The country’s wounds will heal I believe, only when Guyana acknowledges the truth of what happened from October 9, 1953 (the date when the Constitution was suspended), to the present. As a nation, we have not worked hard enough for true healing and reconciliation to be achieved. Every successive government since then has applied a cosmetic balm to this festering wound. But under the surface, the situation is boiling and is feeding into how the economy will evolve. Thus it is utterly foolish that government officials continue to make ornamental calls for Social Cohesion Roundtables when the right policies are not being put in place to achieve social harmony. Truth telling and reconciliation must be part of an overall response to the injustices of the past and present but designed with a mandate to shape a more engaging future.
No nation can progress when a government appoints 15 out of 16 CEOs of the Government Ministries (Permanent Secret-aries) from one ethnic group, totally ignoring all other parts of the society. Such a policy action will make the government less effective because large swaths of people will start to reject the legitimacy of the government in their minds. As one writer once said, “whatever the mind conceives, it achieves”. Therefore, these mistakes will have long-term ramifications as more people start to reject the policies of this government and this will undermine economic and social growth.
Those who have eyes will see that the economic troubles have recommenced. We are on a clear path to 1982 when the country was first deemed bankrupt and uncreditworthy. Ordinary people have to settle their minds around these realities; banning of products and exchange control. Falling real wages is now in progress. People’s real disposable income is buying less in the market every new day as the currency continues to slide and Team Jordan continues to tax the living daylights out of them. An outcome from this situation will be increases in poverty for the first time since 1990. This will then lead to a further collapse in the social infrastructure in the society and then a reduction in real national consumption, a key ingredient for economic growth. So clearly the economic management of the nation is in a mess.
So, Editor, this letter is calling for two things – one the establishment of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission and two for new leadership in the Ministry of Finance with the appointment of Vice President Carl Greenidge as the Minister of Finance. It is clear as day that Minister Winston Jordan does not have what it takes to protect this economy.