The truth must come out about contracts signed by the current and previous governments
The most recent revelation by Mr Winston Brassington that he bought 2,250,000 of Hand-in-Hand Trust shares on behalf of his brother, Jonathan Brassington is a clear conflict of interest. His statement that his brother’s investment in Hand-in-Hand Trust actually saved the company from bankruptcy is disgusting. It is still unclear how Jonathan Brassington who resides permanently in the United States knew about the dire straits of the company to purchase shares, even though his brother admitted that there was no advertisement for the purchase of company shares as this would have caused a run on the financial institution.
From the beginning, the populace has been very concerned about NICIL public assets which are unaccounted for, but now they have every reason to be worried about the unethical purchase of shares in Hand-in-Hand Trust Company by Mr Winston Brassington‘s brother, the secret US$150 million contract to the corrupt China Harbour Engineering (CHEC) under the Jagdeo administration, and the $1.3 billion pharmaceutical contract awarded to Mr Jagdeo’s friend, Bobby Ramsaroop without approval from the tender board, and the investigation into possible fraud at NCN. What next?
Mr Jagdeo has not disclosed the details of the secret contract which was signed with CHEC during the height of the 2011 election campaign.
What we know is this: 1) CHEC was banned by the World Bank for five years because of its corrupt practices; 2) one person has been executed in China and the son of the former Prime Minister of Bangladesh was sentenced to six years in prison in absentia for taking bribes from CHEC; and 3) former President Jagdeo has now called on President Ramotar to re-examine the airport contract. The opposition must demand an investigation into this contract.
Another Chinese contract signed during the period of the Jagdeo administration is the Skeldon sugar factory where hundreds of millions of dollars that the taxpayers can ill afford now has to be spent to make the factory semi-functional. We believe that the factory is probably worth more as scrap metal than as a sugar factory. The irony of it all is that the same Chinese company that built the Skeldon Sugar factory has been given a multi-million dollar contract to upgrade the transmission system at GPL.
We in the AFC want a thorough investigation of these contracts to determine if CHEC or any other Chinese company was engaged in any corrupt practice in pursuit of these deals. These troubling revelations have resulted in a public mistrust of President Ramotar’s ability to efficiently handle the financial affairs of the country. The big fishes in the PPP should know by now that the people are not prepared to stand idly by and allow corrupt practices to continue.
Ever since the NICIL fiasco became public, all those concerned have gone ballistic and have imposed a culture of secrecy to hide the truth from the Guyanese public. Some take it upon themselves to mislead the public while others are busy spreading propaganda about the effects of the budget cuts on workers to distract the populace from the truth.
The minority PPP regime seems to want Guyanese to accept a society, indefinitely, in which the poor and the working class would permanently become the hewers of wood, the drawers of water, and the mindless cipher that has no place, no ideas, and no contribution to make to society.
The big fish believe that it is their right to dictate to the masses. In power for twenty years, they have created an inferior society in which the poor and the working class have no proximate opportunities to advance and express themselves and to develop their creative potential. The regime continues to stifle the will of the people just as Minister Rohee attempted to do in the case of Assistant Commissioner of Police David Ramnarine for speaking the truth.
Unfortunately, the media, particularly NCN, have become the drum majors for falsehood. With a minority government, the PPP ought to know that it can no longer have its way all the time and further, that since the opposition has a majority in Parliament, it is always wise to cooperate rather than use bullying tactics.
An integral part of leadership is to know when to graciously give in to majority decisions rendered by Parliament. But the regime has ignored the wishes, hopes and dreams of the majority of the population with naïeveté and arrogance.
It is clear that the Ramotar regime has erred badly since taking power. Sadly, the costs of these mistakes have to be borne by the overburdened poor and working class taxpayers. We surmise that the way forward cannot be for the minority regime to continue its dictatorial policies and the squandering of taxpayers’ money.