Since the APNU+AFC administration took power in May 2015 there have been a number of questionable decisions made which could have been justified as coincidences and maybe, incompetence but now, a sinister plan is clear by the unilateral appointment of this Gecom Chairman by His Excellency, President David Granger. Further, the construction of the high fence around the compound of the Ministry of the Presidency has made me realize that something sinister is afoot.
The dismissals and displacement of professional civil servants, forced retirement of elder statesmen (former Chancellor of the Judiciary, Justice Cecil Kennard who was asked to step down as Chairman of the Police Complaints Authority, Prem Persaud who was asked to resign from the Public Utilities Commission and the Judicial Service Commission due to their ages et. al), the harassment of public sector employees and the installing of elder, retired military officers have shown a ‘modus operandi’ of changing this civilian government into a military government camouflaged and protected under the constitution of Guyana.
Unfortunately, monies owed by this Government to persons like the undersigned is not being paid even though judgments have been made in court. At one point, the President had communicated to me that the Finance Minister would make contact to deal with a particular matter expeditiously and despite several months of patiently waiting, no response has been forthcoming. I am of the opinion that certain actions have been taken to target me and my company. However, this may very well be a good thing, as it is opening up my heart to serve my country in another dimension as an independent person. Currently if we examine the CEOs/REOs/Chairmen/Permanent Secretaries who were/are appointed, we will find an excessive amount of retired military and paramilitary men (with allegiance to a political party) being pushed into these bastions. This is evident because of the manner in which these persons have been ushered into powerful positions across the length and breadth of this country.
A particular gentleman who was next in line to be the Chief of Staff of the Army was transferred very carefully into another department to overlook “special events” of the Government. Another dubious move which should be critically examined in my opinion.
Personally, I have no problem with who governs this country. I am not a political maverick or a political maniac. I just love Guyana, and I wish to remain a professional. I feel very sad that persons like Mr. Robert Corbin would have retired. I believe that he would have made an exceptional President in this country. This attorney-at-law started at the GYSM and moved into the Forbes Burnham Government then to the Hoyte Administration and then stood in Opposition for many years. So he would have possibly been one of our most passionate, democratic and humane Presidents in our entire history. He was also appointed an Ambassador for Peace and attended many Peace Seminars internationally hence his ability is well known.
As a Guyanese I feel very hurt that the President unilaterally appointed this ‘retired, very, very tired gentleman’. Judging from our past elections and the anticipated election in 2020, the Gecom Chairman requires and will require a powerful personality, an administrator who can function with decisiveness, fairness and precision. It is known that Justice Patterson would have had previous political loyalties and he serves as an advisor to the Attorney General, Mr. Basil Williams who works directly for the President. There has been no mention of his resignation from this position at this juncture. This has caused many to consider the future of free and fair elections in our fragile democracy.
On the onset of the results from the 2015 National and Regional Elections, there was great joy in the hearts and minds of most Guyanese including non-supporters of the APNU+AFC coalition as change and betterment were being purported. Guyanese were expecting goodwill never before seen or experienced in this country, but the continuous errors/blunders from this administration since that period would have completely destroyed this hope.
From this appointment, it is clear that Justice Patterson will not be able to effectively do the job. In my view, he is expected to be a figurehead. Strangely, every detail surrounding Gecom and its business has been methodically controlled; from security services to staff and employees. It is as though we have managerial control freaks in our system. It appears as though Gecom will be run by a very strong man that people fear with terror at the Ministry of the Presidency.
It is unbelievable and unimaginable that a man who shed bitter tears as he received news of his election victory would now cause the nation to shed tears for giving him the mandate to serve. I have personally travelled from one end of the country to the other in recent months on the coastal plain. I have met business syndicates/representatives and had discussions, I’ve reached out to ordinary citizens, cane cutters, peasant rice farmers, fishermen, taxi and mini bus drivers, contractors and builders and the message is always one of gloom, pain and degradation. They are seemingly calling for a new entity without political ambition and self seeking adventurers to sacrifice themselves for a mere seat or two in parliament to become the watchdog/controller for the people…the People’s Avenger. Any Government who should behave with excessive greed, corruption, deceit and disrespect can be brought to their knees and voted out of power in conjunction with the Opposition of the day. The people are tired of political henchmen, political cuss birds, political self-seekers, political profiteers and power-loving ‘Tasmanian devils’. Eating and destroying everything for self-gain.
Hajji Roshan Khan Snr.