Kaieteur News – Guyanese want change: change for the better. But they are looking in the wrong direction – towards the government rather than towards themselves and the political parties which they support.
The PPP/C returned to office in 2020 and put on a pappy show about political inclusion. However, the PPP/C’s idea of inclusion is to nullify opposition by either buying you out, muzzling you, giving you a job or neutralising you, as they are attempting to do with the Kaieteur News.
In the run-up to last year’s elections, the PPP/C invited submissions from the public for incorporation in its manifesto. It said that this was its approach to inclusion. Now Vice President, Bharrat Jagdeo, said then, “We believe all Guyanese should have an opportunity to craft a manifesto which we will give serious consideration to, in producing our party’s manifesto.”
The PPP/C however never published a completed manifesto, only an interim one. As such, no one knows for sure whether their suggestions were ever taken seriously. So much for the PPP/C’s talk of inclusion!
When it offered government jobs to some leaders of the small Opposition parties, the PPP/C again said this was inclusion. But what impact are those leaders having on the framing of government policy. None whatsoever!
The PPP/C has effectively neutralised opposition from the smaller Opposition parties. They have done this by offering them political trinkets.
By now, it should be obvious to the smaller political parties that instead of accepting those jobs, they should have pressed for direct negotiations in framing government policy. Given the PPP/C’s return to its old ways, the small political parties should call on their leaders, who were granted positions in the government, to resign those positions.
The second tactic which the PPP/C is using to neutralise opposition to the government rule is to lure away reporters from the private media. The private media is supposed to act as a watchdog of the government, exposing its wrongdoings.
But instead of being a watchdog, the PPP/C is trying to make the media its lapdog. The PPP/C is using taxpayer’s dollars to lure away reporters from the private media. What they are offering, relatively speaking, are super salaries to some media operatives to bait them away from the private media. These media operatives are then turned into government information officers and therefore have to tow the government’s line rather than keeping the government on its toes.
A senior government official recently interviewed a reporter from the Kaieteur News seeking to entice that reporter away from Kaieteur News. That reporter had to ask him if the position is accepted who would keep the government on its toes.
The PPP/C wants to close Kaieteur News and the Stabroek News. And ever since the launch of Kaieteur Radio, the government has been on a relentless campaign to muzzle this newspaper. But such attempts have been tried before and have failed.
The Guyanese people will not allow Kaieteur News to disappear because, if it does, the government will run roughshod over them. The country’s resources will also be at their mercy to with as they please.
The PPP/C is now operating as a one-man show and that one man is not the President. Nothing happens within the government unless it is approved by the Leviathan. One man-rule however is a recipe for disaster and slothfulness.
Thirteen (13) months have elapsed since the PPP/C assumed office and major diplomatic postings to Brazil, Venezuela, the United Kingdom and New York have not been made. It is grossly irresponsible and counterproductive to the national interest that these critical appointees have not been made. Instead, hand-picked friends of the government and children of PPP/C stalwarts have been rewarded with diplomatic postings.
Since March, the President announced the creation of the Order of Democracy, an award to honour those who contributed to the fight for democracy. Six months have elapsed and the awardees are yet to be made known. Do you know why? It has to be subject to the one-man show.
No national awards were announced this year for either the country’s Republic or Independence anniversaries. Do you know why? It has to await the one-man show.
But the one man show is in full swing within the economy. Just look at what is happening in certain sectors of the economy.
The old suspects are back and once again pushing controversial projects just as they did in the past. The same old lack of transparency what took place in the past is taking place today.
So where will the change come from? The change cannot come from government. It has to come from changes within the political parties themselves. And a good place for this change to begin is for those smaller parties to bring an end to this charge about political inclusion by calling on their leaders who accepted government jobs to surrender those appointments immediately.
(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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