A day after the Kashif and Shanghai Organisation issued a statement denying that it propagates the policies of any political party, a picture surfaced on the social network Facebook of co-director Kashif Muhammad wearing a PPP/C jersey.
Additionally, a picture was uploaded on Blackberry messenger apparently showing that Mohammed marked his X near to the PPP/C symbol on November 28, Election Day. The marked ballot was positioned near to his national identification card.
Observers have pointed out that one’s voting preference is a private matter but that by apparently making it public Mohammad has risked politicizing the tournament particularly at time when there is division among the public and parties in the recent general elections.
The K&SO has benefitted from the largesse of the Bharrat Jagdeo government which pumped millions of dollars into the organisation’s end-of-year football tournament that is now in its 22nd year.
Up to press time last evening this publication was still awaiting a statement from the K&SO on what prompted its statement on Wednesday. When Stabroek Sport had contacted K&SO, Muhammad said that there were some rumblings that suggested that the K&SO was exhibiting partisan politics. He did not provide details.
However, in their statement on Wednesday the organization dispelled the rumours, stating that it was possible that the tactics of the peddlers of the rumours were to cause the decline of the 22nd K&S football tournament.
Part of the statement read, “Indeed, it would appear that one of the objectives of what has developed in (a) serious, media-driven campaign is to cause support for the 22nd tournament to decline.
“At the outset, the Kashif and Shanghai Organization wishes to make a few things clear. First, as an organization we neither hold nor propagate any party political position. Secondly, the Kashif and Shanghai Organization has not, on any occasion, organised, facilitated or been involved in any activity of any nature associated with the promotion of any political party or any political point-of-view; and we challenge any individual or organisation to tender credible evidence to the contrary.
The scope of the annual Kashif and Shanghai tournament requires the organisation to interface with various important institutions, including the Government of Guyana. The fact that our tournament now enters its 22nd year has meant that we have had to interface with separate political administrations; and we have benefitted from the support extended by the Government of Guyana in all of its various manifestations.”