Many people asked me why I did not respond to Minister Harmon promptly. I shall reveal why I did not today. I met Mr. Harmon some time back and from that conversation I had with him, I thought that he was a voice of reason in this Granger administration until his outburst on this Permanent Secretary matter. I also wanted to gather some more information to ensure that this sensitive issue is addressed from a good governance perspective and not one of ethnicity. I am now compelled to write to say what Mr. Harmon said is absolutely not true.
From my research I found under the Ramotar Government there were 10 Afro-Guyanese Permanent Secretaries compared to 7 non-Afro-Guyanese. This was a better reflection of the Guyanese Public Service. Under the Granger Government, the ratio today in 2017 is 16 Afro-Guyanese to 1 non-Afro-Guyanese. This is an open and public act of discrimination by this Granger regime that has to be condemned again and again by all fair-minded Guyanese.
Let me make it clear, I am raising this point as a good governance advocate. Race does not matter to me. But this extent of racism as is being practised by this Granger regime is dead wrong and even Mr. Burnham was not this crass and brutal.
Mr. Harmon’s excuse is clearly not true as he tried to conclude that the Granger appointments made in March 2017 were a casualty of the succession planning process as set by the Ramotar government. Total falsehood from Mr. Harmon and thus it must be rejected.
I have done my research now and there are over 90 non-Afro-Guyanese professionals in the Public Service who are experienced, qualified and fit to serve at the highest levels in the public service. So I see no reason for President Granger to appoint 100% of the new Permanent Secretaries in March 2017 from one racial group when the public service is made up of many racial groups. It is sickening to reconcile this to people who preach national unity and social cohesion in the daylight but operate like racists in the dark of the night.
For emphasis, let me make it clear, there are over 90 non-Africans who have the required experience and qualifications who can serve in the public service at the highest level and the majority of them are professionals and are willing to serve any government of Guyana loyally.
During the PPP tenure in office, scores of Guyanese from all races were trained. Actually more Afro-Guyanese were trained under the PPP with Masters and Ph.D. scholarships than all the other races combined. So the expectation was that a majority of the new appointees would have been Afro-Guyanese and that is welcomed, but not 100% Mr. Harmon. The fact that the Granger administration can deliberately appoint 100% of the new Permanent Secretaries in 2017 from one racial group reeks of racism and is a critical causation for national disunity and social fragmentation.
Let me get down to specifics for the reader. How come the former Secretary of the Public Service Com-mission (PSC) Mr. Jaisingh who is more experienced and qualified (with a Masters Degree) than many of the new appointees was moved to a minuscule role in a Ministry. As Secretary to the PSC with pensionable service of 20 years, this young man has the experience and qualification to run any Ministry. But instead, lesser qualified and experienced people like Mr. Brotherson, who does not even have a masters degree have been elevated – in the case of Mr Brotherson as Head of the Public Service. I also know of an Amerindian in the Ministry of Agriculture with similar experience and qualifications like Mr. Jaisingh but who was passed over by a lesser qualified and experienced person for the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture job.
If I am reading Mr. Harmon correctly, he is saying that today in the system only Afro-Guyanese are competent and qualified to be appointed as the new Permanent Secretaries in 2017. I beg to disagree and I have provided my facts rejecting his position.
While it is the prerogative of the President to appoint permanent secretaries, a President rules for all the people; not some of the people some of the times. I am one of the strongest advocates for the fact that Mr. Granger asked for the position of the Chancellor of the Judiciary to be advertised. Great job Mr. President. But why the inconsistency on the vacant Permanent Secretary jobs? Why this unilateral clamour to appoint 100% of the new Permanent Secretaries in March 2017 from one racial group. It is wrong and all fair-minded Guyanese must reject it.
I shall cease my comments on this topic now, because I am of the opinion that my point has been made and if Mr. Granger does not have the conscience to correct this human resources transgression at the highest levels of the public service that is his monkey to carry, not mine.