Elections in Guyana have never been about ideas. From the days of rigging to the more recent times of race-baiting, Guyana has been devoid of any election – won or lost – based on critical thinking. Yet every other day someone is banging on a drum, or writing in the dailies, or otherwise calling for action to be taken against those who raided our treasury. There is this notion that this administration will pursue some investigations, jail a few PPP stalwarts and supporters and then come next elections, the PPP will lose big. And the drumbeats are getting louder and louder. However, I am amazed at those making the calls. It is as if they are living in an ignorance-bubble or as if they are dwelling in a dream world.
I sat and listened very carefully to President Granger on this matter. He was asked about his position on the audits. I even went and read the script of the interview. The President was very clear when he said that the audits were firstly to lay a framework “for corrective action” to prevent the likelihood of such financial skullduggery and ethical adultery from ever happening again. And then, “If” any are found guilty, they “could” be punished. It is very clear from how the President framed his response that the main reasons for the extensive audits are not to determine culpability for the financial atrocities.
So those who are constantly calling for arrests and imprisonment and embarrassment of some PPP folks, had better save their breath. It is this government which is paying the hefty sums for the audits. It is this administration that first receives the audit results. Yet those calling for the President to take action are behaving as if they are the ones telling the President what is going on. News flash! The President knows of the findings long before you do. And he has spoken on the matter already.
It might appear to some that the President is running a one-man show. He most definitely is not. Only recently he said that his release of young offenders is not reckless. He went on to explain that he works on the advice of those he respects. Similarly, one would have to assume that when it comes to operationalizing the culpability of the audits, his attitude is governed by his advisers. One would have to be very narrow-minded and politically biased to think that the guilty parties found by those audits will be solely PPP members.
It would take a simpleton to conclude that only persons in the last administration stole the people’s money. Crime and corruption in Guyana are not only systematic, they are endemic. It is how Guyana does business. And it is how successive governments have been doing business for a long time. So any in-depth investigation of any of those audits is likely to have tentacles reaching right into the halls of the current administration. And they might go high and far. So while I do not agree with the President’s reasoning and reluctance on these matters, I understand his caution. This government cannot deal with any more scandals.
So if you think the next elections will be won by the coalition because some PPP members may be in jail, or if you think the coming elections will be based on ideas, or concepts, or critical thinking, or any of that mushy stuff, think again. The next elections will be based on who could get out their racial base, plus some of those in the interior. Now go put down your drum.
Pastor Wendell Jeffrey