If you want to see how deeply rotten and decayed this country has become, then examine Robeson Benn’s blitzkrieg that has been going on for the past six weeks in Demerara.
It is the tragedy, the shocking tragedy of post-colonial Guyana that has been left behind even by countries that were vicious dictatorships and are now modern territories to be emulated. Chile, Malaysia, Argentina, Brazil, Philippines, Grenada come to mind.
Mr. Benn’s Ministry decides to destroy. Nothing is wrong with destroying the useless, the illegal, the superfluous. Such is life. Everything is wrong with a nation’s leadership when it destroys and does not build.
Mr. Robeson Benn is not going to stop this pen of mine by threatening libel. Twice, libel threats have been directed at me by Benn. Forgive my chauvinism, but I know more about libel laws and what constitutes libel in newspaper commentary than Robeson Benn.
Mr. Benn got front page coverage on the Chronicle (one of the world’s most gutter newspapers; yet some jokers still refer to the PNC abuse of the state media when that party was in power) and on NCN when he assumed that I was referring to him rather than Leslie Ramsammy when it was clear to a five-year-old child that my article was on Dr. Ramsammy. I heard nothing further from Benn because obviously his lawyer must have given him a lecture on what libel is.
Next, Mr. Benn’s Ministry asked for an apology over an article of mine on a very expensive asphalt plant that Benn’s Ministry bought but is yet to hit the road after one year of purchase.
Funny people work at Benn’s Ministry. I am supposed to apologize because Mr. Benn and his officials are the embodiment of truth. They reply to me and say that Freddie Kissoon must believe what they say. No proof is supplied but Freddie Kissoon must apologize.
Months have passed. I have not seen any proof that would compel me to apologize. So here I come again. I am writing on Benn’s drive to destroy encumbrances that he says are illegal. Let me repeat – nothing wrong with that. Where are the building efforts of Benn? More importantly where is the principled stand of Mr. Benn and his Ministry and his President and his party when other conspicuous encumbrances line the horizons of Guyana.
Holmes Street connects Main Street and Water Street. In that vicinity, on Water Street proper, there are some very big commercial entities – Giftland Office Max, National Hardware, Mattai’s Supermarket, Courtney Benn Contractors, Oriental Furniture, Western Union among others.
On Holmes Street for the past five years there are three refrigerated containers that belong to a seafood company and they have virtually erased the flow of traffic between Main Street and Water Street.
This company has an extremely close relationship with the PPP leadership and is very visible when election time comes around. On Thursday, with Christmas shopping on the rise, no driver could have crossed into Holmes Street from Main Street or from Water Street into Holmes Street. The build-up was heavy, the waiting was exasperatingly long.
Mr. Benn ignores this mountainous obstruction but found himself on the East Bank of the Essequibo to demolish a botanic façade of a hotel that is completely out of harm’s way.
Mr. Benn’s supersonic benthoscope has been roaming Demerara eradicating structures in front of people’s gates that Mr. Benn says are illegal constructions.
But Mr. Benn’s eyes are convenient. And the people of Guyana, like sheep, look on as Mr. Benn’s destructive machine drives its way around Guyana. How good is the eyesight of this new PPP mandarin when illegal obstructions of some powerful people are there for all to see?
What about creating? Do Mr. Benn’s Ministry and Mr. Benn build anything? Does he know that many traffic lights are wrongly calibrated? At the junction of Irving Street where a bridge connects it with Vlissengen Road, the street and the bridge are collapsing. It is noticeable to any driver who stops at the traffic lights at that site.
Ten years ago, yes ten years ago, I wrote about the monkey business of GWI cutting roads to lay pipes and repairing leaking pipes and huge craters developing because GWI leaves them like that. Benn’s eyes miss those things.
On UG access road, right outside Gafoor’s gated community, a bridge over the trench has developed an expanding hole.
Vehicles swing away from it and end up going in the direction of oncoming traffic. A family was badly injured earlier this year.
Mr. Benn and his party and his President believe they will win the next general election. This nation is crazy!
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