Kaieteur News – Ralph Ramkarran, an attorney-at-law, while admitting that the Vice News report failed to provide a smoking gun against the Vice President, nonetheless concluded that Vice News exposed a sliver of what many people know to be the widespread underbelly of what many believe to be widespread corruption in Guyana. But he did not elaborate of perceived instances of this existence of widespread corruption.
Transparency Guyana has lent its voice to calls for an investigation into allegations that there is an organised ring of bribery and money laundering. All of this emerged from the Vice News feature in which the faces of the persons making statements about bribery and flying money were either not shown or shrouded.
How can it be established therefore that the allegations were made by the persons to whom it is attributed? In the meantime, the Vice President has sued a man named Su who is alleged to have made certain statements against him, but he has not sued the news service which publicised those allegations. Very interesting indeed!
Following the mass murder-suicide at Jonestown in which more than 900 Americans died on Guyanese soil. Walter Rodney gave a lecture at Stanford University. That lecture is available on YouTube. In that lecture Rodney sought to explain the sort of society which could produce the Jonestown tragedy. His talk has relevance to the present discourse which is taking place in Guyana on corruption.
A few nights ago, Clement Rohee, a former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Home Affairs made a valid point – one which Rodney did allude to indirectly in his talk. Rohee spoke about the greatest corruption in Guyana being the rigging of elections. Rohee made the statement on the Freddie Kissoon –Leonard Gildarie Show which is aired on the Facebook page of the Guyanese Critic.
Election rigging creates the conditions ripe for corruption. Yet many persons who have called for an investigation into the Vice News saga have restrained themselves in demanding an investigation into the attempts to rig the 2020 general and regional elections.
According to Rodney, corruption is not an aberration of the Third World. Rather, he says, it is part of the normative (and we in Guyana might want to say normal) political behaviour now established in the Third World.
Rodney noted that at the time you had to have a permit to have even US$10 in your possession. But the Jonestown commune was allowed to move foreign currency in and out of the country freely. They also had guns in their possessions, without the usual procedures being followed. They were also believed to be involved in moving precious minerals – gold and diamond freely without the usual controls being applicable.
It is now known that a key political operative, one of the most powerful figures in the government, sought to intervene to subvert the course of justice in order to benefit Jim Jones in an adoption case.
Rodney was making a point about how political corruption erodes accountability. And about how authoritarianism in the State was mirrored in the commune.
Unless therefore political corruption is arrested it is useless to be talking about fighting corruption. And the chief cause of political corruption is the lack of accountability and transparency which flows from rigged elections.
In 2020, in Guyana there was an attempt to rig the elections. That attempt did not succeed but went on for five long months. Had it succeeded, the country would have been returned to a state of political dictatorship which would have seen greater political repression and, most definitely, the lack of transparency and accountability.
Accountability and transparency are the first two things which have to be fixed in addressing corruption. But how do you address these things when the governments love to hide behind confidentiality clauses and national security considerations.
The one which is often overlooked, and was also overlooked by Rodney is the size of the State. A smaller State in which the government becomes less and less involved in the economic sphere, is less likely to have as much corruption than in a small, lean State.
However, in Guyana what we have is an ever-increasing State bureaucracy. And the larger the bureaucracy the greater will be the avenues for financial malfeasance.
If the people of Guyana want to fight corruption, then government has to be downsized. Instead of doing this however, the State sector is expanding and with it the risk of even greater corruption.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.)
Sep 30, 2022By Sean Devers Kaieteur News – Jamaica Tallawahs and Barbados Royals have been arguable the best teams in the 10th Edition of the Hero CPL and tonight, on a Providence track which has been very...
Sep 30, 2022
Sep 30, 2022
Sep 30, 2022
Sep 30, 2022
Sep 30, 2022
By Sir Ronald Sanders Kaieteur News – “Every bullet, every bomb, every shell that hits a target in Ukraine, hits... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]