issued a release which concerned the shooting of one Vincent Griffith by two members of the police force, Mr. Cecil Kennard who has earned my respect with this fearless decision in this matter states and I quote "their conduct [the two police officers in question] amounts to GROSS recklessness and could possibly point to deliberate acts on their part. I am [Mr. Kennard tells us] of the view that they were less than frank in the versions of the incident they gave, they are indeed very fortunate that it was not advised that they be charged criminally". And Mr. Kennard agrees that the victim be compensated.

   Based on this, the police should have reopened their investigation into this matter, have they? If they have not, then they have no right to ask any of us for our cooperation.

   A constitutional motion was filed no. 137 M by one Vincent Griffith a 12 year old minor who was shot by the police in New Amsterdam. The Shaka Blair matter has seemingly died a natural death, but we and Amnesty International are still waiting for someone to tell me the truth about what happened in Buxton that night. 

    B.K. Tiwari was charged 50 million for messing up the Lama Conservancy dam, how much of this 50 million has been paid to the residents of the Cane Grove area who sustained damage to their property? No one seems to know. Our reporter from The Evening News John Phillips  visited the Lama and the Dam was being reconstructed we saw video evidence of it, so my question is who was reconstructing the dam?? And were they being paid to do so??? Have the luminaries at the ministry of Agriculture and the D&I Board who allowed this fiasco to happen, been held accountable and disciplined? if not, why not?

      Just before leaving I viewed with some concern and amusement the operations at our new pasteurizing plant on the East Coast, which our duplicate Minister of Agriculture opened for us amidst much fanfare, who designed that system minister??? Fred Flintstone!! Surely you can't be serious. My question however is, is pasteurized milk now available on the local market? No one seems to know.

    As far as the crime situation is concerned can someone tell me how many groups are participating in the current crime spree?

  We know that there are a group who consider themselves revolutionaries and who to all intents and purposes had declared war on the police and the status quo. Two: we also know that there is some sort of drug war going on in this country over the past several months, word on the street holds that there is a 93 million US dollar dispute among rival groups, this WAR dates back to the Killing of Taps and has nothing to do with the escapees. And three: other individual criminal elements have seized on the confusion created by all of this and have now become the most dangerous group to the population at large. So there are 3 groups operating, does our police realize this? and can they now tell us which crime belongs to which group. Since they are spreading their confusion to the rest of us.

    I have heard a rumor and I certainly hope that it is not true, that we are awarding a 5.5 million US dollars management contract to some British company to run our water system for us. Is minister Baksh serious, let me put this in perspective for you ladies and gentlemen, Booker Tate who runs our entire sugar industry for us, gets 400 thousand sterling plus their local living expenses of 250 million G dollars a year, a total of 356 million Guyana dollars per year [1.8 MILLION US], Are we going to pay some group 5.5 million to run our water system? Baksh can't be serious, he is either on serious medication or he needs SOME. Paying out 1.1 billion Guyana dollars of our taxes to run GUYWA and we do not even know if this 1.1 Billion dollars includes their local accommodation, vehicles, etc..... I, representing civil society say NO! Especially given our experience with GP&L, who our president has now asked to take a drop in management fee from 5 million US to 2.5 million US.

    But since we are so enthusiastic about awarding management contracts why can't we bring in Scotland Yard to help our police force fight the current crime spree, now here is a management contract that will benefit the Nation, Trinidad did it some years ago with a great deal of success, are we afraid that it may be discovered that the biggest drug dealers and crooks among us are sitting in our Parliament?   

   I have been unofficially informed that our light bills have taken a quantum leap within the past 3 months; I have been looking around my yard here at Versailles to see who is operating a rice mill on my property, since my light bill has increased to 467 thousand per month. I will close here, since I have been advised that 10 minutes is too long for a commentary, too much information to digest at once, so I will keep them to around 7 minutes.