“Jagdeo has this gift of forgetting how he messed up this country and how corruption levels spiraled out of control during his tenure…The most wanton abuse of Guyana’s resources occurred under his watch and that is what he will be remembered for. He failed Guyana as a Finance Minister and worse yet as a President.”
Prior to the May 2015 General and Regional Elections Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo, kept a very
low profile. However, when the elections date was announced, Jagdeo rose from the shadows of the political landscape to support the People’s Progressive Party / Civic (PPP/C).
When he returned to the political limelight, Jagdeo held a few press conferences, and used the opportunity presented at almost each meeting with the media, to take several jabs at the stewardship of Greenidge who served as Finance Minister during the Burnham era.
Jagdeo did so recently when he lent his voice to the debate over budget 2016 two weeks ago. The Opposition Leader spoke extensively on how much the coalition administration inherited from PPP’s “prudent management” of the economy.
To support his argument, Jagdeo made reference to a sworn affidavit by Greenidge which essentially highlighted how badly the country’s economy was during his tenure.
Several members of the Government ridiculed Jagdeo for making this move stating that it had nothing to do with Budget 2016 and that he was bringing “a twisted agenda to the House”.
Other Members of Parliament on the eastern side of the National Assembly also muttered, “There goes Jagdeo again with his obsession with Greenidge.”
In an interview, Greenidge said that given the number of times Jagdeo has taken swipes at this character, it is logical for one to get the impression that the Opposition Leader is indeed “obsessed” with him.
The Foreign Affairs Minister said, “But Jagdeo suffers from selective amnesia …Jagdeo has this gift of forgetting how he messed up this country and how corruption levels spiraled out of control during his tenure. Then he has the audacity to pretend that he is an economist of some worth.
He also has the temerity to claim that he is the bastion of anti-corruption. It is just ridiculous every time he does this because he is desperately fighting to be remembered for some sort of good. But he is fighting a losing battle. The most wanton abuse of Guyana’s resources occurred under his watch and that is what he will be remembered for. He failed Guyana as a Finance Minister and worse, as a President.”
Greenidge said that it is shameful that the Opposition Leader feels that the only way he can apparently “look good” in the eyes of the nation is by taking unjustified stabs at someone’s character. The Parliamentarian said that Jagdeo’s derogatory comments about him are simply a reflection of his own insecurities.
The politician recalled that when he first held the post of Finance Minister, he did a number of pioneering things which are captured within his Economic Recovery Programme. He noted that this very programme has contributed to Guyana’s restoration to good economic standing internationally.
Greenidge asserted that Jagdeo wants to show that the PPP outdid the PNC when it comes to the management of the country’s economy. The Parliamentarian said that Jagdeo can take on this challenge in a respectable manner by showing in many ways, what the PPP did to take the country forward, more specifically, what he has done to advance the nation’s financial standing.
The Foreign Affairs Minister said that this would be an impossible task for Jagdeo. He asserted that the Opposition Leader would even be unable to name one project or idea implemented under his watch that has not been shrouded in suspicions of corruption.
“His only recourse it seems is to try and destroy me and my reputation and I suspect that lies behind his own misguided mindset. In my stewardship, I took the opportunity on a number of occasions to speak candidly about the difficulties we faced and you can find in my comments in the past something which suggested that things were not good at that point,” asserted the politician.
Turning his attention to the sworn affidavit quoted by Jagdeo in the House during the debates, Greenidge said that he found it “very interesting.”
He explained that the document which was misused by Jagdeo to convey a negative impression was laid before an arbitration tribunal, a tribunal which dealt with certain allegations by a private company against the Guyana Government in the 1990s. The allegations by the company related to both the PNC and PPP regime.
Greenidge said that the late Dr. Cheddi Jagan got his lawyers to contact him to make a deposition on behalf of the Government of Guyana.
“Meanwhile, the genius Mr. Jagdeo contributed nothing to the defense of his Government. So he finds it convenient now to go to a document that speaks to a very heavy financial charge by the company. It is interesting that Jagdeo would seek now to make a case for his party by quoting words from the document as proof as to how terrible the period was when the PPP took over…
“But Jagdeo must know that you can’t make yourself great when you are not even a good economist to start with and you can’t make yourself great by devoting your entire life to trying to destroy someone every time you hear their name. This character assassination by Jagdeo is just ludicrous.”
The Foreign Affairs Minister also bemoaned Jagdeo’s attempt to use the document as a means to show that the PPP in 1992 inherited the Guyana economy, battered and bruised and was left with the tedious job of nursing it back to good health.
Greenidge added, “It is mighty strange that the PPP believes that it inherited everything bad from the PNC and now the coalition Government has inherited only good things from the PPP regime. The latest International Corruption Index Report which sees Guyana scoring poorly again speaks volumes as well as the damning revelations of the forensic audit reports.”
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