Sep 17, 2021 Editorial
Kaieteur News – We at this publication take a bold position. What we have here as a standard, in standing leadership protections, has outlived its useful life. That should have been gone a long time ago, such an unnecessary and almost criminal baggage it has become for this poor, weak nation. In addition, in view of what has happened here, under one government and leader or the other, it is long past the time that presidential exception and any other leadership immunities should have gotten the boot.
We speak broadly, so as to cast the widest arc, unscrupulous and wily politicians, not only leaders, have taken the fullest advantage of the protections on the books. They have abused and chronically misused such protections to steal from this population, and then use every asset at their disposal to falsify with more trickeries. They do so with a combination of deceptive practices, ranging from exploring the law for any protective loophole, dissembling blatantly or not saying anything (stonewalling when it suits their purposes), and attacking messengers with unwanted messages in efforts to overpower and cower them, and continue along the same thieving, shameless ways.
We appreciate that political leaders, especially governing ones, cannot afford the time or energy to be tied up in court appearances and routine summon and suits. We are in full agreement that they should be granted immunity from what are clearly frivolous, vexatious, and overly litigious, sometimes malicious. But on those issues and areas that are of vital national significance, then there must be provisions for calling leaders, leading politicians, and their inner casts, to book. In other words, they must be made to feel the heat, with their faces pushed closest to the oven. Let the legal and judiciary flames lick at them, let them be made answerable, let leaders who go down the wrong way pay the price.
We look at our rapidly growing oil wealth, and our diminishing understanding of what is going on with it. What is truly happening with it, from its management by political leaders, to their leadership manipulations with this wealth, and to the disturbing terminations of where and how this wealth could be, and mean. The same goes for our other natural resources wealth also mismanaged and then with the devious delivered to the public. To that could be added, extrajudicial killings composed and conducted by political leaders, under one disguise or another (crime fighting, freedom fighting, national security), and clean governance with the big-ticket items in this society’s patrimony. Our history shows us, repeats to us, and confirms to us that we have not been treated honestly by our leaders, but most poorly, and with the very costly resulting. It is why the bulk of Guyanese are still so poor, after owning such an abundance of riches, having so much potential.
Political leaders know that they can get away with murder, so they kill and bury the truths that we should know. They sense that they commit the worst of arsons, so they incinerate our hopes and dreams. They do so with a smirk and a smile, and to our faces, because they know that they can get away with every manner of villainy with the nation’s prospects and treasury, so they engage in such villainies with real impunity. It is time for that to be changed. Moreover, this is what we put before our fellow citizens, be they thinkers or tinsmiths, professors or peasants, or critics or comrades. None should be so limited as to think it overreaching, or out of step, or not necessary. Given what our leaders have done to this nation for the last half century, we should not wait a moment longer.
It is our position that Guyanese should not sit back and wait for the local equivalent of an Augustus Pinochet, or Manuel Noriega, or Reza Pahlavi to come to full flower, through all the devastations that have been wreaked at their hands, to happen here. There should be no hanging around, while hoping and waiting for international pressure and international sanction. We must and should change what we can do here. Any meaningful constitutional reform must include provisions for removing immunities and holding powerful leaders to account.
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