On Saturday, 24th March, 2012, with Councillors Eon Andrews, Patricia Chase-Green and Member of Parliament, Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine, we entertained a delegation representing vendors and business persons at City Hall.
They were articulate and a clearly concerned and responsible group. For almost an hour, they related a series of woes, mainly their sufferings and that of their customers, at the hands of young men who regularly pounce upon them to rob and terrorise.
They have become so frustrated with the system that they hardly report these daily occurrences, since neither the City nor National Police seem willing, or capable to deal with this situation.
Their conditions were described as grim. The point was made that these days no one is safe from this new breed of criminals, who steal from well known personalities such as- Rudy Bishop, Deputy Mayor Patricia Chase-Green, Raymond Gaskin and Roy Geddes.
What has happened to produce this generator of ‘Vipers’?
The letter in Sunday, 25th March, 2012, Kaieteur News titled, `Let us restore the institutions which are vital to the fight against corruption from the clutches of the powerful’ by C A. Nigel Hughes is both instructive and timely. It deserves careful study by every patriot.
For a start, the Minister of Home Affairs can do well to devote his energies to crime instead of harassing David Ramnarine who exercised his God given right to say what he knows is the truth. May I add this caveat: to David Ramnarine and others, be strong the truth shall set thee free.
However, on further reflection, the blame for this sorry state of affairs must be laid at the feet of this 20-year-old government.
One may ask, why this harsh didactic?
First, all of the available evidence shows that the majority, if not all of these bandits are in their early twenty’s; this means that these ‘gentlemen’ were weaned and nurtured during the present PPP/C regime. Perhaps without strong parental, religious and moral guidance, they fell prey to the extant environment of corruption perceived as coming from the top of our socio-political structure – overnight millionaires etc., – humans tend to imitate.
A select few who enjoy the sweet contracts, corrupt deals, exclusive pharmaceutical sales, the wanton handing over of our patrimony and ancestral property to the new elite: PradoVille, Amaila Falls, the swimming pool, the list is long but known to these youngsters born and nurtured where corruption is common place and deep in our national psyche.
The philosophy to get rich by improper means is what they see all around them. Unfortunately, the hard working, honest and astute business person can be swallowed up in this grime.
The common denominator is greed and power.
Unhappily, the present political, security and judicial systems seem to be blind to the real big bandits, the ‘big fish’ who rape our resources with impunity, but form part of the invitation list to functions. They have power and some boast about it. You see, a gun in the hands of that otherwise little fellow invests him with a sense of power.
If the President, Parliament and Cabinet are really concerned and not deceived by State propaganda, then the following all related things can be done, and this is a good time since the Budget is imminent.
First, institute some form of National Service to train and give some youths a second chance in life, to allow youths from different backgrounds and areas to learn to play and love together.
The units must however, be staffed by experienced and competent persons, no Freedom House comrades. Such competent persons are available at home and abroad.
Second, treat our Education System as a real priority – pay teachers more, repair schools, put in appropriate cultural and sporting facilities in each and every school. Seek the cooperation of our religious bodies.
Third, as a temporary measure, institute a massive cleanup of the City and countryside to repair our bridges, clean our parapets and alleyways. Again, do not put as they have done with a mini Georgetown project, a Freedom House loyalist to dole out the money, that being the primary objective.
Next, an environment where more jobs and job opportunities are available. Finally, stop distorting our history, it is like a boomerang.
Yes, the above will cost good money, but in the interest of our succeeding generations, it will be a profitable and necessary investment
In any event, look around, this government is not short of money, start with the lotto largesse, all they need is the will to do the decent thing for Guyana.
Hamilton Green, JP