By GHK Lall
Kaieteur News – It should disturb me tremendously, but it does not. That is because what unfolded at the State agency, GUYOIL, was so inevitable that it could not be prevented. I write today of the utterly disturbing, except that almost all Guyana would read and absorb, then move forward. That is, until the next ugly report of white-collar criminality hits the news. After all, de adder people dem used to duh de ezact same ting wen dem bin in deh. Now I share with Guyanese the reasons why I am so completely settled in my convictions that this was so predictable and just had to happen, be it GUYOIL or elsewhere.
The PPP government rode to power on an American horse labelled democracy. From the mouths and lips of its Listerine-rinsed leaders poured forth a strange and uncharacteristic language. It was called clean governance, with the man at the top, a huge question mark himself, making such deceptive and frivolous oaths as transparency, unity and democracy. There were several things that were upside down with those words from the inception. The first was the source of them, who it was anticipated was going to be the perfect example of a bumper sticker president. And after a mere nine months at the helm, His Excellency, President Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali, has lived up to every caricature that was attached to his head, that could have been imagined. He is living, walking and talking proof of a bumper sticker leader in action. In fact, his personal presidential vehicle is so plastered with bumper stickers sayings that he cannot see through the windshield anymore. The artistry of his graffiti has so obscured the front one that he no longer has any idea of what goes on anywhere, be it GUYOIL, or GUYSUCO, or that superagency that came into being when the PPP returned to power. It is rightly christened and daily lives up to its name of GUYBOYZ.
Now this is what brings to my second reason for being unsurprised at the disturbing developments at GUYOIL. When party people have to be rewarded, PPP leaders use two selection criteria. The first is the degree of loyalty and trustworthiness, meaning how well they will hold the party’s interests uppermost. The second is the likelihood that they are going to engage in chronic and heavy self-enrichment. The loyalty criterion is visible and audible and plentiful from those just looking for a rich gig fuh mek deh hands fass and mek tings wuk out sweetly fuh demselves. As I sensed it and we now live with it, the higher the probability that the patronage seeker (contractor, director, partner) was going to engage in serious skullduggery, the more he or she could be trusted with a sensitive and known to be rewarding (for leaders and followers) placement. This is what is taking place at GUYOIL and most of those other State entities that have some abbreviation of Guyana in them. Put the right kind of thief and hustler in them and the rest is guaranteed to follow quickly. For when they partner with others to rip-off the people of Guyana, they can then be trusted not to open their mouths and speak any type of self-incriminating language. Or point any fingers at the PPP leaders who put them there for precisely that kind of criminal purpose. No! they will respond, more like defensively retaliate with such words and postures as ‘alleged’ and ‘due process’ and ‘sensationalism’ and ‘biased.’ The prowling packs of pathological scoundrels are well-schooled; very few exceptions all over.
I will use that last sentence to make this near absolute pronouncement: this is the kind of public servants overseeing the nation’s affairs and the mindsets with which they operate. With only the occasional departure, they are in parliament, on state boards, in government ministries, and in state companies. They fit the PPP’s two mandatory job requirements. And the last reason, which I use as basis for the nationwide skullduggeries, is this: Listerine-cleansed leaders mean exactly that: cosmetics and masking the deep decay inside.
(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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