Eusi Kwayana is one of the most honest persons political activism birthed in this country. Most of Guyana who know him, respect and admire him deeply. Kwayana is a legend. I knew him well before he left and always thought of him as an enigmatic person who can be irritating with his extreme willingness to be evasive and recondite. He is one of the great figures of this country that chose not to be open and straightforward with words. And I think it is deliberate.
I concluded a long time ago that it was a trait of Kwayana that he would not consciously exorcize from his personality. But it is a trait that is insulting to history, and Kwayana should be told that he cannot write so evasively, because he is doing history a disservice. I have read almost everything Kwayana wrote and writes and each time, my eyes light on what I read, I would say, “Oh God, will we know who or what he is referring to?”
Last December, on the 7th, Kwayana published a letter in the Stabroek News (I would never understand why he eschews the Kaieteur News; this is the second time in ten years I am making that accusation against him) on the quest by Donald Rodney to have his appeal heard. Here are extracts from that correspondence; “In February 1982, a learned magistrate tried a case against Mr. Donald Rodney and handed down a conviction which, to put it mildly, raises doubts about its rightness… I attended the trials of Donald Rodney and can respectfully say that they seemed to ignore rules of procedure generally accepted as vital to justice.”
When I read this piece I was livid. I said to myself; “what nonsense is Eusi writing?” Those words came into my head and I remain unapologetic. Surely Kwayana, a historic figure in Guyana, cannot be so naïve about the value of history. Almost 80 percent of our population are not familiar with those events in which Walter Rodney was killed and his brother Donald was charged as accessory to his death.
Kwayana cannot be so naïve as to not know that young minds would like to know about that era. They should be told about places, events and names. That is called the recording of history. Kwayana should contribute to the recording of history rather than trying to obfuscate history.
He tells the young population of Guyana that he attended the trial. He has harsh words to say about how it was conducted, then in typical, irritating Kwayana fashion, young Guyanese minds are told that “a learned magistrate” convicted Rodney. But Kwayana contradicts himself further contributing to your anger when you read his letter. If the trial did not conform to procedures that are indispensible for the attainment of justice, then why did he refer to the magistrate as “learned?” How can a vet be referred to as competent when he is criticized for killing your pets?
Here again is the man who doesn’t want history to be recorded. He writes; “Recently, important personages such as the former President and former Attorney General have expressed publicly the view that if the accused was unjustly convicted, the only remedy open to him was a presidential pardon… and wish to pose publicly my timid reservation at the view expressed by the former President and former Attorney General.”
Can Kwayana tell the young population of Guyana which former president (don’t tell me it was my friend, Sam Hinds) and which former Attorney-General he is referring to? What is wrong with naming them?
Ravi Dev has more willingness than Kwayana to be specific. Writing last Sunday, he helped in the recording of history. He informed this young population about serious political betrayals by WPA and AFC. He said that in 2005, a number of small parties including his outfit, ROAR, decided to come together to form a third force, but it quickly dissipated.
Among other reasons, persons that were about to form the AFC wanted to lead the new grouping and the WPA asked who were they to want to have such a role. Secondly, the WPA was pushing for these small parties to join the PNC’s “big tent” advocacy, but the small parties wanted not to be affiliated with the two big leviathans. The group broke up because WPA advocated alliance with the PNC, while ROAR and the Guyana Action Party rejected such a coalition.
Obviously, Dev was referring to the founders of the AFC and the key WPA players at the time; possible names like Rupert Roopnaraine. Maybe Kwayana can expand on this; be less evasive and help us record history.
(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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