Dec 28, 2015 News
– Dr. Hinds
If the new government does not secure justice for a nation which was plagued by white collar crimes over the last decade, the cycle will never stop.
This is the dire warning that Political commentator and Member of the Working People’s Alliance (WPA), Dr. David Hinds, has sent to the coalition government which his party forms part of.
In his most recent piece published on www.guyanacaribbeanpolitics.com. , Dr. Hinds said that when others see obvious misdeeds go unpunished, it gives them the go ahead to do the same.
The commentator believes that the new government has made several mistakes already but contended that none was overly tragic.
“The issue on which it has been most vulnerable is prosecution of misdeeds by the previous government.”
He added that the PPP pre-empted possible prosecution of its Ministers. It was quick in leveling charges of witch-hunting and ethnic cleansing.
“In our ethnically sensitive society such charges will always have currency in the section of the community that feels or are told that it is targeted. These charges, to my mind, have caused the government to be more circumspect than it normally would be.”
Dr. Hinds said that apart from sending some workers on leave and firing a few, Government has not “rocked the boat. Ms. Jennifer Westford may count herself unlucky to be the only former Minister to be charged.”
“On the other hand, Government supporters have not unexpectedly been loud in their calls for more high level prosecutions. The daily revelations of misdeeds have justified those calls. In addition, the two independent daily newspapers, especially the Kaieteur News, have been unrelenting in their reporting and editorializing on this matter.”
Hinds also pointed out that Head of the State Assets Recovery Unity (SARU), Professor Clive Thomas, has been quite vocal about the findings of his unit.
He noted that this “intense pressure” is what he thinks forced the hand of the government on the action it took in sending Head of the National Industrial and Commercial Investment Limited (NICIL) Winston Brassington on leave.
“While he was not a Minister, he is considered a big fish in the river of misdeeds that the audits have apparently uncovered.”
Dr. Hinds posited that the PPP’s charge that the reports are biased because the auditors are known critics of that party does not hold water.
“But even if it were true, let due process determine this. The other charge that Kaieteur News has a vendetta against Mr. Brassington is equally without merit. Kaieteur News is doing exactly what all newspapers should be doing—investigate and expose.
“For too long our media have been too soft on public officials, which in turn has helped to nurture corruption in high places. The other function of the media in a democracy is to inform and educate; something Kaieteur News has done effectively as far as the Brassington matter is concerned.”
Dr. Hinds wrote that while he supports caution by the government on the matter of prosecution, he believes that where the evidence is overwhelming, the appropriate action should be taken.
“For me, it is not just about the past, but more importantly it’s the present and the future. If officials in the current government see obvious misdeeds go unpunished, they would soon believe it’s okay for them to misbehave too.”
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