Former Speaker Ralph Ramkarran wrote that Guyana is close to qualifying as a “Kleptocratic Republic.” Last Thursday night, Professor Clive Thomas stated that “the evidence of the underground economy is everywhere.” Then, approximately a month ago, the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce disclosed that the overwhelming majority of its members expressed strong perceptions on the existence of official corruption in Guyana. And still, still some vacillate, pretend at concern, and play clever games. Listen.
“Things are not so bad.” Or “corruption is present all over the globe.” Or “the PNC was corrupt in the past, it might be even worse in the future.” Whether defence or rationalizations, postures such as these are quickly seen for what they are: feeble, foolish, and self-serving. In terms of self-serving, read and hear some more on how corruption has invaded and tarnished the spirit; how duplicitous some have become.
Less than a year ago, I decided to share my experiences with the corruption tsunami swamping Guyana. One individual slammed the door in my face; my name and the title were inimical to rewarding associations and interests. Another fine citizen pressed sedulously for a part in the publication, was granted this, and then turned right around and threw me in front of a speeding sand truck. Things got so hot, that distance and betrayal were seen as the only options. Still another questioned my objectivity, only for me to discover anxieties and feet in multiple boats from this party.
Editor, these folks are well-placed individuals-even leaders-in this society; they are supposedly concerned citizens. They know the truth and reality of this country. Yet they play public games for private gain when the corruption monster is involved. They mislead the small man and the gullible with lip service and split (adjustable) political personalities. And all the time they are busy looking out for themselves only; they are the successful moneychangers of our times. Yes, it is this bad, and this ugly.
It is now hoped that since Dr. Thomas and Mr. Ramkarran have openly spoken of how things really are, there might be less civic resistance to what has been said repeatedly by others over the years. Moreover, I now believe that the corruption cancer has progressed beyond the runaway demanding, giving, and taking; or the routine washing and concealing. I believe it ensnares those who aspire for acceptance and inclusion; those who share psychic bonds with the powers that can enrich life in the local kleptocratic state; those who encourage fear and silence and withdrawal; and those who damn any so uppity as to dare to shed light on an altogether grievous situation.
I close by thanking Dr. Thomas and Mr. Ramkarran for substantiating what some have said over the years. Last, I also encourage the still thinking in the midst to peek at Sao Paulo and Rio and understand why the favelas (squatting areas) have erupted in protest. They will find that it has something-a lot-to do with rampant official corruption.