By GHK Lall
Kaieteur News – It encourages that the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) is outraged that over GY33M in taxpayers’ dollars were spent and the children of Kato didn’t get to touch or taste the food that it should have purchased. It disturbs that PNC officials in 2017 would stoop so low that even children were robbed. This was what occurred last year with COVID-19 and flood relief money under PPP agents. The children, needy, sick, vulnerable are cheated and stolen from by the hundreds of millions, when aggregated, by both PNC and PPP comrades, and that’s it. Nothing happens. Nobody pays a price, is punished, is hung from the rafters as examples that others say: ‘Not going down that road. The Romans used to hang skulls on the roadside to warn others about getting ideas. I recommend the 21st century equivalent to get justice, to compel to ethical conduct, to establish a standard of public service honesty withz our public dollars.
It disturbs that the PAC had to ask: what’s going on? Why the police haven’t acted, hauled in some people? I ask how the PS of Local Government and the REO for Region Eight could stand before the PAC and offer the lame and unpersuasive. If there is a genuine, unflinching, determination to root out corruption in our spheres, then start somewhere with someone. We mustn’t continue with these processes and practices, which follow this pattern. Public servants steal and celebrate; auditors investigate and report; the PAC meets and wages wars using words (only); senior public servants appear before it and express sorrow and readiness to pursue criminality; and then the curtain is drawn. Case closed until next year’s PAC gathering. Meanwhile, the scoundrels who stole millions from the children are living high, having a long laugh, and plotting their next schemes using the same circle of contrite people who appear before the PAC gatherings to facilitate their frauds. Is this a farce or what? Is this a damn fool country, or what? Somebody seh sum ting nah….
It roils continually that sugar workers are worried over their future; currently the ones at Uitvlugt are. Billions have been spent, most of those wasted, and sugar people are worse off than before, which is why they are sharply anxious. The cheap political operators (PPP) who exploit them, incite them, and use them, tell them about all these ideas they have, the latest of which was hemp. It would add to the distressing, if the vision of the PPP is for them to smoke the output their toil, so that they can forget their pains, fears about their future. This is the PPP’s constituency, and there are hurting. Who is benefiting the most from sugar? Clearly, after all the arguments are over, it is not the sugar workers, but a union that maintains its existence, and PPP leaders and their comrades who give these sugar folk a song and dance story, maximise their dependency, and drive the fear of God in them by always hoisting the convenient PNC demon. I think it is a lovely way to run a losing national industry, and to convert their never ended indentureship into total slavery.
Surveying the landscape of Oil Guyana, rich and swaggering, loud and rowdy, I notice the stragglers. First, there were/are fishers; then farmers in Wales; and before and now the sugar citizens of this society. Last, I came across the story of squatters (some uncertainty over that depiction) of Linden demolition. It shouldn’t have come to that; not when squatting is now reflexive standard, embedded domestic culture. My take on what occurred was that it was a show of force by the PPP Government; a point to be made clear, as to who is boss. I am ashamed by the sequence of events: demolition, then connection from Housing. Like the big man from the big city said: “unfortunate” but “necessary.” Perhaps, we should have tried the necessary first, then degrade to the unfortunate last, and with the greatest reluctance. Patience and options have been extended to other squatters. Should have been so here. Ah! These days of wine and roses in Guyana.
(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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