The introduction of the polygraph test is going to open up President Bharrat Jagdeo and his Government to more ridicule in the entire social parameters of this territory. As you would have noticed, I didn’t include the PPP. From all the investigations that social commentators and media operatives have done, the PPP seems to be locked out of the decision-making machinery.
I don’t believe Mr. Jagdeo will leave any positive, enlightened and visionary legacy when he goes in the first half of 2011 (that is just slightly over two and a half years away plus months before the elections, he would be busy preparing for his civilian life).
Even if he has a few phenomenal ideas in gestation, they will not see the light of day by 2011, because in Guyana things move slowly. Remember the Human Rights Commission should have been in existence three months after the stakeholders’ meeting in February. I doubt we will see that formation during Mr. Jagdeo’s remaining years. We will not see the Freedom of Information Act either. These are not institutions that Mr. Jagdeo would be comfortable with.
These kinds of social structures impinge on the totality of presidential power, and none of our governmental leaders since self-government in the fifties would accept levers that check their power, possibly with the exception of Peter D’Aguiar.
In the two and a half years that are left in his tenure, the polygraph will come to be the nemesis of Mr. Jagdeo. I have lived under the power of Mr. Burnham. I will stand up in any forum in any part of the world and say that the Burnham Government was less corrupt than what we have today. The most financially questionable government in Caricom’s history was the Walters Administration in Antigua.
Mr. Walters faced prosecution for what would be child’s play in Guyana at present. I lived under Burnham’s rule, and I say most unashamedly that if there should be a tribunal set up to investigate any of the post-Independent governments in Guyana for dubious financial conduct, it should be the post 1992 regime.
Every day evidence of corruption falls into my hands. Three weeks ago, at the National Park, this gentleman parked next to me. When he came out, I saw that he was a friend; someone who was determined to stamp out electricity theft at GPL. What he said to me was extremely depressing. He indicated that he had resigned and was leaving Guyana. This country has lost a fine anti-corruption crusader. I have knowledge of some of the people that he probed. I knew his type could not last in Guyana.
There is no place for good women and men by the present Government He confessed that the immunity from prosecution of Government connected people was messing with his psychology. He stared me in the eyes and quietly said, “Freddie, this thing was destroying me. I couldn’t take it anymore. I had to leave.” Then he gave names of electricity thieves. Please don’t ask for names.
When you hear who the culprits are, you are going to be so livid, so enraged, that you will demand the removal of this Government.
This encounter happened twenty-one days ago. Last week, I looked out my window and saw GPL technicians descending on a property. I left my home and went over to the site. The investigators found out that, for almost a year, the GPL meter was bypassed and dozens of millions of dollars were lost to the GPL. The technicians were mad with rage. I drove behind them after the incident. I held back on the publication of this story because I was waiting for more information. I got it on Saturday. This individual will not be charged. Political intervention occurred.
Do you know who this person is? I wrote about the favours this citizen enjoys from the corridors of power. I exposed the mighty power of this particular Guyanese. This man is an untouchable. Well, why don’t the media do its work and make the enquiries?
Will the test be administered to those who give protection to Government officials that are beneficiaries of corrupt transactions? The ridicule has started. Khemraj Ramjattan wrote an elegant comment in the AFC’s KN Sunday column, in which he asked if the President will take the polygraph on the accusation by Ramjattan that the President orally indicted him at an official Central Committee meeting of the PPP for giving information to the US Embassy.
Then Adam Harris asked if the test will be given to Parliamentarians. What next? You bet letter writers will demand that the ministers take the examination.
The ridicule will be non-stop once the erring ways of the political elites continue. As soon as a controversy breaks out, we will hear that a polygraph must be done. As readers will know, there are still some outstanding queries about highly placed officials. One is a minister; the other is a top Police officer.
Critics may want to extend the test to persons who handle the finances of the state, like the GRA and those other bodies that are involved in sensitive areas, like the Forestry Commission, the EPA and CHPA.
As I wrote above, the introduction of the lie detector may end up being the nemesis of Mr. Jagdeo. Would he be able to resist calls for the test to be done on people that are close to the corridors of power?
Roger Khan’s trial is looming.
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