Mar 12, 2016 Editorial
In the run up to the 2015 elections the nation was convinced that there was rampant corruption. When the government changed the new coalition opted for a series of forensic audits primarily to ascertain the extent of irregularities.
It has been almost nine months since the audits began. Some of the findings have been leaked to the media and indeed they made astonishing reading. Irregularities have been uncovered but sadly, the government has not moved to indict those found to be culpable. And the nation is becoming restless to the point of reaching the conclusion that all the talk of corruption was nothing more than just talk.
We now hear that the authorities are going to have some experts look at the audit reports to make a determination on whether there are grounds for criminal prosecution in some if not all the cases. To the layman, this may sound hard to believe. If there is wrongdoing then prosecute.
However, a few years back when he served as President, Bharrat Jagdeo reminded the nation that some of the evidence cannot be presented in court for prosecution. And indeed, such is the case in the public service that while something may not be by the book, or where someone carries out the instruction of his superior not recognizing that the instruction is irregular, then the question of prosecution becomes difficult.
The Ministry or department is now left with only one option—termination of service. But even then the dismissed person would go to the courts and challenge the terminations. Some have prevailed and while the courts cannot insist on reinstatement, it can rule that the person be treated as if he requested early retirement and pensioned off.
There are many cases where those persons terminated feel vindicated. Many pursue other employment and appear to be better off than when previously employed. Yet some of the findings of the audits have been most revealing. It took a simple probe to realize that a senior official of the Guyana Power and Light Company helped himself to almost $30 million without any authority.
When contacted, this individual reportedly told the authorities that he would make restitution. Then he did what was expected; he fled the country with the full knowledge of the authorities. It was the same with the Head of the National Industrial, Commercial and Investment Limited (NICIL). The head of that organization, Winston Brassington, was cited for all manner of irregularities.
When public pressure led the government to prosecute him, he too was allowed to flee the country. The GPL official was traced to Canada but when the arrest warrant went out for him he simply picked up his roots and moved to the United States where he remains hidden.
There are others who are equally cited for irregularities but there is hardly any move to bring them to book. There is the view that state lands sold to private entrepreneurs under peculiar circumstances should be repossessed by the government is not prepared to challenge the buyers because of the political climate in this country. And so we come to the general statement that there are two sets of laws—one for the rich and the other for the poor and downtrodden.
In other countries where the system of democracy is similar to Guyana’s elections only evoke changes in the political structure. The civil servants enjoy continuous tenure because their jobs are not linked to politics. If they are engaged in irregularities on the job there is no hesitation to prosecute them.
This is what Guyana needs. It has not escaped notice that the coalition government has all but embraced those who should have been public servants but who opted for the role of the politicians. This should not be, but it suggests that the government is prepared to beyond one’s political leanings. Yet the public wants to see justice and fair play. It wants to see people pay for wrongs but the government is in no rush to oblige.
Jul 24, 2021By Sean Devers Kaieteur News – When Shimron Hetymer twice failed his fitness tests and failed to produce the runs his obvious natural talent suggested he should due to his erratic...
Jul 24, 2021
Jul 24, 2021
Jul 24, 2021
Jul 24, 2021
Jul 23, 2021
Kaieteur News – The Guyana Human Rights Association (GHRA) has replied to my “constant banging,” that is, my consistent... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]