The University of Guyana/Kissoon matter has reminded me once again of an exchange between a former Guyana Chronicle columnist and a former Minister at a conference held at the NAACIE building in Kingston some years ago.
In response to the minister’s rebuking him about his one-sided, lop-sided writing, even palpable lies: “how could you bastardise yourself like that!?”he said to him, whereby the columnist with a straight face casually said: “Don’t worry with all dah talk about balance writing and conscience about right and wrong, when the table turn, you gon be doing just wha I doing now and I gon be saying all wha you saying now.”
Judging from what I’ve read and what has been expressed many learned, respected individuals/intellectuals and others in the academic profession who are knowledgeable about the modus operandi of U.G, and the explanation/defence presented by the U.G council, it appears that they will have the devil’s job in convincing the majority of Guyanese that the removal of Freddie Kissoon is well grounded and not political in nature.
Given that Kissoon, through his relentless and caustic criticisms of Government/ Ministers, and senior/high public functionaries for a host of improprieties and immoralities over the years, and how he is perceived by an overwhelming majority of our people, definitely, both the U.G Council and the Government will be in a position like a cow on ice in trying to convince the nation that this popular columnist is not being sledged for being annoyingly critical.
All the defence arguments about terms of contract not being properly done; of correcting flaws that were an oversight and putting things right/legal and the age factor, from all evidence, when placed against those stated and expanded by the many contributors, does seemed tangled and feeble.
Really, though, to be practical, it surely becomes too large a pill to swallow by claiming that after 26 years of teaching at a University – except one has lost his/her mind – that a lecturer has all along been incompetent; performing below required expectations, has not been doing research and being employed under a contract that was improper.
The retirement age factor we can leave out, since, as Clarence Perry has noted, too many precedents exist at U.G. Then how can you, having discovered all these shortcomings, have never summoned this individual to point them out? Why never a warning, as Kissoon has stated, or ever a complaint against him from any student.
And this is what makes the stand taken by the U.G Council a hard nut and a bitter pill to crack and swallow in an attempt to justify their action that the dismissal or non-renewal of the contract for one of the foremost critics of the Government was without malice. Tough job it is, like having a basket to fetch water.
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