If you are an editor, journalist, political observer, political analyst, civil society activist or a citizen who keeps informed about power and politics in Guyana, then you are a fool if you believe former ministers of the APNU+AFC regime will not be investigated for corruption.
This columnist can say with oceanic assertiveness that two ministers are currently under the microscope for criminal corruption charges. The evidence may be shocking. The nation is being treated to a daily regurgitation of sordid happenings during the five-year moral bankruptcy of the regime of the APNU+AFC.
It is utterly foolish for APNU+AFC supporters to continue to tell themselves that their party was cheated out of power in March 2020. At some point very soon, they have to be truthful with themselves. They should not expect PNC and AFC leaders to tell them the facts (not the truth just the facts of the results). The PNC hierarchy and the gang of five in the AFC are in an insurmountable quagmire.
They cannot go to their supporters and tell them they lost the 2020 election by 24,000 votes (9,000 for nine small parties and 15,000 for the PPP). It is virtually impossible for them to admit that fact because it denotes that they were failures in office. What the kings and queens of the PNC and AFC are going to do until the next national poll is to say that they won the 2020 contest but the PPP stuffed the system with bogus votes. That song will not be sung out. That bell will not be rung out. The PNC and AFC will keep singing that song and keep ringing that bell.
The APNU+AFC lost the electoral battle by 24,000 votes because those 24,000 voters who gave them their ballots in 2015, took them back in 2020. Thousands more who voted in 2015 for APNU+AFC stayed home. The statements of poll reveal that the turnout of African Guyanese was painfully disappointing for the PNC.
I have done several columns explaining the factors for the defeat. Those factors, Guyanese who do not dabble in political commentary, are seeing it for themselves in the media with each passing day. Guyanese voted out the APNU+AFC because for five years what they saw the APNU+AFC leaders doing were the identical things the PPP did under Presidents Jagdeo and Ramotar for which PNC and AFC leaders criticized the PPP for and which caused those voters to put APNU+AFC into power.
This nation has been told that Khemraj Ramjattan as Minister of Public Security in the Granger administration signed 61 percent of gun license permit for 2020 (which means for just six months) without the application reaching its final resting place which was the Firearm License Board. This committee reads the analyses the police put forward for granting and denying.
The minister’s signature is a mere formality if the answer is yes. If no, the minister can overturn the denial but the final step is the document sent to the minister by the License Firearm Board for approval or rejection. When I read that Ramjattan did this for just six months in 2020, then I reflected on my life as a political activist under two Home Affairs Ministers under the PPP government – Ronald Gajraj and Clement Rohee.
I must have penned dozens of columns lamenting the granting of gun permits by these two ministers without due process being observed. But I can say with definitiveness those two ministers did not sign 61 percent of permits without the documents going through the board within the space of six months.
I look back at my life as an activist under the PPP from 1992 to 2015 and the thought is compelling. Did I waste all those years now that I am seeing what went on from 2015 under the PNC and AFC? Did all of us who contributed to the electoral defeat of the PPP in 2011 and 2015 have to live with permanent angst and sempiternal anquish?
I have no regrets of what I did as a political activist from 1968 until August 2020. But my soul is lacerated at what I saw happening since 2015. And why? Because I helped in some small way to bring about 2011 and 2015. I will never look back in anger at my life since 1968 but I believe wrongs must be righted. I campaigned against how Gajraj and Rohee dished out gun permits. I knew lots of wrong things were going on from 2015 and I do believe in my heart, mind and soul that I had to speak up. I’m mentally happy that I did.
(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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