The opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP/C) has responded to an article in Kaieteur News on Saturday, which stated that “Former Ministers among those to be charged next week” by indicating that such sentiments is nothing new.
Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan, told this newspaper on Friday that former ministers are among the lot that will be hauled before the court this week for suspected malfeasance in public office.
Speaking on behalf of the opposition party, former Attorney General Anil Nandlall said that the current administration has pontificated multiple positions on the forensic audit of National Investments and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL) and on what the outcome will be.
According to Nandlall, “The nation is well aware that this is nothing new. But, we note the inconsistencies in the utterances emanating from the government.” The former Attorney General said that President David Granger is on record on numerous occasions saying that the forensic audits have not produced evidence upon which criminal charges can be instituted.
However, the governing administration had indicated that the findings of the audit would attract the attention of the Special Organised Crimes Unit (SOCU) if irregularities have been found and they will decide if criminal charges are to be brought.
Nandlall went further saying that the Public Security Minister is putting forward a different position, “Khemraj Ramjattan, himself, has been quoted in the press only last month as saying that the forensic audits were merely a stock taking excise. Now, the nation is being fed a different story.”
Nandlall posits the view that the government is using this issue to distract from all the issues that the ruling administration has failed to address. He believes that the pressures that are being exerted on the administration have caused them to find a ‘juicy’ issue to distract the populace.
“Guysuco is collapsing; the parking meter fiasco is escalating; and the economy continues to contract, cost of living continues to skyrocket; criminal activities continue unabated.”
These and a number of other issues continue to go unchecked and the government seems starved of ideas to solve them, he said.
“The Government appears impotent to deal with unemployment and a lack of job creation opportunities; massive laying off of employees in the private sector at Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GT&T) and Barama as a result of the economic conditions further compound the situation”, Nandlall stated.
The former government minister said Kaieteur News has pressured Ramjattan by dragging the ‘outlandish and extravagant’ statement from him.
According to Nandlall, Ramjattan has been instructed to bring the wine and bread to the circus and Kaieteur News is the ready and willing amphitheater. This, he believes, is all part of a political and propagandistic ploy.
He stated that the ruling party is usurping the powers of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) and that this body is bound by the constitution to address such undertakings.
“If a government cannot even understand its role and functions, how can it ever competently discharge them?” Nandlall wondered.
He is of the view that if ever these charges are brought, they will not be the product of professional investigation but the manifestation of political vendetta and witch-hunting.
In a strongly worded statement Nandlall challenged the Alliance For Change (AFC) to answer to allegations that millions of dollars in bribes are being paid for gun licenses and tint permits.
“ Minister David Patterson, should come clean about the multi-billion-dollar scandal at Guyana Power and Light Inc (GPL) in relation to the meter contract and the millions of dollars that contractors claims are extracted from them as bribes for contracts which do not go to public tendering.”
The Prime Minister, Moses Nagamootoo, was not spared. Nandlall said that Nagamootoo should explain how his son-in-law became involved in the privatization of Skeldon Estate; and explain the role that the said played in the purchase of the two planes acquired by the Guyana Defence Force (GDF).
According to him there is an agenda of revenge, political vindictiveness and vendetta, on the part of the ruling administration and he believes that those that will be charged will not receive a fair trial.
According to Nandlall, needless to say if and when the charges come they will be strenuously defended.
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