Donald Ramotar in Stabroek News October 6, declared that “The years of the PPP/C were glorious”. To be fair, he is correct if you happened to be a PPP government minister or acolyte, a business associate, or working higher up in the PPP’s organizations. Beyond that, Mr Ramotar and Guyanese must know that this claim is a gross misrepresentation of the truth.
During its 23 years in office the PPP facilitated wholesale abuse of taxpayers’ money. Overpriced contracts like the toilet bowls for the CJIA became a national joke and organized crime became a mainstay of our culture.
Monies were shifted out of NIS to finance the Berbice Bridge, a financially ill-conceived project. Today the NIS is encountering financial problems because of these investments, and will very likely have to be bailed out with taxpayers’ money. The Marriott was built out of funds from NICIL that were supposed to be transferred to the Consolidated Fund.
Mr Ramotar must also know that the PPP ran GuySuCo into the ground, without any mechanism for relieving sugar workers, either through GuySuCo itself or via the state. Today it seems as though the coalition is intent on finishing off what the PPP started: a complete disembowellment of the company. Rice farmers were also given a shellacking over the years of PPP administration. Surely Mr Ramotar must know that the PPP devastated its own supporters left, right and centre.
It also minced the entire country with poor recovery mechanisms from the economic transformation of the ʼ90s, leaving many Guyanese struggling in poverty for decades. Children were denied a proper diet and education under the PPP. This was not a glorious time.
What about those well contracts, where the contractor received tens of millions of dollars for nothing? Where were the governance systems under the PPP? I can go on and on, but the point has been made.
The PPP’s supporters would do well to start mustering their political and financial capital to create an alternative to the PPP, because if they don’t, it’s almost certain they’ll be thrown back into the PPP’s grinder.