Our politicians are not only failing us they are betraying us

Dear Editor,
The AFC has joined with the PPP to increase the public corporation loan guarantee ceiling from $1 billion to $50 billion after leading the citizens to believe that whatever position it takes is driven by the pursuit to bring about good governance. The AFC has said to this nation it was calling for a motion to increase the debt ceiling to be tied specifically to the Amaila Falls Hydropower Project (AFHP) in order to avoid giving the government a blank slate to go borrowing, yet the project is still engaging heated public debate about its financial probity and potential burden to the taxpayers.  To give support for an increase by $49 billion without having the people’s consensus on the project and putting more money at the government’s disposal without ensuring the constitutional checks and balance mechanism such as the Public Procurement Commission (PPC) and Ombudsman are in place, is taking this nation for a ride.

It is impossible to understand when the loan ceiling was at $1 billion dollars with an epidemic of corruption (which is a human rights violation) and the PPC and/or ombudsman still not in place, the government is given an additional $49 billion to run wild and is being given the AFC’s support to feel it does not have a responsibility to the citizens to abide by the constitution, respect their rights, and account for their money. The society must question the action of the AFC, for given what the party has done it did not leverage the people’s power for the people’s benefit, but the benefit of a special interest. The AFC was also prepared to go to local government elections without having new laws, even as citizens and civil society have been demanding laws that would ensure the devolution of power to the communities and holding their local leaders accountable.

It is this behaviour that makes some young people very sceptical about addressing issues of a public and political nature. It is this behaviour that emboldens the drug lords, money launderers and other corrupt individuals into believing they have the latitude to enter the corridors of power and buy national acceptance.
It is behaviour like this that makes a mockery of any attempt to rein in lawlessness. Words are not being matched with actions or deeds. The vacillation continues on the backs of the workers/citizens. Whose interests are our politicians looking out for? Is it special interests or the people’s?

Some, by their very actions are losing the moral authority to tell the government it is corrupt because by their behaviour we are seeing clearly it is not about the people’s representation but that of investors and those who want to put the people’s moneys into their hands. One needs to ask if they are sleepers in the National Assembly pretending to represent the interests of society. The puerile argument by our politicians that they will approve the AFHP after an analysis by the Inter-American Bank (IDB) speaks to a group of people who have abrogated their responsibility to listen to the desires of the people. The IDB is not a part of the governance structure of this society. It is the members of parliament whom we have voted for to represent our interests who are, and we will not accept them saying to us their approval will be hinged on the IDB or any external interest, without having the approval of the people, who they seem not to want to listen to.

Persons are being reminded politics is about people and people’s development. Our politicians must listen to us because at the end of time it is we, the people, who will have to bind our waists and repay the debt and suffer the austerity measures that can come from another reckless investment. The IDB’s interest is based on our ability to pay, not the sacrifices we, the people, will have to bear in making the repayment. Sithe Global’s interest is in making money, not the consequences the citizens will have to bear from its investment, and obviously like any business, they are driven by profit. The government’s interest is to make a name for itself. Looking at the three none has demonstrated care for the citizens.

Our politicians are contemptuous of the people to the point where the voices that are advocating on our behalf are being sidelined for greed, ego and the benefit of investors and special interests. The society must begin to analyse what is taking place before us and they will realise our politicians are not only failing us, they are betraying us.

Yours faithfully,
Lincoln Lewis

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