The crime situation in the country is completely out of
control and everyone is, and rightly so, concerned about it, so this is a
problem that has to be solved.
Years ago I was taught by our wicked colonial masters [who
don't seem so wicked to me at all now] that the way to solve a problem took
four steps, first you identify the problem, secondly you define what is causing
that problem, then, thirdly you look around for possible solutions and fourthly
you decide to implement the best solution.
Problem..... There is a current crime spree in this country
unprecedented in our history.
What is causing this problem? The answer lies in two
directions, the first part of this problem has to do with poverty, exclusion, marginalization
and anger in a particular segment of the population and the other has to do
with the fact that the police force is totally incapable of discharging their
mandate to protect and to serve this nation and its citizens.
Arming the police and making them stronger to deal with
the criminals is not, in itself, the answer and will yield nothing.
We must first address the situation that is causing this
poverty, marginalization, exclusion and anger in the population.
To do this we have to ask ourselves a few simple
questions, is the average Guyanese in this country especially the afro Guyanese
earning a decent wage? Are there jobs that they can do,... to be had? Are these
jobs capable of giving them an income that can support them in a manner which
can at least allow them to enjoy some of the basic amenities of life? Is it
true that since coming to power the PPP have not allowed their afro Guyanese brothers
to share meaningfully in the national economic pie? Actually we are so poor as
a nation that it is not a pie at all it is more like a Pattie...., have they been
removed from the jobs that they normally occupied as civil servants, tradesmen,
teachers, police officers, GDF soldiers, etc. to make way for Indo Guyanese who
are perceived to be more loyal to the PPP or who in addition are given these
jobs by family and friends who are functionaries within the hierarchy of the
government, are they being displaced from the jobs they once occupied to make
way for more subservient and loyal comrades in the civil service, additionally for
example when contracts are awarded to PPP party comrades, do these contractors
practice equal employment opportunities to all races, people who own stores and
businesses do they employ on an equal opportunity basis, do the people affected
by this sort of discrimination have any recourse whatsoever, since their
leaders are powerless to help them because of a parliamentary system which
excludes consultation and therefore representation, and finally has the rule of
law broken down to the extent that there is no judicial system? If the answers
to these questions are yes.... then we have identified the causes of the problem.
So let us start here.
Addressing these problems on an individual basis would
take 50 years and we don't have 50 years, we don't have even one year to solve
this problem, so we must start by ensuring that we have a system of government
that affords equal opportunities to ALL.
This means that the leaders of the nation, on both
sides, will have to agree that the system of governance must change, that the
legal system must be completely autonomous, merely saying that our judges are
impartial does not make them so, the method of their appointment must guarantee
it. Purely political appointments by the executive will inevitably make them
creatures of their political masters, consciously or subconsciously.
If.... our parliamentary system makes all opposition in
our parliament rubberstamps, then we do not need a parliament. In fact IS it
not true that the power and light deal was brokered without seeing the light of
day in the parliament of this nation? This is the most glaring case I can
recall but the list is endless. Is it not also true that the opposition has a large
number of questions lodged in the parliament which have not been addressed?
Is it true that the Wednesday sittings of parliament which
were once set aside as a time which addressed opposition concerns, questions,
motions etc., have been abandoned by the PPP? In denying the opposition
representation of their constituents have we not left the concerns of our Afro
Guyanese brothers as raised in the Parliament unanswered for 10 years?
So the Parliament as presently constituted gives no say
whatsoever to the opposition in the decisions of running the country, and the
result has been marginalization of their supporters.
What can we do to change this? Well we have to take away
some of the powers enshrined in the executive and give it to the parliament
where it belongs in a democracy.
WE have to do it, ladies and gentlemen, WE the citizens
of this country all of us, have to demand it, it must be made part of out laws,
and it must work equally for all of us, regardless of who is in power.
In 1992 Mr. Jimmy Carter came to Guyana to put us on the
path of free and fair elections and Mr. Hoyte under pressure agreed and did not
demand the changes necessary to make our country a true democracy, so, did this
free and fair election process ensure that we would become a free and fair
democratic nation given our ridiculous constitution, the answer is no, and here
again I have to remind all my afro Guyanese brothers that the 1980 constitution
was not crafted by the PPP it was crafted by the PNC.
Jimmy Carter did not take the time or maybe he did not
have the intellect to ensure that the fundamental systems of governance after
the elections would lead to a democratization of our system of governance.
He certainly did not display any semblance of intellect
during his stewardship of the American democracy as president of the US.
I have no doubt in my mind whatsoever, that if the PPP
had to rig an election they would. The evidence that came out in the course of
the election petition trial made that clear to me. The judge ruled there were gross
irregularities but enough evidence was not presented in the matter to establish
that it affected the outcome but she nevertheless set aside the 1997 elections,
so don't tell me about rigging for 28 years, the PPP must first remove the BEAM
from their own eyes before that look for the BEAM in their opponents' eyes.
I have concluded that this country needs an opposing
force of "non partisan Guyanese patriots" in the parliament, whose stated
mandate will be to take 6-7 seats in the parliament and FORCE these two groups
the PPP and the PNC to work together in the interest of the nation, or no
budget will be passed, and implement all of the modifications of the
constitution I have been advocating over the past year or so. I am not offering
myself as the leader of this group, as of this time I still have no political
ambitions, but the next election is 4 years away and we must give the PPP and
the PNC time to work this matter out between them but if they can't, then the
alternative I suggest becomes a necessity.
For the purpose of finishing this comment let the
parliament be empowered to give the opposition more say in the running of the
country and let us restructure the police force to deal with the crime
situation, we can ask the British for help, let them offer us a grant and let
them send some Scotland Yarders to do this restructuring and retraining of the
force, especially to decentralize it since I have seen that the commanders of
the regional divisions are prevented from exercising many of their statutory
powers, we must also depoliticize it and make it more effective.
The Minister of Home Affairs is not an elected official
ladies and gentlemen, his agenda is what freedom house tells him to do, that
must stop or there will not be equity in the dispensation of justice to all
This complete paranoia of the PPP who are apparently
afraid of their own police force has to stem from the fact that the police are
operating with a political agenda, in this country that means a racial agenda, if
the PPP allows the force to operate in a manner where equal justice is meted
out to all, there would be no fear of that.
You know ladies and gentlemen I find it hard to believe
that in the middle of all of this madness, the PPP after 10 years in office
have never grasped the fact that regardless of who voted for them they are
mandated by our constitution to discharge their functions on behalf of ALL of
us, equally, not just those who voted for them. And in the end it has led us, ALL
OF US, including most of their own supporters, into this chasm of chaos and