If you study the criticisms of the PPP leadership since it came to power in 1992 and lost power in 2015, heaped upon it by its rivals – PNC, WPA, AFC, etc – the condemnations have always taken on two accusations – (1) the PPP is an authoritarian, incestuous party in which the maximum leader decides everything; (2) it is always protective of its “bad eggs.”
I never found those two depravities exclusive to the PPP. In fact, iconoclastic history is waiting to be written. The WPA in the seventies had its share of “bad eggs” that the leadership refused to castigate and the WPA leadership was as incestuous as the PPP and the PNC.
Here is a little story that I touched upon in a column earlier this year and I will repeat here so that it becomes part of history and the researcher now has access to it.
I received an email from Keith Branche, the Secretary of the WPA Overseas Associates. This is a body that is organically attached to the WPA and has among its members, Moses Bhagwan, Eusi Kwayana, Dr. Alissa Trotz, Dr. Nigel Westmaas, Dr. Denis Canterbury and many other WPA personnel who migrated.
Branche asked me to facilitate publication in the Kaieteur News of a letter of condemnation of Minister Broomes for her behaviour at the car park of New Thriving in Providence.
I asked, ‘Why pick on Broomes when there are so many other wrong things going on in his own party, the WPA?”
Over a snack months before at the Tastee Dish restaurant in Kitty, Branche indicated that he, Dr. Trotz and David Hinds paid a visit to Education Minister, Roopnaraine, and he found Roopnaraine’s emanations so obnoxious that he thought the WPA should part company with him.
Branche was annoyed at my reaction, threatened libel and Mark Benschop had to shut him up.
No one from the WPA has ever penned a note of disgust over Tacuma Ogunseye’s role during the “Troubles” in Buxton. In fact, the organisers of Andaiye’s funeral arrangement invited Ogunseye to speak.
It is the same with the AFC. That party is owned and controlled by a six-person cabal. It makes all the decisions. Legally, the leadership of the AFC lies in its biennial congress. The next receptacle of power is the Executive Committee of about thirty persons.
Last Saturday, at the Georgetown Club (home of the plantocracy during the hegemony of Bookers in Guyana), the executive met and those six persons flatly refused to tell the executive on whose behalf it negotiates with the PNC, what was the decision its leader, Ramjattan, made with the leader of the PNC, Mr. Granger when they met last Thursday.
It is the executive that directs what the AFC does. The leaders have to report to the executive. All Ramjattan did was to announce that when he met the President, Mr. Granger said that he would like to see a strong, independent AFC. Then Alston Stewart addressed the executive to inform them that he is now a paid consultant with the AFC.
The executive didn’t know about his official appointment and doesn’t know what his salary is. It was the executive that supposed to debate and decide who will be the paid consultant and the terms of his contract. Six persons in the AFC made that decision and refused to explain their edict.
Of course the question remains – what does a man living in Jamaica know about the complex nuances of Guyanese politics to be the advisor to a major party?
I would have taken the job for free if asked only requesting a reconditioned vehicle. Hey man, I’m not boasting, I know more about campaign strategies in Guyana than Stewart.
Let’s move over to Robb Street at the PPP head office, Freedom House. If it hit the news that Jagdeo made a deal in Iraq to bring in a foreign advisor for the PPP’s 2020 campaign and Irfaan, as presidential candidate said he didn’t know about the decision, then imagine what the PNC and AFC boys and girls would have done to Irfaan in the Chronicle.
This is the political culture in Guyana. The PNC and AFC won the 2015 election because so many of us were fools, idiots and misguided souls. We concentrated on the PPP, turning a blind eye to the two boys from the AFC – Raphael and Khemraj – who would team up with the new man from the PNC, Papa David, to save us from the PPP.
Papa David, and the twins from the AFC turned out to be very old, in fact ancient, in their thinking and political culture as all past major, Guyanese leaders.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.)
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