An indictment of government

Dear Editor,
The double standards being pursued by government are providing much cause for concern in Guyana. GINA has unambiguously declared, ‘Whenever Constitutional doctrines are ignored and are trampled upon and the Constitution is regularly violated by the National Assembly, the Attorney General (AG) has a responsibility to take the issue to the Court as it is the Executive’s responsibility which mandates it to ensure that the rule of law is maintained and the Constitution is observed, both in its letter and in spirit’ (December 31, 2012).

Recent disclosures, however, would suggest that government has failed miserably to meet its declared obligations and to uphold the constitution on its watch.

Findings from an unbiased analysis, are a damning indictment of government misdemeanours and must be credited to the diligence and hard work of Mr Christopher Ram.  He has presented the public with information that could backfire on the government if it does not curb its ways. There is now a greater need for sanctions to be placed on those who insist on violating the constitution and who are grabbing hold of absolute powers. The country is still struggling with the legacy of Forbes Burnham, who devised the constitution to usurp absolute powers for himself as being supreme and above the law.

The revelations of Mr Ram have also highlighted the claims of a former attorney general. Mr Ram was not intimidated by those who see themselves as having “expertise as a legal mind.” However, the legal mind had not distinguished between a private lottery and a government lottery (SN, Jan 20, 2013).

In his assessment Mr Ram stated, “With a modicum of diligence, Mr Ramson would have discovered that there is no Development Fund of Guyana whether under the Constitution, the Financial Administration and Audit Act Cap 73:04 or the successor provisions in the Fiscal Management and Account-ability Act No 20 of 2003. The latter makes it pellucid and mandatory that all public moneys raised or received by the government must be credited fully and promptly to the Consolidated Fund. The only exceptions, none of which applies to the 24% received from a private company, are:
(a) moneys credited to an extra-budgetary fund set up under enabling legislation establishing such a fund…”

Mr Ram concluded, “Mr Ramson’s most egregious error was his failure to recognise that the Constitution is the supreme law of Guyana and its provisions, including Article 216, cannot be swept aside by the terms of any agreement however clearly or ineptly drafted.”

It is an indictment if the constitution has been violated or its terms not recognized, and due diligence not properly executed.
No one should be above the law and, if a guardian abuses his or her sacred role in terms of both its letter and spirit, then he/she must be held culpable. Justice should therefore be pursued without fear or favour, and be delivered without compromise, regardless of status.

Yours faithfully,
Mac Mahase    


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