Most Guyanese can see that the Government is attempting to right the wrongs of the previous administration by focusing first on the role of political appointments of PPP activists on State boards, the recovery of stolen State assets and the forensic auditing of several government departments and agencies.
This proactive stance by the government required some senior personnel and heads of departments be sent on administrative leave to avoid compromising the exercise.
The response from the PPP Opposition has been claims of discrimination and witch hunting on ethno-political grounds. This was expected, but who else should have been sent on administrative leave, when many of the personnel who allegedly committed wrongdoings have been PPP appointees in the first place.
The accusation of ethnic cleansing by the PPP is wicked and is meant to disparage the government because senior management of other ethnicities were also sent on administrative leave pending investigations of wrongdoings in their departments.
Furthermore, it is standard practice for any government to place individuals irrespective of race or ethnicity on administrative leave pending the outcome of investigations that may or may not involve them.
The Commissioner General of GRA, Khurshid Sattaur; Head of NICIL, Winston Brassington; Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health, Leslie Cadogan; and the Deputy Commissioner of GRA, Clement Sealey; are of different ethnicities but are on the same continuum. The basis for their dismissal would be based on evidence of wrongdoing on their part.
However, the most forward-looking initiative of the government seems to be in local government elections which were last held in 1994 but are now scheduled to be held on March 18, 2016. The government should devolve more power to the local communities as promised so that they could have direct input in their own development.
The biggest problem the leaders of the Opposition faced since their electoral defeat in May 2015 is their credibility and moral authority to criticize the Government on economic and financial issues, at least in the eyes of the public. The claim by the PPP leaders that it would have been in the national interest for the administration to collaborate with the heads of the department rather than the obviously confrontational attitude to send them home is absurd.
Lest the people forget, it was no different in 1992 when the PPP came to office. In less than one month, the PPP fired more than 200 perceived supporters of the government who were really senior civil servants. Now that the shoe is on the other foot, the leaders of the PPP are crying foul. For them to accuse the government for doing the same thing that they had done is like the pot telling the kettle that its bottom is black.
As a political party, the PPP has lost the trust and confidence of the people and seems destined to stay in Opposition for a while because it has very little appeal outside of its base of support. Its leaders’ strategy of distracting the government from fulfilling its mandate by legally challenging it on many issues is obscene. It will only delay the inevitable until the whole country realizes that the PPP is callous, untrustworthy and dishonest.
Its mismanagement of billions of dollars of the taxpayers’ money, its alleged culpability in corrupt practices and its refusal to promote national unity among the races have rendered the PPP a divisive and destructive party.
But the story does not end there. There is now a focus on the operations of the States Assets Recovery Unit and the Special Organised Crime Unit which the very PPP Government established and staffed. Let it be known that none of the people appointed to SOCU by the PPP has been sent home. These are the people conducting the investigations.
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