FROM SLASHING TO CAPPING
“Believe you me, once the elections are over, the United States government and the International Court of Justice are going to put their hands on some of these government ( of Guyana) officials. Believe you me!”
These were the sentiments expressed by one caller to an Internet call-in programme on Guyana.
They say you either live in hope or die in despair. The caller clearly had hopes that after the elections many of the top officials in government would face indictment in international courts for the many alleged cases of wrongdoing which he was no doubt brainwashed into believing had been committed.
The clear expectation was being generated that the United States in particular was about to close the noose around the administration. The guy spoke with a certainty and conviction of someone with an inside track to US actions. There are many others like him around. They are good with words; they have a ready-made audience that lives in constant hope that the PPP administration will face international sanctions because of its practices.
Desiring more than anything else to see the back of the PPP, they live in constant hope and end up believing the stream of propaganda that is spread to them by political extremists.
These elements would have the nation believe that the US is going to go after the government because of alleged links to narco-trafficking. Sadly, there are enough gullible minds out there willing to absorb and turn it into a storm in a teacup.
The indictments are still to come. Instead of indictments, what we are seeing is political cooperation in the fight against narco-trafficking with funds, albeit a pittance, being provided by the United States.
However, by the time the next election comes around, the same old nonsense is going to be drummed up about international charges being laid against government officials. Live in hope or die in despair!
Just after the elections, there was another hue and cry about some funds given to the Guyana Police Force to support their work on election year. Not one shred of evidence was ever provided to show that any funds were misappropriated. Yet all manner of imputations were made in the print and electronic media. Suggestions were even made as to where the money went.
The Auditor General was called in, and based on reports in the media it seems as if all the funds have been accounted for. So all the noise about misappropriation were just gaffe, of which Guyana has a lot.
In a small country where achievement dwarfs ambition, the smallest issue assumes national significance. A simple audit would have revealed what happened to the funds, but instead of waiting on this, a whole range of conspiracy theories were spun about the funds. These theories are about to fall flat on their face, if reports in the media are to be believed.
During the elections campaign, the opposition used the former president’s benefits as a campaign issue. Some of them went as far as threatening to cut these benefits. The reality, however, is that these benefits cannot be cut since to do so would constitute deprivation of property, which is outlawed by the constitution unless compensation is offered. The compensation for reducing the former president’s salary would amount to the value of the reduction. Thus, it makes no sense to cut, since whatever is cut will have to be replaced via compensation, which is prescribed by the constitution.
As such, the talk shifted from cuts to a review, and then to review without prejudice to benefits due to the former president. Then it shifted again to where it is now: an option to cap and not cut.
When it comes to cuts, the most illogical cuts ever in the history of Guyana took place in respect to the 2012 Budget. These cuts have created a major crisis for the opposition. They have lost face in the country because they have failed to convince even themselves that there is any logic to the Budget cuts. Their arguments ring hollow and their actions have been exposed as being vindictive and aimed at demonstrating that they can exercise power, even if it is at the cost of development.
Faced with this, the proceeds held by NICIL and its subsidiaries have become an object of deflection. And therefore the charade has started once again.
First, it was being argued that the constitution says that the funds must be passed through the Consolidated Fund. Since that argument has been effectively debunked, we are now seeing a shift.
Dissolution of NICIL is now being touted. That is another pipe dream. The opposition has no chance at all of achieving this. The opposition has nothing in their arsenal of a majority of one to achieve the dissolution of NICIL. And they are not likely to risk time and resources on instituting any legal action against NICIL.
The threats against NICIL is all bluff. Believe you me! Believe you me!