Latest update May 30th, 2023 12:59 AM
Aug 06, 2022 News
Kaieteur News – People Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C) national candidate, Anthony Vieira has warned Guyanese that they will never get the government they deserve, as long as the nation continues to turn a blind eye to matters of corruption. The businessman and sugar industry advocate made the assertion days ago in a letter he penned about his resignation from the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) over alleged corrupt behaviour by senior company executives.
Vieira said that Guyanese continue to ask themselves when the country will finally get the Government it deserves. But “the short answer is never,” Vieira charged as “too many of us in this nation are still allowing too much corruption to pass unquestioned.” Vieira had accused GuySuCo officials of manipulating systems to have matters carried out in their favour. He insinuated that corruption is not only taking place at the sugar company, but that it is a national issue requiring citizens’ attention. He said therefore that “in the nearly two years I have been associated with this government, I have seen things being done which frighten me, and I don’t scare easy.”
Vieira highlighted in his letter that in 2020, when he was asked by now President Irfaan Ali to be one of his national candidates. He said he agreed because he could not accept what the A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) had done to his family in Houston. He said however, that since 2011, Guyanese had been looking for a better representative than what they have in the two main opponents. He said that Guyanese were fed up with corruption and had put their faith in the Alliance For Change (AFC) who then took away the control of parliament from the PPP.
“In my view, since 2011 Guyanese were looking for an alternative, and they were completely betrayed by the AFC party in 2015…they joined the People’s National Congress (PNC) to form the APNU and instead of stabilizing that coalition, they were even more voracious feeders on the Guyanese patrimony than the PNC members of the government. But there is still a place for a third force in Guyana since the PPP only enjoys a one-seat majority in Parliament making what we are seeing incomprehensible,” Vieira shared. He posited however that it should be clear that for many, the Guyanese tolerance for corruption has reached the saturation point, “so it cannot be corrupt business as usual.” As such, to see corrupt behaviour and not report on it, the former Board member said he would be acting “unpatriotic.”
Vieira has become the latest of public figures to call out what some perceive as rampant corruption in various sectors of the system. Article 13 co-founder, Dr. Yog Mahadeo, just weeks ago observed that “corruption is once again reaching dangerous levels.” He was at the time commenting on the Vice News saga which featured pointedly, Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo, and other government ministers as being part of an elaborate bribery scheme with Chinese investors paying officials for access to lucrative State assets and contracts, when he called for an independent investigation into the damning revelations.
Mahadeo had said that the perception in Guyana is that a person cannot conduct any business without a connection or link to someone who looks forward to a bribe. He added that the Chinese business people claim to have top civil servants on speed dial and often get their way with a simple phone call.
Transparency advocate and Kaieteur News Publisher, Glenn Lall has also been very vocal about the increase in corrupt behaviour by public officials here. Lall has spoken against huge financial projects, contracts and other asset giveaways where the public has not been afforded the right to information.
Last year, Guyana dropped two points on the Transparency International Corruption Index, meaning that corruption in the country’s public sector had climbed, after a full year under the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Government. When the PPP/C demitted office back in 2015, the country was scoring below 30 points, it was noted. During the years of the APNU+AFC government, that score steadily improved reaching 41 points. However, in the latest ranking which was made public earlier in the year, Transparency International, a global coalition against corruption, noted that Guyana’s performance dropped from 41 in 2020 to 39 in 2021.
Apart from Article 13, local body Transparency Institute Guyana Inc (TIGI) has also spoke out against corruption. In a recent publication, the civil society group supported calls to have an investigation into the Vice News allegations of bribery, corruption and money laundering involving government officials.
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