Mr. Carl Greenidge’s now famous quotable quote, “Guyana is a nightmare and needs visionary leadership to lift itself from that position,” clearly irked the Jagdeo administration, while resonating with many Guyanese. It may even have an effect on his contract renewal with the CARICOM Secretariat after December 31.
But Mr. Greenidge, whose resume as a politician and professional dwarfs that of any current member of the Jagdeo administration, including the President, has enough years of experience as a professional to know what he is allowed to say openly while in the employ of apolitical organisations.
He is yet to go public with why he made the remark, but it may yet be that he, like a growing number of Guyanese, has become justifiably angry at the PPP and the Jagdeo administration for not only failing to bring Guyana into her true potential after 18 years, but actually taking Guyana down a dark and sinister road to a corrupt dictatorship.
And since the late Winston Murray, at whose funeral ceremony Mr. Greenidge uttered the now famous quotable quote, had come to personally epitomize a prized political fighter among us for change, Mr. Greenidge probably thought it was only fitting to remind the mourning audience, which included government officials, of why Murray was such a vocal critic of this regime.
It is true that both Mr. Greenidge and Murray once worked for a government with visionary leadership problems of its own, but that was then and this is now. Past failed leadership styles and corrupt practices are no excuse for current failed leadership styles and corrupt practices.
And on the day Murray collapsed, he had left Parliament mere hours earlier where he was taking on the government for being unable to provide details on a fund which was to be set up since 2006 for royalties accruing to indigenous peoples from mining activities on their lands.
This wasn’t an unusual incident involving public funds, but part of a reprehensible, nauseating pattern with this regime, and while the late PNCR Shadow Finance Minister accepted Prime Minister Samuel
Hinds’ explanation of the origins of the fund, he still took him to task for not addressing the central issue of the whereabouts of the money.
“Won’t it have been nice to tell us that the fund was created on such and such a day and the fund exists in this bank account under this ministry’s control and that the fund has x million dollars in it?” Murray enquired.
“Prime Minister,” he continued in controlled anger, “let us before the end of next week hear the details of the fund; tell us in which account it is, how much money there is and what are the procedures for accessing it and then we will believe you.”
The Prime Minister then promised that he would look into Murray’s query, but Murray never lived to find out. Still, did the Prime Minister ever keep his promise by availing the information to the public?
Even if he did, Mr. Editor, this issue of the lack of transparency and accountability involving public funds is only part of the big picture issues why Mr. Greenidge made his now famous remark, because the present administration has also failed to provide visionary leadership in several other areas of good governance.
The corrupt, informal economy has been holding steady at over 50% of the formal economy. Law enforcement is demoralized and politically manipulated. Officers of the judiciary are reduced to a state of a political dependency to survive and succeed. The private sector is subservient to the political elite and suffers from a dearth of innovation and inspiration.
The labour movement continues to be deliberately divided for political purposes. Drug smuggling continues unabated. Money laundering continues to be the backbone of emerging businesses, buildings, vehicles and burgeoning bank accounts. Guyanese continue to flock to CARICOM nations instead of CARICOM nationals flocking to Guyana.
And as the list goes on, it is this notion by government and its cast of loyalists that it is doing swell that demonstrates it really lacks the type of vision to think outside its guarded political zoo on New Garden Street. Whatever show the political animals there decide to put on, that is what the public must entertain themselves with.
Some international boneheaded blowhards have even applauded the President for his role in the global climate change fight, not quite realising his sole goal here is to get his hands on big and easy money.
These blowhards should visit Guyana today and pass by the Mandela Landfill in Georgetown to understand the President’s two-facedness on the environment.
But even as the pucker lipped choir of locals and foreigners continues singing his praises, and he strongly believes he has the ‘it’ as he factor floats flatulently on their collective rising hot air, Guyana is being taken on a route of adversely changing circumstances dictated by this President’s clueless choices and careless chance-taking.
Not even he knows where the road he is taking will actually end up, and that is why Guyana is a living nightmare in need of visionary leadership to lift it from this position.
By the way, we didn’t need Mr. Greenidge to tell us the obvious, but given the current circumstances, any powerful voice to echo our frustration and anger is welcomed.
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