Members of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) ‘gone again’ on a social media rampage, this time accusing people in this Government of everything that they themselves were guilty of for over 20 years.
A load of spurious, irresponsible and unsubstantiated allegations have been made against Government functionaries, ranging from money deposited in the account of a senior minister, querying who paid Compton Reid’s legal bills, and questioning the wisdom of President Granger’s recent appointment of four cabinet ministers to replace those who resigned in the wake of the court ruling on the ineligibility of dual citizens to serve in the national assembly.
The wild allegations include a Facebook posting that accuses Public Infrastructure Minister Patterson of accepting a bribe from Chinese contractors somehow associated with building projects in Guyana.
As a Party, the AFC categorically dismisses this allegation. It is nothing more than tit-for-tat. One member asked what possible reason could the PPP have for maligning the integrity of people like David Patterson and Cathy Hughes. The simple answer is that this is their modus operandi.
The PPP does not know how to do it any other way. They can’t conceive of anything else but to repeat the accusations that have been leveled at them for ten-plus years. They don’t even try to tickle our funny bones now and again by coming up with something new.
Seriously though, the PPP is unquestionably the most corrupt government in Guyana’s history, and perhaps in all of CARICOM. None has even come close. It is hardly possible for any government, especially not this one, to even try to get past the hawk-like eyes of this watching nation.
The wildly ubiquitous bad habits (alleged) of the PPP’s functionaries would be difficult to surpass – the graft, nepotism, malfeasance and misconduct in public office, blatant theft from the public purse, deliberately ignoring the law and opening bank accounts left, right and centre with funds that were borrowed from the highly reputable international lending community; the grabbing of private properties from the owners and ‘selling’ to their friends and family … this list seems to have no end.
At our press conference on Friday, Party Vice Chairman and Public Telecommunications Minister, Hon. Cathy Hughes, was moved to remind the nation of some of the mega scandals over projects that the PPP ‘executed’ over 20 years, which we all saw from the sidelines. These included the overland fibre optic cable that the PPP landed from Brazil and which should have been laid underground from Lethem to Georgetown, and used to connect Guyanese people to the worldwide web, and put the Internet in their hands.
That project had to be abandoned because of unforgiveable errors, nepotism and downright incompetence. It was so bad that they literally gave away the cable to a building contractor when they realized that they had damaged that delicate fibre cable so badly that it had no more use. This project was overseen by the son of the President.
Before the 2015 elections, qualified engineers carried out checks and found the cable just lying along the corner of the roadway when it was supposed to have been buried. This travesty cost the people of Guyana upwards of $1.3 Billion, all gone down the drain.
When the Coalition took the seat of Government in 2015, it had budgeted $240 million to repair the cable and resuscitate the connectivity project, but it could not be done, not with that cable. We were shocked by the extremely high level of incompetence, but at first we were reluctant to “call the time of death” on it. The Ministry had some qualified ICT Engineers examine every section of it, but in the end, the cable had to be abandoned because there was not one piece long enough to connect 2 villages in the hinterland. It was a sinful waste!
Minister Hughes also mentioned the hundreds of Millions of dollars reported stolen from the Guyana Gold Board, and the Billions of Dollars that were wasted when the Charity and Supenaam Wharves floated away without ever being used by the public. This Government rebuilt and strengthened those structures, and hundreds of bridges, roads, dams, stellings, landings and other infrastructure.
So when the PPP accuses us of corruption, we see the thumb that is pointed back at themselves.
And let’s not forget the Cheddi Jagan airport project. The poor man must be spinning in his grave. First, the project that THE PPP HAD APPROVED, had major design and conceptual flaws. Oh, they boasted that the airport was going to become a South America-Caribbean travel hub. The only problem was that nowhere in the plan was there any space for a car park!
We continue to be grateful that our party is full of men and women who are made of stern stock, whose characters remain strong despite the PPP’s attempts to transfer their sins onto them.
Here is how Party Treasurer Dominic Gaskin described the nonsense about Minister Patterson: “I think we are dealing with a bunch of makeup artists. I have no doubt it is utter rubbish. There is no truth in that allegation”.
The panelists also addressed the PPP’s former parliamentarian’s question about citizen Compton Reid’s legal bill (the challenge to the No Confidence motion was filed by him).
So, is there a rampant case of amnesia doing the rounds? This former Parliamentarian omitted to remind the public that the PPP third-term appeals were filed in the name of a citizen from West Ruimveldt, Cedric Richardson. Local media had reported that Mr. Richardson had once worked at the Finance ministry during the reign of Jagdeo. Maybe he came out of his own pocket to pay the high-priced lawyers who had argued the case at the CCJ.
As for the re-assignment of those Ministers who recently resigned from Cabinet and Parliament following the High and Appeal Court rulings on the Constitution, Minister Hughes basically said that no Government in its right mind would put such skills out to pasture.
She cited former Foreign Minister, Carl Greenidge’s role in the Guyana-Venezuela border case now before the World Court, saying, “I as a citizen, would like to be sure, as we go to the International Court, that we have the best team there. There must be maturity and institutional knowledge in our deliberations. We would be stupid as a nation to remove Mr. Greenidge from the team preparing our case in the international court”. In fact, our entire country’s future and the imminent inflow of wealth from the oilfields in our EEZ that Venezuela has already claimed, depends on Mr. Greenidge’s knowledge of the border impasse with Venezuela.
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