In my last comment I told you about the scandal
regarding this nation and those we have brought here to be our equity partners
in GP&L, we own 50% they own 50%, but apparently we have no say whatsoever
in how they run our electrical generation or what they charge us for doing so,
they have spent no money whatsoever to rectify the numerous problems in the
distribution system to the extent that IF they generate 100 megawatts, only 58
megawatts gets to the consumer, but it is the consumer that has to pay for the
generation of 100 megawatts. These so called partners also receive a very
onerous management fee which even our President Jagdeo has publicly stated is
Tonight I want to generalize, to sum up some of the things
I have disclosed to the public in these commentaries.
My commentaries of necessity have to examine complex
matters and make them simple enough for the common man to understand. So
sometimes they are a bit long. I won't apologize for that anymore.
I have never pretended to be a journalist, in fact I do
not consider myself as such, notwithstanding that I personally, almost
single-handedly started The Evening News in September 1992, and redefined what
television newscasts in this country should be in terms of quality, content and
As a manager in the sugar industry for over 27 years I
learnt, the hard way, how to communicate complex ideas to the common man.
Managers learn very quickly that unless you can
communicate with your workforce you are in serious trouble. But the ability to
do it effectively comes only after years of working side by side with your men
and understanding what makes them tick, especially if they are manual workers
with very little education.
I grew up on a sugar estate at Houston; I learnt to swim
in the Houston punt trench with the children of the workers. They invited me to
their homes to eat with them and I did. I do not think that there was a single
family living at Houston 40 years ago, which had children, in whose house I was
not completely at home. I don't think that there was a single yard in all of Houston
housing scheme at which Bernie and I did not raid the Mango, Guava or Jamoon
trees, Bernie was the son of an indo Guyanese worker at Houston, who was my good
friend for years. Where are you today Bernie?
Bernie used to live in the first house at the intersection
of the Houston and Rome middle walk trenches. In case anyone wants to check. My
family NEVER told me it was wrong to associate with Bernie, that we were better
than he was, that we were high class and he was low class, my family just doesn't
think that way. And they were right!
But the problems will not go away and so this onerous
task has been left to me, to tell you of all of the wrongs that are being
perpetrated on the Guyanese public by unscrupulous people whose only agenda is
to fill their own pockets, and to hell with the rest of us. I do it probably to
my own detriment since this Government has accused me of every conceivable transgression,
from being anti Government to being an apologist for the PNC. But not once have
they attempted to take me to court since what I tell you is the truth.
I am not anti PPP and I am not an apologist for the PNC,
in fact I have told you repeatedly that the mess we are in now was created by
Mr. Burnham's ridiculous socialist 1980 constitution, which we HAVE to change
for there to be progress in the land. This constitution was introduced after a
referendum in 1978 which was patently rigged. But when Dr. Jagan went into
power in 1992, being a Marxist, he liked the enormous power the 1980
constitution gave him and he never sought to change it. So by accepting it in
1992 he ratified it and entrenched it in our constitutional history. And so
despite everything that we think we know about Dr. Jagan he was essentially no
different to Burnham.
My agenda now, is to divest the enormous power enshrined
in the Presidency by this ridiculous constitution, and I don't care if it is
Jagdeo or Hoyte, it was crafted for a socialist state, and we must effect changes
to it more in keeping with our new stated national principle of a democracy. No
more of this hypocrisy of telling the common man that we have a new democracy,
when in fact we have a dictatorship. We have democratic elections every 5 years
to decide who the dictator will be for the next 5 years, that is all, and it is
ludicrous even hilarious, if the results were not so tragic.
When the US constitution was being crafted over 200 years
ago the great Madison who became the 4th President of the US was
told that a democracy can only work in small territories with homogenous
populations and not in large countries with diverse races, cultures and
Madison however decided that he can make it work, but
that the three branches of government the executive, the legislative and the legal
systems must contain enough checks and balances, so that no one person or no
one branch of government must ever be able to control the other two and that
the rule of law must stand supreme. In this country, I have told you over and
over again that, if you win 51 percent of the seats in the parliament you can
control all three branches of government and establish what is, to all intents
and purposes, a dictatorship.
The President is above the law, his Ministers and his Party
are therefore also above the law, and they can commit any transgression and no
one can stop them since the parliament has no real power and the judicial
system is impotent, a creature of its political masters.
If I do a commentary exercising by god given right to
tell the truth and I tell you that we have a President who makes promises which
he does not keep, that we have a Government who want to break every law in the
land with impunity, and not one of them will ever be brought before a judge for
misdemeanor in public office, it is the truth, but if they can then conduct a
campaign of terror against me and my family and get away with it, then we have
no democracy and these cowards whose only agenda is to fill their pockets with
money obtained from every conceivably sort of skullduggery, leaving the
citizens, including their own supporters, in abject poverty, then they are to
all intents and purposes only henchmen for this dictatorship.
How deep is this corruption? well Let me give you a
concrete example which defines the depth of it, some months ago it became clear
to the head of our revenue authority Mr. Edgar Heyligar, that 17 containers
consigned to one S. Ahmad in Guyana and sent from one S. Ahmad in Miami, were
riddled with numerous transgressions of the customs act. Mr. Heyligar ordered
an investigation which was conducted by one Jameel Baksh deputy comptroller of
customs, this investigation implicated the head of the customs section Mr.
Lambert Marks and he was given 48 hours by Dr. Roger Luncheon to tell this
nation and Luncheon what his side of the story was.
Whatever else Marks is he is no chicken, so he does something
completely unexpected; he calls a press conference and informs the media that
if the PPP moves against him he will disclose all of their transgressions for
the public to see. Marks apparently knew plenty, and the entire PPP ran for
cover taking Jameel Baksh's report with them, the NEXT day after the report no
longer posed a threat to him Mr. Marks experienced total amnesia and informed
the media that he knew nothing. Shortly thereafter Heyligar outraged at this
situation resigned, and in doing so he told us that he will not work amidst
such lawlessness and corruption. Whatever else Mr. Heyligar is, he was probably
the most honest man in the government.
But can you imagine ladies and gentlemen the level at
which the PPP hierarchy have breached customs regulations, to the extent that
they all ran for cover and hid when the head of our customs threatened to
disclose all if they dared to fire him?
Remember Professor Thomas' report on the HIPC nations,
he said that when governments are corrupt from the top to the bottom, they
become incapable of sanctioning anyone within their ranks.
We now need a new head for the Revenue authority, the advertisement
for this post should read. Wanted:- head of the Guyana revenue authority, must
be comfortable with every conceivable form of illegality, skullduggery and
corruption, must be able to use his position to victimize any citizen
identified by the government, must have been convicted of fraud within the past