April/May is usually the time of the
year when I take some time off from commentary to relax for a few weeks before
starting again in June. If you look at the internet you will see that in the
two years 2002 and 2003 I only did two commentaries in May, one in each year.
In April I usually begin slowing down for
my rest in May. So this is probably my last commentary until June.
The reason for these pauses is because
to do this commentary, I have to delve deep into the functioning of the
Government and place their stewardship of our country under a microscope, and
it usually makes me angry when I see the amount of mismanagement, corruption
and incompetence all around us, perpetrated by the PPP who are still singing
the same old tune that it is OK for them to thief all the can, because the PNC
rigged elections so that they have 28 years of thieving to catch up on, so we
and their supporters must excuse them whilst they fill their pockets and keep us
in abject poverty.
So this commentary seeks to put our
country in perspective at this time.
What is the Guyana reality today? Well the one thing that had given us cause for hope,
the Constructive Engagement, has been called off by the PNC, but
President Jagdeo is telling the public how well he is doing in terms of
investment when he was opening an arcade at Bartica last week for one Tarzie,
for the alleged sum of 70 million G dollars. Knowing Tarzie for some time as a
broadcaster who owns a small television operation in Bartica, he is not exactly
my concept of a purveyor of the truth. But who knows?
This Government cannot get any member of
the local business community to invest one cent in the half share of the Guyana
Power and Light which has been offered for local investment for over a year,
since no rational or sane person would enter a business enterprise with Mr. Jagdeo's
government; He nevertheless unashamedly stands up in Bartica and tells the
people that he is upbeat with the amount of investment he is getting.
If I were the President of this country and
the public showed such total indifference to investing with me in what is after
all a total monopoly guaranteed to make money, I would resign or commit
suicide. Mr. Jagdeo is doing neither and that is probably why this country will
have to find 165 million dollars to protect him this year, I am not kidding
ladies and gentlemen the Presidential security in this country will cost this
nation 165 million this year it cost 156 last year that's 321 Million in two
years. That is more than the total allocation to region 8 this year.
Then we come to the hypocrite Mr.
Manzoor Nadir, another dreamer with a total disregard to the Guyaneses' ability
to read, he tells the media and the Stabroek News has recorded it there for all
to see in their issue of Saturday April 17th
2004, that quote "Tourists returning to Guyana"
Ladies and gentlemen you live here, so I
will let you use your microscope to see where these tourists are? The only
question I have to ask is; why was there a dead cow rotting for several days on
the East Coast highway last week near to the turnoff to the University of
Guyana and where incidentally the American Ambassador lives, and who obviously
had to drive pass this stinking carcass for several days before it was removed
on the day Parliament was convened at Ocean View Hotel, great way to treat the
US Ambassador and tourists, Nadir, what I will take issue with is Nadir's
statement that this year, to attract more tourists, we will allocate in the budget
an additional 16 million to make the total allocation to Nadir's Ministry 254
million, I am therefore forced to ask the question, don't these people look
back at their past budgets? In the 2003 estimates we allocated 288 million to Nadir's
Ministry, so he is getting 34 million less this year than last year and this
man has the effrontery to claim that he has a degree in economics from some
Canadian University, which he probably used to attend in August month.
Now we come to Minister of labour Mr.
Dale Bisnauth, Nauth being the operational word, since the only type of Minister
Bisnauth could legitimately claim to be any good at, is Minister of Religion.
He tells us that he had promised last year that 1000 jobs would be created at
the industrial site in Eccles but he was wrong by 50%, since only 500 jobs were
created but I have yet to find these jobs, since no new industries have
been established there since last year, has this man even drove to the
Industrial site at Eccles? it is like a wasteland since no one in their right
mind would invest in any industrial activity in a country where the environment:
electricity, political, social, skills, economy, water are so grossly expensive
or non existent, I will not even worry to get into the issue of this government
making the Eccles area a dump site for Garbage, that is a great way to attract Investment
and jobs at this industrial site Bisnauth! I am not going to dwell on all of
the Garbage [no pun intended[ which Bisnauth told the media, that 70 homeless
people now being looked after by his government will make a significant
difference to the national crisis of poverty, several times during his interview
with the Stabroek news Bisnauth brings the NIS into the conversation, aren't
the Guyanese businesses and their employees in enough trouble, Bisnauth? Should
you be chasing them further, into other pastures, by stressing that those who
do file returns with the NIS are
going to be crucified further? What about those people who do not file? Is
something going to be done about them? So that those who do pay can get
some relief? Drop the NIS rate
and look for those defaulters who do not comply.
Now we come to the utterances of General
Secretary of the PPP Mr. Donald Ramotar, who lets us see the light by telling
us that even though the economy contracted by 0.6% last year, because sugar had
a bad year; Ramotar then utters this complete nonsense and I quote "the fall
took place in Sugar which was affected by drought and heavy rainfall" drought
and heavy rainfall? ladies and gentlemen in the same year? However he
assures us that we should not worry since every other sector had defrayed the
decline in the Sugar and Gold Industries! Am I missing something here? If the
other sectors quote "defrayed" the problems in sugar, then how come the
economy contracted? What is frightening is that Ramotar is part of the system
that is running this country from Freedom House through the paramouncy of the
Then we are told that the Carter Centre
and the National Democratic Institute are closing their doors in Guyana,
now this is a serious matter, these organisations are financed by USAID, this
country a Heavily Indebted Poor Country still struggling since 1966 to find
some way for our peoples to live together in peace and progress, we are on the
verge of civil war, now we are told that these important implements of
democratic reform are withdrawing, have the Americans given up hope of this
country ever becoming a democracy?
Finally we come to the utterances of our
Minister of Amerindian Affairs who was recruited as a Minister of this
government whilst she was still student at the UG, this lady tells us that she
is training the Amerindian captains to better police their villages, but on the
most burning issue concerning the Amerindians in this country the
systematic shrinking of their ancestral lands; Roudrigues tells us that though
there have been setbacks including communities opting out of the negotiations
[I wonder why?] she noted that of the 70 odd Amerindian settlements two had
been finalised, and she refers to this as significant progress!! The
Amerindians have been living here for more than two thousand years, but this
student is going to teach them about sustainable deforestation this year. If
you gave them their right and recognised ancestral lands, Rodrigues, there would
be no deforestation problem, if you and the PPP are shrinking their lands to
the size of a football field of course there will be deforestation problems.