As a guest on the Kaieteur Radio, I was asked to comment on the new Cabinet and I mentioned – Kwame McCoy. I would be lying if I say that his ministerial status did not surprise me. But I did say that people can change.
McCoy was charged with criminal assault against me along with Jason Abdulla and Sean Hinds, notorious bad boys of the PPP government. Based on Abdulla’s confession statement McCoy and Hinds were charged.
In relation to the new Cabinet, I said on Kaieteur Radio that humans can change and that humans are capable of infinite goodness. Many of the PPP ministers will learn from the past. People are capable of internalizing the mistakes of the past despite the traditional saying that people never learn from history.
It is up to those ministers who were previous wrongdoers to examine where they went wrong and transform themselves into new people generating new ideas of goodness and quality.
Under Priya Manickchand, as Minister of Education under the Ramotar presidency, her representative to the UG Council, voted for the termination of my UG contract, an act not possible if the representative’s boss, the minister, did not sanction the way she voted.
I have nothing personal against Ministers Manickchand and McCoy. I told Kaieteur Radio that at the moment, I have no negative comments to make on the new Cabinet. It is up to those Cabinet members in the Jagdeo and Ramotar presidencies to examine roads taken during their previous tenures that should have been avoided.
On Kaieteur Radio, I did mention Dr. Frank Anthony and things I remembered when he was minister in charge of the CARIFESTA Secretariat. You never forget some experiences in your praxis. A married couple came to me at the Church Street entrance to Merriman’s Mall, opposite Bonnie’s Supermarket. The wife had tears in her eyes. They supplied stationery to the amount of half a million dollars and were never paid by the CARIFESTA Secretariat.
There is a little store on King Street, opposite the High Court. The owner supplied the CARIFESTA Secretariat with a million dollars of bottled water and was never paid. See my article of Monday, September 19, 2016, captioned, “President Granger, please pay Mark John!” Mr. John told me he did speak to Dr. Anthony. Both of these victims of PPP’s wrongdoing were small people. Yet the APNU+AFC regime paid B. K. Tiwari monies that were owed. I could never shut my mouth on such painful wrongs done to small people anywhere in the world.
As I told Kaieteur Radio, I have no negative comments to make on the new Cabinet and it is my obligation to wish its members a happy journey down the pathways of power. But the PPP leaders have to be people devoid completely of IQs if they cannot understand why they won the 2020 national election.
McCoy, Manickchand and Dr. Anthony have to know why they won, and I believe they know. The APNU+AFC was defeated in 2020 because a majority of Guyanese thought that the leaders in the PNC and AFC were not of higher quality than the previous PPP leaders and that they voted wrongly for APNU+AFC in 2015.
I can point to one such person – Frederick Kissoon. I saw the PNC and AFC leaders as identical replicas of the PPP when they exercised power in 2015. I hate when people personalize the issue and ignorantly tell me that I should not have criticized APNU+AFC because look what the PPP did to me. I know what the PPP did to me. The scars are indelible in my mind and those of my wife and daughter.
But I refused to choose sides when there were no sides to choose from. I wanted to see a party representing the Indigenous people go to Parliament, so I pushed Lenox Shuman in my columns and voted for him. If not him, I would have voted for one of the smaller parties.
Five years have passed since the ship of the PNC and AFC leaders got blown away because the captains of the vessel were ignorant, unlearned, insensitive, morally questionable, incompetent and visionless. The entire PPP leadership has to comprehend the reasons for that defeat. They should understand that the electorate is an unforgiving institution. The incumbent in Barbados did not win even one seat. That is how the electorate sees power.
People will always change. It is my hope that after spending 15 years at the helm, Bharrat Jagdeo is aware that vast mistakes were made, crude reactions were given off and unnecessary victimization hurt people. My expectation is for a better Jagdeo and a better PPP.
(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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