Guyana was once a peaceful and pleasant place. That was a long time ago when people never paid too much attention to locking doors and windows. Children had an entire village to take care of them. Those were the days when parents took their jobs seriously.
Indeed, every parent always wanted conditions to be better for their children. Those who knew what it was to go hungry always pledged that when they became parents they would ensure that their children never have to go through what they did.
I was one of those, but at the same time I never spoiled my children. They had to do without brand name clothing and footwear and they were none the worse. To this day, as adults who can buy pretty much what they want, they are not enamoured with brand name goods.
Back then children were always on their best behaviour in the presence of adults, because to do otherwise would incur the wrath of parents. A little further back in time the adult had permission to dispense the necessary punishment.
I am not sure when such community action changed, but for sure such things are no longer the case. There was my reporter by the Stabroek Market square trying to report on the problems of people and public transport.
He happened to see some policemen arresting a young man who had a firearm on him. Needless to say the firearm was unlicensed. As the policemen attempted to make the arrest some market vendors became involved. They tried to prevent the policemen from effecting the arrest. Some of them actually tried to strike the policemen.
Fortunately, there were plainclothes ranks around and they stepped in.
Some of the very market vendors had complained that criminal elements had infiltrated their ranks. They said that these criminal elements would attack and rob people then try to disappear among the vendors.
Indeed, the police would pay special attention to the vendors, much to their discomfort. These vendors then blamed the criminals for causing a slowing down of their business. Yet among these vendors are those who try to protect criminals.
It is no secret that some of these vendors would actually be fences for the criminals. Some are even known to stash drugs for the dealers.
But that is not the only sad state of affairs. During the middle of the week I got a call to inform me that a man who shares the same name as a recently promoted policeman was taken into custody.
When I heard the name I asked my reporters to check the files. They found that a policeman with the same name had just been promoted to corporal for bravery. He was the rank on a plane that crashed on West Bank Demerara.
It turned out that the person taken into custody was not the policeman but a known businessman. When the details emerged, it turned out that the businessman reportedly procured a hired gun to kill another businessman.
We leave our home each day and never know who would target us for one reason or the other. More often than not, the person who would attack us would not even be known to us.
As fate would have it, the targeted businessman who operates out of Lethem got word of the planed hit, and he reported to the police. The police found the hit man who reportedly confessed to the plot. He also, according to reports, provided text messages between him and the contractor.
Some interesting facts emerged. It seemed that the businessman had borrowed some money from the Lethem-based businessman but failed to make the repayment. The matter went to the courts and the Lethem-based businessman secured judgement.
It would seem that rather than pay, the other businessman decided that he should liquidate the debt by removing the person he owed.
I know that generally, when an individual dies whatever debt he is owed dies with him. That was the case of Guyana Power and Light and a Kingston contractor. An electrical fire destroyed the man’s property and he sued. He got judgement but he died before he could collect.
So this alleged plot was concocted. There was an earlier case that saw the death of a money changer. His vehicle was riddled in America Street by persons unknown. The police were interested in the very businessman now implicated. I don’t know what came out of the matter.
I do know that many people suspected what happened, but suspicion is never enough to convict one in a court of law.
On Friday, I asked a businessman about his policy for lending money. He told me that he does not lend. He said that lending money often causes friendship to die. People always like to borrow but they simply do not like to repay. I know many people who came to me for a small loan, got it, but never repaid.
I would tell myself that if the small loan is the cost to avoid any further loan then that is a small price to pay. Perhaps someday I would be glad for that money but until then, I am just going to go on with my life.
For sure I am not going to hire a hit man to kill anyone and I am certain that by refusing to go after the loan, no one is going to seek out a hit man to kill me.
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