Three years ago, Guyanese voted for a change, essentially because of the massive corruption, arrogance, lack of accountability and transparency, and crime, especially extra-judicial killings and armed robbery. Today, many are asking what is happening to our country. Where are we headed right now? Who is in charge, and if they can show, rather than claim, that someone is in charge, then they should step up and begin to lead us somewhere.
Many believe that the current government is performing poorly. Since taking office, it has failed to reverse the failings of the last administration or lift the country from its underdevelopment status.
Underdevelopment is not just a collection of statistical indices. It is also a state of mind, a way of expression, a form of outlook and a collective personality marked by chronic infirmities and forms of maladjustment. While this description is a bit harsh, it deserves our attention. There is no doubt that significant employment, financial and engineering capital are being lost due to corruption, kick-backs from contracts and sloppy work by contractors.
In some cases, contracts that start off at a few million dollars eventually run into tens of millions, which no one could explain and no one is called to publicly account for .This was the case with the previous government and it is happening under our noses right now.
Political scientists have claimed that there is no such thing as honest, uncorrupt or righteous politicians. Part of the reason is their constant denial of the truth.
Let’s face it, our culture is corrupt and our work ethic, attitudes and behaviours are geared more towards underdevelopment than progress. We should realize that we compete not only among ourselves, but more so with the outside world; therefore, we could face harder times if we do not adjust our behaviour and improve our work ethic. In truth, we have created a very corrupt, deviant culture and the rot of our indiscipline has become unbearable. The decline must stop. We must change course if we are to progress.
It has been repeated ad nauseam that we have delved into darkness with regard to crime, corruption and vindictiveness, especially by those in the past government. Except for corruption, which brought enormous wealth to a selected group during that period, the country has nothing much to show for the economic windfall it is blessed with after 50 years of independence.
Today, those who are given the mantle to rule have not done so judiciously and efficiently either. In fact, it’s the same sad story. It seems that white collar crime is so much of the norm in the country that we accept it as part of our lives and no one is brought before the courts for unimaginable losses. White collar crime is not even really discussed in society as we discuss street crime, such as armed robbery and gang violence.
While there is relative stability in the country, the people have far less confidence for the long term future, with issues such as crime. And the same can be said for the business sector, which justifiably continues to express grave concerns. We cannot continue to just hope and pray that our myriad problems will go away. They will not. It is time for our government and relevant authorities to seriously address the things that have been affecting our people from time immemorial.
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