Call it a time warp, a black hole, or a bad dream. Since taking office, those in authority have not been honest with the people. They have been tiptoeing around several issues related to honesty, misconduct, and the awarding of contracts.
To be dishonest is unconscionable; it is a bad practice that should be stamped out since the impact stretches far beyond those persons who selfishly decide to be dishonest.
Moreover, there is nothing worse than when someone makes false declarations in resumes and is caught, only to be supported by political friends, who in their wisdom have decided to ignore the seriousness of dishonesty and its impact on society.
Many are familiar with the phrase about the drunkenness that power can inflict, and, even worse, the dangers of absolute power. Often, when we speak of people being drunk with power, it is in reference to those politicians, who will undergo the Jekyll and Hyde transformation to defend their dishonest friends.
The release of information a few days ago, about a diplomat who has admitted to fraudulent and improper accounting conversions in the United States and was convicted and fined by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) fits snugly into the mind-boggling category.
The argument is that this was a civil case and therefore does not hold the same weight as a criminal matter, the likes of which sent Bernie Madoff and Martha Stewart to jail. This may be the case but as a diplomat, this conviction should have been made known.
It appears that proper due diligence was not done on this individual before he was appointed an ambassador. Ambassadors, who are the highest ranking diplomats to represent their countries, should be honest, trustworthy and credible. Being dishonest and making false declarations should disqualify anyone from becoming an ambassador.
It is worthy to mention that shortly after the government took office, we were advised that there should be no haste in replacing ambassadors appointed by the former administration. Our thinking was that two or three months would be enough to replace or to relocate our diplomats. But more importantly, we were told that the government would appoint nominees based on merit and good character and not based on political partisanship.
Many believe that these positions should not merely be seen as jobs for friends or relatives or for individuals who make large financial donations to the governing party. They were wrong, because the said diplomat contributed to APNU+AFC coalition.
We take no comfort in knowing that one of our diplomats has been found to be dishonest and some in the cabinet are covering up for him in order to avoid shame. Unfortunately, the situation with this diplomat cannot be taken lightly or be considered a private matter as suggested by a cabinet member. The mere fact that he did not disclose to the government that he had declared bankruptcy and was involved in illegal practices and was fined by the Securities and Exchange Commission shows his intent to deceive the government and people of Guyana.
The government will lose credibility and moral authority if it yields to dishonesty, misconduct and those who flout the laws and receive a mere slap on the wrist simply because of their status. It must treat everyone equal
In the 50 years since the nation attained Independence from Britain, we went through some good and bad times. We have experienced pride and joy; we had years of plenty and periods of need; and we endured the epoch of tolerance.
However, we have now entered a disturbing new phase of deceit and dishonesty; the era of misconduct and wrongdoing, the phase of intolerance, untruths and power drunkenness. Shame and disgrace have descended upon us.
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