(Bet today’s piece will rank amongst my “most-brief” as I seek some “time-out”)
I’ll skip the usual classical definitions of corruption – as in executive, governmental corruption – those shady illegal practices. Suffice to say this brief commentary refers to the many shrewd, varied, even sophisticated ways of pilfering from the public purse for personal or group gain. You hear of it in every country, you feel it here: individuals or groups in public office, in areas of authority, some walking in the corridors of real power, find ways after extended periods which can reveal both weaknesses, and opportunity, to convert (poor) taxpayers’ contribution to their personal benefit.
Now here in our Guyana -an under-developed land of rich natural resources from the beginning of time -only a few individuals, families and companies seem to have really enjoyed the takings from bauxite, gold, diamonds, manganese, rice, sugar, timber, marine products and even the new service/technological enterprises.
Okay, there are legitimate reasons for that sometimes. Some enterprising folks made sacrifices filled with risks. Some had the capital. Some were placed to appreciate – for example – that a developing society will need stone, sand and cement. Many families had long left the land to venture into commerce and industry. Others opted for public service professions, trades and fancy uniforms. But alas, a few engaged in crookery, thievery, takings from the drug trade and outright nepotism – corruption!….