Tony Vieira's Comments
18 October 2017

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Time to leave
(Aired 24 November 2003)

    When is it time to leave? That is the question that has plagued me for several years now, but being the optimist that I am, I stay, hoping that somehow, someone will do something and things will change. Tragically we as a nation do nothing, we hope and we pray and we wait for someone else to do it for us.

    We are dying a little faster than any other people in the Caribbean except Haiti where the life expectancy is lower than ours, because we are completely surrounded by filth which breeds every conceivable vermin to infect us with every conceivable ailment known to man and some even unknown to man, we dread sending our children to school because we do not know what ailment they will be afflicted by next, which will inevitably be passed on to us and the younger ones in our homes, nowhere is this godforsaken country do we have a place where you can get a flu shot, even if you were willing to pay for it. Our Minister of Health is incompetent to keep us healthy. We have a public hospital which is more likely to kill and maim you, than to make you well, the Minister himself looks unhealthy, that man can act in a Dracula movie without makeup.

    We have a fire service which is incompetent to protect our property, they performed like the Charlie Chaplin and the Keystone Cops during the recent fire in Lombard Street, with one hose coming from the Demerara river a couple of hundred yards away, this fire against all laws of nature ran against the direction in which the wind was blowing, even the wind in this country isn't functioning right, our Minister of Home Affairs told us on Television that the fire service performed credibly, but it was the Power Company and the Water Works which were the main culprits that made this small fire run amok, it completely escaped Gajraj's attention that the people of this country own the power company and the Waterworks which he is condemning as non functional, that the government of which he is a part, is responsible for their incompetence and contributed to the fire becoming as uncontrollable as it did. I won't even venture to tell you what I perceive that this same Minister of Home Affairs has done to the police force rendering it completely de-motivated and incapable of protecting us, we have a government which is totally untrustworthy and cannot be relied upon to keep its undertakings to bring peace to the nation, and is incompetent to run the country properly to bring us some form of relief from the impossible situation in which we have been placed.

   We see letters like the one from the Ex-CEO of Go-invest Mr. Deochand Narain in the Stabroek News, in it he alleges that Didco was given duty free and other concessions whilst others were denied similar concessions on the same day, because Didco can be relied upon to give 10 million dollars [to the PPP for the 2001 elections] whilst Badal from Guyana Stockfeeds is not in a position to give anything. It is the most damming evidence against this administration that has surfaced since their coming to power, in it Mr. Narain alleges that Mr. Badal of Guyana Stockfeeds is being victimised by the president of this country personally, since Jagdeo does not like him, we the people in this country read this courageous man telling us what is happening and we do nothing. The Stabroek newspaper gives Goffy Da Silva half a page to answer Narain, in which he pronounces 1000 platitudes and every conceivable nonsensical political rhetoric about how great a job Go-invest is doing, when every former head of the place has assured us that we may as well call the operation no-invest, but not once does he answer the main issue contained in Narain's letter, which was that Didco was given duty and other concessions whilst on the same day Guyana Stockfeeds were refused similar privileges because Didco will give 10 million dollars to the PPP, we tell ourselves that this is Badal's problem he should not have spoken out and made Jagdeo mad at him, Stalin and Hitler had such regimes.

   The World Bank tells us and I quote "despite progress in recent years, Guyana's economic policy regime is not conducive to private sector development and impedes Guyana's competitiveness within and outside the region. The fiscal incentives are often discretionary, and there is no level playing field. So Narian is not lying, Da Silva is!

   The World Bank also tells us that there is no rule of law, that there are no tape recorders in our courts, that there are no court reporters, that the backlog of cases is incredibly high that the employees are not being paid a salary which makes the job attractive and cannot compete with the private sector, but the Government Information News Agency the government's mouth piece which controls the radio spectrum, the Chronicle and GTV pays some very fancy salaries, with which no private media owner can compete. GTV has 83 employees to shove government propaganda down the throats of the Guyanese public, that's more employees than all the private TV stations in Georgetown combined employ; but this is the government's propaganda machine, their sacred cow, so they break the laws of the country and employ this huge amount of people at higher than private market salaries and outside of the ambit of the Public Service Commission to invent lies, to feed the poor unsuspecting people in this country a daily dose of rhetorical garbage. All of us know that it is a pack of lies but our people accept that all of this money can be wasted on propaganda and deny our courts the means for us to get justice.

    The Office of the President employs people who neither you nor I would employ since they are totally incompetent to carry out their functions but they pay 500,000 to one million dollars a month to some of them; they give them fancy offices, fancy titles and Prados. The World Bank tells us that and I quote "decision making is highly centralised with all decisions, which could be expected to be made at lower levels such as individual Ministers or departments, being instead made by the Presidency; and Local Authorities, despite their formal mandate, have only a marginal role in implementing policy at the local level"  that's unconstitutional by the way, but what do we need 21 Ministers and Ministries for if Jagdeo and the gang of 7 ex-co members are running the country from the Office of the President? I'll tell you why, it is a way to employ and pay fancy salaries to 21 totally incompetent Ministers and their staff as rewards for being good party comrades.

    When it was discovered that the Chairman of the power utility was guilty of getting the major amount of his power illegally, Dr. Luncheon when questioned, at his weekly press conference, told the media representatives in this country that it was " a non issue" ladies and gentlemen the head of the Presidential Secretariat tells us that it is ok to thief electricity, but Dr. Roger Forbes is right, given the level at which the others in our government steal from the citizens of this country, it is indeed a non issue.

   Chicken prices are now approaching 100 percent more then when we used to import it form the US, it has gone from 135 G dollars a pound to nearly 200 dollars a pound but we are allowing the President to break yet another of his promises, that he will re-introduce chicken from the US if Didco did not perform.

   We see Manzoor Nadir standing in the market arguing with the poultry vendors telling them that the chicken they are selling is the wrong price since he has documents in his office telling him that chicken prices are stable. These people are selling the chicken on a day to day basis they know what the prices are but Nadir tells them that their prices are wrong, since he has a piece of paper in his office telling him that all is OK. That's why we leave.