If you have a party you must be able to pay for it

Dear Editor,

The party is over and all of the guests have been bused or trucked back home and we pray that they got there safely. However there are a few house-keeping matters that we must address before we put this event (President Jagdeo’s Day of Appreciation) behind us. This was not a state event. The Day of Appreciation for Bharrat Jagdeo was a private event ostensibly hosted by labour unions, some clergy and other friends and well-wishers of the President. There is nothing illegal in holding such an event, people do it all the time; anyone who has the disposable income can have a private party.

On Friday the venue for this private bash was the National Stadium and the entertainment was quite lavish and the administration and logistics extremely complex. There was a massive police presence and the many arms and resources of the state were visible. All these things are necessary for holding such an event, especially if the planners want it to be a success. What I want to see, Editor, is the bill for this event. Starting with the National Stadium, as a citizen, I have a right to know how much was paid for the rental of the facility. The security that was provided by the Guyana Police Force, whose ranks had to be deployed from their daily routine; who is going to be picking up the tab for this and what is the dollar amount?

As I watched the paratrooping display by airborne elements of the Guyana Defence Force it became evident that this party was going to have a hell of a price tag. The fuel for the airplane, the rental for the said plane including the pay for the pilot, the jumpers – what was the cost for those? If this were a state event I could understand elements of the armed forces taking part, but this was a private party, and as such a cost has to be attached to the uses of the arms and resources of the state.

I look forward to seeing what we will find out about the cost of this event and if the treasury was properly recompensed for the services and resources used. I personally witnessed a long convoy of GuySuCo trucks and tractors and trailers, transporting people to the event. I am hoping that the cash-strapped sugar corporation will get some money for the use of its vehicles. Everyone likes a good party, but like my grandmother used to say, when it is over “It’s time to pay the piper.” I look forward to the accounting on this event, and I hope that the already over-taxed workers of Guyana will not be stuck with any part of this bill. If you keep a party you must be able to pay for it.

Yours faithfully,
Mark Archer

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