I spent Sunday in Christianburg, Linden. It was a depressing sight. Christianburg in any other CARICOM territory would have been a tourist paradise. I want to write my memoirs and after visiting Christianburg, I would love to spend two years there alone with my wife, who happens to be my soul mate (while my daughter develops her own independent life) and complete it.
Christianburg sits on the Wismar River and it is a lovely picture when the sun goes down.
But Christianburg is a place of depressing poverty. I was warmly welcomed by the citizens so they must know that I mean no insult when I say that I haven’t seen a modern house in Christianburg. One look at this section of Guyana and you know it has been neglected.
Where did the money that this nation collected from bauxite all these years go? Why is Christianburg in such an economic mess? I was told that unemployment is horrifyingly high. In one street, residents told me that Minister Robeson Benn was sitting at the corner in an SUV. As I approached the vehicle, he drove away. What was he doing there? I would have given anything to see how the residents took to him.
My weekend began where it started decades ago – with news of the abuse of power. I learnt, like the rest of Guyana, that the Guyanese people didn’t know our Government signed an agreement to redo the national airport and its runway. We had to read about it in a foreign newspaper. This insanity has gone on and on.
Guyanese learnt from an Indian newspaper that large forestry concessions went to an investor from India. Then the poor, abused people of this land got word from a Grenadian source about the planned Marriott Hotel
After the insanity about the airport was revealed by the two independent dailies, stupidity followed. President Jagdeo then publicly spoke about it (see yesterday’s KN). The point is obvious – if it wasn’t made public, the President’s lips would have remained sealed. What goes through the mind and head of President Jagdeo?
Can some genius from another country come to Guyana and explain to Mr. Jagdeo that he is not the head of the Boy Scouts’ Association but a citizen that a majority of voters in an election in 2006 made into the President?
Mr. Jagdeo has to know that the role of the President cannot be the same of a Chief Executive Officer of a family-owned company that the patriarch chooses to run in secret. Mr. Jagdeo has to know that his first task as president of a country is to explain to its citizens what he is doing in their name and why he is doing it for them. Obviously, judging from his record of undisclosed signings, he does not know these requirements and therefore someone has to send for the genius to tell him so.
Who can it be? Mandela? Obama? What about that American philosopher, Naom Chomsky? How about another great living philosopher, Amartya Sen?
After this airport fiasco, I confess to all my readers and fellow Guyanese that I am truly glad that after November 29, Mr. Jagdeo leaves the presidency. I say from the deep recesses of my mind, Mr. Jagdeo’s governance has been a seriously flawed one. Why couldn’t Mr. Jagdeo, for the years he has been in power, call a press conference each time he speaks and acts on behalf of this nation and tell the people what projects he is signing on their behalf? What was essentially bad about such an approach to governance?
The fact that Mr. Jagdeo chose to explain the relationship with the Chinese company after it was made public by the two newspapers (KN and SN) means that he is openly admitting that he should have opened his mouth in the first place.
If his approach to governance is not to speak about deals with foreign companies then he should have remained silent and continue with this methodology of governance. But the fact that he is now talking is a public admission that he should have spoken about it in the first place.
I hope all the citizens of this country remember that Mr. Jagdeo has just one week left to do something he has never done in twelve years – publicly apologize for a mistake or an unfortunate occurrence.
Finally, it was a bad weekend indeed when you think of what Christopher Ram wrote about an IMF report on Guyana. One of the authors was Mr. Asgar Ally who has joined the PPP platform while working with the IMF. Goes to show how flawed these international bodies are.
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