We are at a time in our political history where thinking people living in our country are contemplating who will be our next president. What new opportunities and ideas does he have for our country? Can he bring our nation out of blackouts, water woes, unemployment, street vending, and crime? Can he remove the VAT or reduce it? Can he increase the five percent starvation wage increase and improve the lives of sugar workers and farmers?
These are some very tough questions I have interpolated in this thesis for our next President to deal with. We are now seeing the old political tricks of our political leaders in their campaigns. Our present administration is bragging and boasting about our economic growth and great progress as a nation that’s very far from the truth for the past 19 years during their tenure in office.
We must first ask ourselves why is it our people are migrating from this nation every day? This has been happening for the past 40 years until today after forty-four years of independence we still haven’t reached one million people in our nation. All our intellectuals and academics are abroad and scattered in the wider Caribbean. Even though our government required all passport applications to be made at the Immigration Office in Georgetown to probably curtail traveling and leaving Guyana our people are still traveling from all across the different regions just to get a passport to leave this nation. Since the dark days of the PNC to this present administration massive migration has been and still is our major problem. Those who have migrated are trained teachers, nurses, doctors, writers, lawyers, lecturers, labourers, even thieves and drug dealers. Why this massive migration after all these years of economic growth and progress many proclaimed to be happening?
Most are migrating because they are looking for better wages and salary, better housing, free from crime, better jobs and better education for their children. If we have really progressed then why is it that our people lost trust in our political leaders?
More than half of our working class of people earn less than ten US dollars per day; thus they have to turn to market or street corner selling as well to make ends meet. When I look at Georgetown it looks just like a ghetto in the streets of Jamaica where every one hustling for an extra dollar. Pavement selling has now become the only means of survival in this country because of unpaid jobs and high unemployment.
More and more stores and shops are emerging in Regent Street and all corners in Georgetown and in every region in Guyana. The sellers outnumber the buyers. So what is this false illusion of economic growth our politicians are barking about? They have brainwashed so many illiterates and half educated people by telling them to vote for us again. Why should we vote for two major political parties that have failed this nation?
Guyana needs a new vision of honest political leadership that will take us into this new contemporary era for us to compete with the world. After 44 years of independence we are still suffering from blackouts. The light bills sometimes exceed the average government worker salary. Every day droves of people will flock GPL offices to query excessive light bills. The same with GWI more and more high water bills that exceed our meagre wages. Phone bills are also very high every month I will see out of exchange and in exchange calls in excess of those made. How can we earn less than two thousand per day and buy a chicken for over two thousand dollars? This is very bad economics for our nation, no wonder people are running and dying from poverty.
What Guyana needs is a better economic policy, by implementing better salaries for her citizens of at least $120,000 per month for the average government worker. The police, teachers, public servants, and labourers will live in Guyana and not run out for better jobs and living standards. We have to learn to keep our people. If the politicians can eat turkey and steak then we ought to be able to afford the same. A true leader will put others before himself because of his love and concern for his people.
We must have a vision to eradicate poverty from our society, begging, stealing, corruption and crime. Crime has plagued this nation for a very long time. We will need a very strong police commissioner and Home Affairs Minister to deal with crime and crime from within the police force thus stamping out corruption. ‘’We must not sleep to dream but dream to change the world’‘ so said our late poet Martin Carter. Our new President must have a vision from his soul to promote a better Guyana to the World. Or the half educated will rise again to destroy Guyana.
Rev. Gideon Cecil