Sep 28, 2021 Editorial
Kaieteur News – Everything in the conduct of this nation’s business is sealed in secrecy. Everything of substance, that have significant meanings and implications for the ordinary Guyanese man and woman, qualifies for being hidden away from the attentions of citizens high and low. Though we have written about it before, secrecy in national governance is simply something that cannot be spoken of in passing, and then left alone. Secrecies, as practised by powerful political leaders, must be exposed at every opportunity, which is why we speak of it again today.
There are parts in the conduct of the business of the State that must be kept under wraps, with only very few people knowing. We understand that, and so do most reasonable people. But some of the pieces of information that are being withheld under the tightest lock and key by the PPP Government from the eyes and minds of Guyanese do not fall into any such category. For emphasis, we repeat this simple position of ours, because it is so far-reaching, so full of meaning: the information relative to some of the developments in the handling of this country’s business do not qualify for marking as secret, or with the name of its little brother, confidential. The related information fits into the classification of what every Guyanese needs to know.
On the one hand, and from the perspective of citizens, it is material enough to their well-being and the burdens of their present and future’s existence, that they have a right to know; this is not as favour from leaders, but of what is due. While, on the other hand, from the perspectives of Government’s leaders, there should be nothing that is endangering to the welfare of the nation, or so revealing that it makes this country’s inside affairs subject to manipulations and possibly costly disadvantages.
Now, we at this publication will lay out the broad specifics regarding some of the information components withheld, wrapped in leadership secrecies, and let others be the judge. We will insert our take, but will do so in a measured manner that leaves room for other thinking, similarly reasonable, because such is founded on commonsense and life’s accepted norms.
There have been continuous issues by many from numerous quarters with what is nothing less than a criminal oil contract, as executed by the previous Coalition Government. The current PPP/C Government came into office and promised (it did more than that, indeed, its leaders committed repeatedly) to be open and on the table with future oil arrangements and the surrounding details. But no sooner had the words passed their lips than they closed up shop, and transformed into stonewalls of tomblike silence. The President, the Vice President, and the Minister of Natural Resources Minister all, at different times and different forums, committed to information sharing. Then, they turned right around and ate their words, as though they never said it, such never existed, and even if it did, it meant something else. Something totally different, as in the opposite, namely, sharing became withholding, transparency converted into secrecy. And this is with a focus on oil only.
We have had the Payara report that political leaders in the driver’s seat committed (now the dirtiest of words) to delivering in short order. It has been a long wait, and we are still at a loss, as to why whatever it contains has to be hidden. The Payara report should have offered PPP leaders in government, the opportunity to level the playing a tad more in Guyana’s favour. Moreover, it could have opened the eyes of hopeful Guyanese that, finally, there is a government (the PPP), and an oil leader (the Vice President) who is working tirelessly and honestly and powerfully on their behalf. All of this is lost, because secrecy reigns.
It is the same thick secrecy with audit and local content reports that are kept away from Guyanese, as though they are dark documents that will imperil this society. It is of expenses that citizens have to pay, either in taxes levied later, or lesser oil profits and local content priorities that never trickle down to them. Secrecies like these are beyond explanation, lack foundation. Such secrecies are killing us.
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