At the Guyana Investment Conference, a number of prominent diplomats and members of CARICOM said what most Guyanese have already known except those in the government. The Jagdeo/Ramotar cabal continues to deny that corruption exists at a massive scale and at all levels of government. It is very sad to know that the PPP regime is not only hiding the truth from the people but they continue to blame the messenger, this time, members of the diplomatic community. We recommend that they take the advice from former PPP stalwart Ralph Ramkarran who said “Corruption has become pervasive in Guyana with some Government officials compromising quality of works executed by contractors for kickbacks on projects; manipulating inside information to enrich themselves through surrogates and providing information to influential businessmen.”
Unfortunately, corruption in Guyana has permeated all walks of life in society because of bad governance from the Jagdeo/Ramotar cabal and the world is aware of this. According to Ramkarran, “corruption could no longer be hidden from the press and police. And, the evidence that is now present was not as a result of any action initiated by the Government without prior exposure. It is now clear that the adamancy of the government and the PPP in refusing to acknowledge the level of corruption in the society, and to do something about it, is linked to where the corruption is located.” Corruption has gotten so bad in Guyana that many people have taken it for granted, as a way of life today under the immoral administration.
Guyana can only progress when those in power uphold, nurture and enrich the eternal values in which honesty and integrity assume a primary position. Corruption is like cancer; it stifles development and eats away at the heart of society’s life and those who are elected to protect and serve the people have done absolutely nothing to get rid of this cancer.
Honesty is of course the best policy, but it is unfortunate that many in the regime have forgotten that phrase. When we say honesty, let us hasten to clarify that we do not mean uprightness in financial dealings only but in the overall character of a person. Honesty is a word that has a much more comprehensive connotation and content. It encompasses every sphere of life and is characterized by total sincerity, absolute integrity and undiluted efficiency in thought and action. It means truthfulness, free from fraud, deception and corruption.
In practical terms, honesty means that when a President promises the people of East Bank Berbice that they would have a brand new Highway in 2013, then they should have had it. It means that all contracts that utilize the taxpayer’s money must be laid in the Parliament to bring transparency and accountability to the process so that the taxpayers’ dollars are not spent on projects on which no Guyanese can secure a job as is the case with the Marriott Hotel. Further, contracts should be given based on competence and qualifications not to friends and relatives of the regime.
In Guyana there are approximately 190,000 families. In general, there are good citizens everywhere and this is true for our beloved country. However, if we find that in some of these 190,000 families, there are people who are not honest and transparent in making decisions and are law breakers then those homes will fail. Just like it is the right of the children in these homes to tell their delinquent parents “You are not doing the right thing” likewise it is in the power of the people to tell the ruling cabal that they are not doing the right thing by proposing an anti-working class budget in 2013 and allowing corruption to permeate every level of government.
We call on the corrupt forces in the regime to take an oath that they will lead an honest life free from all corrupt practices and set an example for others, especially the youths to follow.
We also call on all Guyanese to support organizations like Transparency International (TI) both with their time and money to help TI to continue its good work to inspire this listless, uncaring and corrupt regime to make the right turn.
Dr. Asquith Rose and Harish S. Singh