Kaieteur News – If you go to Enmore to serenade the people with your singing talent and the local residents did not turn up but all your relatives and friends made the journey and were in the photograph, then you deceived yourself into thinking you got a crowd.
At the recent PNC rally at Parade Ground (why Burnham named the basketball court at Parade Ground after him?), folks were transported from as far as Linden. When speakers saw those numbers, they were emotionally buoyed but they fooled themselves.
You can only test your political strength when you call a meeting without the art of bussing people to your rally. Fascinated by the engineered numbers, they got, the rally’s speakers were in full flow demanding things for African Guyanese but two days after the event, two poignant facts were revealed to the Guyanese people.
The first was that the APNU+AFC signed a 10-year housing lease arrangement with entertainer Eddie Grant that will cost the State just under 2 billion dollars. Before we expand on the nature of this decision, it was never revealed the amount SARA was paying to one of the richest Indian families in the Caribbean to house SARA’s head office.
Intimidated by the cost, it was suggested to renovate a part of the living quarters of State employed doctors on New Market Street to move SARA there. It would be nice if former Finance Minister, Winston Jordan can inform us about this situation, meaning why the large rent and why the renovation did not take place.
This newspaper stated that it was then Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson that signed off on the Eddie Grant arrangement. It would be very nice of Mr. Patterson if he can reveal the times I approached him for employment for AFC activists who risked their lives doing arduous campaign work for the AFC from 2006 to 2015.
These are the acts of betrayal that African Guyanese need to reflect on and when they do so, reshape their attitude to Black leaders in this country who want them to “bruk up.” I could be more explicit and cynically say who or what they should “bruk up” but let’s move on to a sound financial analysis of the performance of the then Finance Minister, Winston Jordan.
Based on how you examine Mr. Joel Bhagwandin’s three part series in the Guyana Chronicle, then one can interpret his examination of Jordan’s tenure as a complete demolition job. Mr. Bhagwandin does use normative judgments but statistics put out by the Bank of Guyana during Mr. Jordan’s tenure.
I quote from Mr. Bhagwandin: “As at February 2020, the government’s deposit accounts at the Central Bank stood at a whopping $82.4 billion as a negative/deficit balance from a surplus of $15 billion in 2015, while bearing in mind that these deposit accounts over the last two decades had always recorded surplus balances as high as $60 plus billion at one point. The public sector’s total deposits in the commercial banks stood at $55.4 billion which would give rise – when taken together with the balance at the Central Bank – to a deficit of $26.5 billion or US$127 million, compared to a surplus position in 2015 of $84 billion or US$403 million. The total public debt stood at $354 billion by the end of 2018, representing an increase of $24 billion from 2014, while the balance on the CF as of 2017 (the most recent publicly available data) stood at $137 billion deficit from a position of $77 billion in 2014, representing an increase of its deficit/overdrawn position by $60 billion.”
I could go on to cite more Bank of Guyana’s statistical outlay comparing the period – pre 2015 and post 2015 – but space would prevent this. The two penetrating facts listed in this column is something that the average African Guyanese may not be familiar with and the statistics may not interest them but both facts tell a sad saga of betrayal and incompetence.
People got money from the APNU+AFC regime that portrays how sordid was their political culture. I would beg AFC ministers I know for employment for stalwarts whose boundless campaign energy made the AFC’s life possible. But they rewarded billionaires who did not raise even a finger to help them with their victory.
Mr. Bhagwandin’s guillotining of Jordan’s credibility is one of the strongest indications why APNU+AFC was an ignominious failure in office. I end with a sincere call to Dr. Clive Thomas for clarification of the rent SARA was paying to an extraordinary rich Indian family. What about the African Black pudding lady? Did she make money when WPA was in power – 2015-2020?
(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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