Aug 09, 2022 Letters
Kaieteur News – I learn with amazement that the President is on a rescue operation involving smoothing over the raging waters inside the higher reaches of GuySuCo. It doesn’t get higher than the board and senior management; if the two are at loggerheads, then minds become twisted, visions get distorted, neither of which helps the crippled company. But when I read in SN of President Ali’s intended salvaging mission, my first take was that this is truly the strangest of countries.
The problem is corruption, as fortified by a rash of claims about deception, and the resulting lack of trust that follows. Nobody at any level can work together when trust – that most precious and scarcest of commodities in Guyana – is glaringly lacking. It is obvious to me from the distance of the far outside that some things are not right at the sugar corp. Considering its fragile state, corruption is the last thing that it can afford, is able to endure. This is particularly applicable when we all know that GuySuCo is an expensive ward of the State, which means pressed and strapped Guyanese taxpayers. For these reasons, my thinking is that the President’s interest is not in the right place, when I ponder this mediating mission that he has made his priority.
Editor, it is my position that President Ali is barking up the wrong tree, and placing his weight on the weakest of branches. Given the roiling circumstances at the heights in GuySuCo, there is no need for a mediator or an arbitrator, even a well-meaning reconciler, as much as I am all for the latter in most situations. In my little, two-cents contemplations, what is needed, nay demanded, at GuySuCo is a truth seeker and a fact finder. The areas that should be prioritised include, which one of the contending sides (and it is more than individual parties, more like hostile factions) is speaking to truth, represents what is right. Right for the best interests of the corporation. Right for internal ambience necessary for progress to be eked out in an entity sadly lacking in such. And right for the goodwill that GuySuCo could use both from inside its sphere of ops, and on the outside as well.
Additionally, because Guyanese taxpayers fund the continued existence of the corporation, contentions about corruption must be settled cleanly and conclusively; properly also. If allowed to remain unaddressed, then it would be as if local taxpayers are willing participants in sponsoring robberies of their own persons. Further still, I must now put something else in motion. President Ali has been strident, acidic, even abusive in his own claims surrounding transparency and accountability, both of which signify a hard distaste for corrupt practices. Well, at least this is so in my book. Now, the spotlight is on the President to make good on his words, which I remind him of every so often, so that he stays centred, and in my struggles to keep him honest, as we Americans like to say.
Thus, being a Presidential broker is the wrong move at the wrong time with the wrong issue. If the piercingly attacking former director is in the wrong, then let that be noted publicly, and if a reprimand is due for his hasty zeal, so let it be. By the same token, the CEO (and he is not a lone actor, all things considered) is due recognition for his own no less stout defenses about what took place. To state my own case openly, I am convinced that there are more than tractors in this mess, and that it is the flare up and blowout triggered by a long string of other associated troubling issues. There were others before the now former director who left in anger and disgust. When all is said and done, this is where President gets to prove what he is really about: circling wagons, maintaining sketchy narratives, or a genuine leader who himself can be trusted to rise to the challenge and take no prisoners. He must demonstrate how authentic of a corruption fighter he is, by backing up longstanding words to that effect, with actions that would go far in confirming his own credibility.
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