Transparency Institute of Guyana Inc. (TIGI) personifies everything that is so tragic, sickening and morally backward about this country. I am addressing this evaluation here to the countless young people of Guyana who have to stay and live here and are looking for a meaning future in this land in which they have to carry on their existence. These young people deserve to be led by people who have at least some independence of mind and operate with encouraging courage.
In its response to two letters I wrote about it, TIGI published its reaction in KN on Saturday. But there are no signatures, just the name “TIGI Board” at the bottom of the letter. That is a glaring Freudian act designed to hide identities. TIGI should be transparent and publish its board members.
These nameless people think I should offer an apology to them because I published the wrong issue about its disagreement with Donald Rodney. I have been a social activist my entire life and a media operative for 31 years. During those years, I have apologised literally countless times. I will not do so to TIGI. I do not see that organisation as an entity that is principled and open. I regard it as an opportunistic organisation that is unfit to pronounce on lack of transparency and the presence of corruptibility in Guyana.
Here is my point by point exposure of the double standards of TIGI;
1. No rejection from TIGI so far that one of its directors said that he only reads one newspaper. Where does he get his knowledge of Guyana to do TIGI’s work?
2. TIGI repeats in every response (including its Friday missive) to me dating back to May 2019 that TIGI could not and cannot comment on what takes place at UG because conflict of interest will arise because its head, Dr. Troy Thomas works at UG. No adjective is more fitting than “asinine” to describe this attitude.
UG is a seminal institution. If there are public reports of lack of transparency, TIGI has a moral duty to investigate and the commonsensical thing for Thomas to do is to publicly state that he will not be part of the process because of his status at UG. He never did that during the three years of Ivelaw Grifith’s tenure. TIGI has not commented even using one line of what took place at UG.
3. Here is graphic stupidity on the part of the board of TIGI. In its letter on me, it says Thomas has recused himself and was not part of the composition. So why did he not recuse himself since 2016 when UG was being exposed by the two unions and Chris Ram wrote in the press about being stymied in attempting to do his audit work at UG? In 2016, Griffith did a curious thing. What did Griffith do that TIGI was silent on?
4. Every young person reading TIGI’s letter should be revolted at the following words of TIGI; “In the simple world of Freddie Kissoon, TIGI does investigations. Transparency International of which we are an affiliate does not do investigations. TIGI would enquire into a matter. That is different… Investigations are generally the purview of investigative journalists.” What pathetic nonsense is this? This is a bizarre definition of the word and process of “investigation.”
Every credible organisation does investigation. It is a basic requirement of life. The Bar Association, the Trade Union Congress, SASOD, Private Sector Association, Guyana Council of Churches will investigate once a matter involving their constituencies are involved. Is TIGI telling this nation that if businessmen’s goods are being seized on the wharves, the PSC will not investigate if there is a report in the newspaper, only when someone comes to make a claim? We are told that “TIGI would inquire into a matter.” So after enquiring, the process stops there? And why enquiring is not part of the process of investigating?
5. If Thomas cannot comment on reprehensible governance at UG involving lack of transparency because he works at UG, an attitude repeated by TIGI in the letter under question here, then can TIGI please solve the contradiction that he spent an hour with Chris Ram on public television critically commenting on bad governance at UG.
6. TIGI wrote; “We are glad that Freddie Kissoon, as he says, recognises the work we are doing.” I have taken that back. I no longer feel that way. TIGI’s countless pronouncements on lack of transparency in Guyana should be questioned. Did it ever do any investigations before it arrived at all those conclusions?
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