I refer to a letter by Wesley Kirton titled, ‘When it comes to protection of our territory no stone should be left unturned’ (SN, Dec 18). The gentleman, commenting on the US$18 million controversy, seems to support the President and ministers involved in the non-disclosure of this money. He even suggests that the public should keep its mouth shut about the non-disclosure, unless it wants Venezuela to take away Essequibo, and for us to have to rewrite the constitution.
Mr Kirton feels the media can play a “critical role” in keeping the public quiet in what he in his luxurious patriotism refers to as a situation that requires a “certain degree of confidentiality in Guyana’s best interest.” But first, the media must do some hard work.
To support his suggestion, Mr Kirton quotes, of all persons, the Finance Minister: “Minister Winston Jordan says the media in Guyana is lazy. Prove him wrong.”
This gentleman rivals the usual propagandists on the government’s payroll, who have recently gone quiet. He just may have a valid point about the media. After all, it is the KN Editor, Mr Adam Harris, who has asked the public to be quiet and trust the Finance Minister. According to Mr Adam Harris, the Finance Minister is not likely to do any wrong because he is very “afraid of jail” (‘Case of been there, done that’ KN, Dec 17).
While one welcomes the day when politicians are sent to jail, I have no knowledge of ministers being sent to jail for wrongdoing. For public officials, jail seems to be more of an invitation to do wrong, than a deterrence to do right.
But the media does not have to prove the Finance Minister wrong. He has done that himself. Indeed, if anyone in town is lazy, it is the Finance Minister. This is so because his boss, the President of the republic, stated on record that the money was held in an escrow account when documentary evidence shows otherwise.
This is classic elections material for a vigilant opposition party. It is the Finance Minister who was being lazy when he allowed the country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Carl Greenidge, to neutralize his relevance by advising the President on financial decisions, which fall under the ambit of Minister Winston Jordan.
Here we have one minister being paid for not doing his job, and another minister being paid for doing what is not his job. More elections material. With this kind of excellent representational government, the public may lose not only Essequibo, but the entire country with all of its stones upturned not to Venezuela, but to oil companies.