Kaieteur News – Two dramas played out in this country for 19 consecutive months – the 2018 no-confidence vote (NCV) and the attempted rigging of the March 2020 election. For 19 months, this country was riveted by ugly emotions, political hate, ethnic intolerance, ideological inflexibility, and exposure of the inherent character flaws of people.
In all of this, stood little me; bewildered at the people who hated the PPP so passionately that they let emotional rage and psychological deformity shape their being and in the process almost destroyed Guyana. In all of this stood little me, perplexed at the irony of my life. If anyone should have rejected the NCV and accepted the rigging of the March poll it should have been me.
Here is a little fact that has philosophical implications for understanding the nature and shape of the Guyanese psyche. The only person in Guyana who had logical, philosophical and psychological reasons for wishing the PPP to lose the NCV and the March 2020 election was me.
Those organisations and prominent citizens had no reason to hate the PPP. Isolate these people and study their individual history and you will see the PPP in its 23 years in power never even blew a strong wind in their direction to knock them off their feet much less lifted a finger to harm them. Where is the factual basis for hating the PPP thus their attitude to the NCV and the rigging of March 2020?
Let’s contrast my life with them. Twice I almost lost my life. A miasmic substance was thrown on me. Three strategically placed PPP activists were charged in what has to be one of the most incompetent and comical trials in Guyana’s jurisprudence. One was found guilty and sentenced to six months. He never served a day in jail. He was given a fairly important state job since the PPP returned to office.
I was attacked on the stroke of midnight at the nightly vigil some of us held outside parliament for one year. My attacker fled to a waiting vehicle of a senior superintendent of police who later became a security strategist for the PPP.
The PPP government unleashed the GRA on me. I was constantly harassed by the GRA’s head Khurshid Sattaur. It was so overbearing that one day, Adam Harris, my then editor at Kaieteur News, called Sattaur and said the following words I will always remember, “Why are you going after Freddie who can’t even buy a proper bench.”
Sattaur demanded property taxes from someone who has no meaningful assets. Chris Ram did the seven-year tax return for me. My assets were so meager that I ended up paying $72,000 in property taxes, a record in Guyanese financial history for someone of my modest income. Before he died, he apologised to me saying he was instructed to go after me. But I still want my $72,000 back.
Two of Guyana’s top lawyers submitted their report to the Ombudsman that found that I was illegally dismissed from UG in 2011. In that same year, my wife was pressured out of her job at GOINVEST. She and I lost monies due to us. Guyana owes me and my wife. We would like to have what we were legally entitled to.
Mark Benschop and I spent three nights and days in the Brickdam lock-up for traffic violations that carry no prison term and carry the highest fine of $7,000 at the time. A well-known PPP leader put up on the internet lesbian photographs and claimed one of the women was my daughter. It was a sick fiction against a young, innocent woman.
Each year under the PPP administration the Chronicle and Guyana Times carried a combination of 200 letters (believe it or leave it, but yes, 200) on scandalising me. I would have won hundreds of libels had I taken those two newspapers to court. The son of then PPP General-Secretary, Donald Ramotar, drove his SUV on the bridge of my nephew’s home, breaking his bones in several places. He was incapacitated for one year.
In the presence of Mark Benschop, Ramotar’s son treated the investigating traffic rank as if she was his servant. Benschop highlighted the accident on his blog and Ramotar called and threatened him. My home was number two going east from CARICOM. The Ministry of Works started with number one in a trench-clearing exercise, completed the entire range and skipped my part. I saw a private letter to Kaieteur News in which Ralph Ramkarran, then a big name in the PPP wrote. Guess what he requested?
I could go on but I will stop here. Those who hated the PPP during the NCV and 2020 election never received a scratch. As for me, I don’t hate anyone. I love my country. My conscience and philosophy compelled me to support the constitutionally valid NCV and oppose election rigging.
(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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