Somebody has money to throw around, and lied

November 25, 2012 | By | Filed Under Features / Columnists, My Column 

There have been a lot of happenings these past few weeks. There was the happening in the National Assembly over Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee. This now threatens what should usually be a place with the focus on issues pertaining to the economy and on social events.
Indeed in the execution of his duties as Home Affairs Minister, many things happened under Rohee’s watch. He did resurrect the community policing groups and he ensured that the police did not want for transportation and other facilities to make them effective. He capitalised on units established by the earlier police commissioners.
There was the Quick Reaction Group that seems to have found the legs it lost during the crime wave, there was a group called Alpha Dragon that is the equivalent of the SWAT team we hear so much about in the United States and there is the Tactical Services Unit. Rohee made them effective units, perhaps too effective.
Three people were shot and killed in Linden and the people blamed the police. The political opposition sought to blame Rohee. In fact they sought to suggest that Rohee issued the instruction to shoot. The man did not.  I want to believe that this assumption that Rohee was actively involved in the Linden episode led to the challenge in the National Assembly and the no-confidence vote.
The parliament is as independent as the executive and the court, so whatever it decides is binding to the National Assembly. It has taken a decision that Rohee can only table Bills after he goes to the Parliamentary Committee of Privileges and proves that he did nothing wrong during his tenure as Home Affairs Minister.
There is the counter argument that once he does nothing to bring the National Assembly to disrepute, he should not have to go before the Committee of Privileges. Irfaan Ali lied to Parliament and he did not go before the committee. Today, perhaps because that parliament has ended, he cannot now be prosecuted for past ills.
And this brings me to the Chris Brown issue. There was a lot of noise about Chris Brown coming to perform on Boxing Day.  Perhaps I am a skeptic, because I immediately offered wagers that Brown was not coming. The young people in the newsroom were angry at me but none of them took up my challenge.
I do know that almost all of them began making preparations to go to the show. After all, Chris Brown is one of the hottest things in the entertainment industry. I saw publications about his schedule and Guyana was not included; I saw that his episode with Rihanna did not escape attention in Europe and the women there decided that they would have nothing to do with him.
I also noticed that he needed a judge’s permission to leave the United States. I saw no mention of him seeking permission to come to Guyana. That simply caused me to hike my eyebrows a little higher. Lo and behold the news came that Brown was no longer coming to Guyana because of the fear of protests.
One day later, I saw Irfaan Ali sounding off that the main opposition party was perhaps licking its chops because it had succeeded in keeping Chris Brown away, in the process, leaving many young people with sad faces.
He went further, he claimed that the political party might have contacted Brown’s people and persuaded them to keep Brown away. His argument sounded impressive until I saw the official entertainment website carrying a story that claimed Brown was never coming to Guyana, because the arrangements were never finalized.
However, the local organizers seem to have evidence that the show was confirmed and a ton of money sent to Brown.  If that is the case, and a deal was brokered, then the local promoters can move to the courts for breach of contract. They can make more money than if Brown actually came. If Brown’s people lied to the official entertainment network then that is even more embarrassing to them.
What is the truth? The opposition political parties had nothing to do with Brown’s decision not to come, so Irfaan Ali was being dishonest and playing to the gallery. He was seeking political mileage. The political opposition has not uttered a peep in the face of Ali’s charges. It could be that it never saw the comments, that none of its supporters saw it and reported to party headquarters, or it simply chose to ignore Ali.
The organisers also have not set out to rebut the allegation that the deal with Brown was never sealed and I find this strange at a time when people do not take kindly to allegations of lying.  At the same time I would like to know where is the $30 million that the organizers sent to Brown’s people.
If that money was sent since October 5, and I note the date, then Brown’s people would have made money by simply depositing it into a bank and collecting the interest. They could have paid off some expense or simply, provide entertainment for the people close to Brown.
I await the development; I await another denial from Brown; or better still, I expect this to die away as the organizers and the Brown team quietly settle. But I will be none the wiser about Brown coming. What I do know is that the young people will be heading to the venue, regardless, so Chris Brown provided adequate publicity for the event.
As an aside, where did the money, all $30 million of it, come from?

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