The attempts by the Alliance For Change (AFC) to assert some kind of relevance in Guyana’s political arena is such an abysmal failure that it forces rational thinking persons to question the clear lack of drive behind that effort. And, that question leads to the obvious answer – there is no drive from the AFC leaders who are enjoying the perks of office without representing the people of Guyana.
Having read the missive from the AFC about its National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting, I dare say that the AFC Leaders seems permanently settled in ‘la-la land’. How else can you explain the AFC’s contention that Guyanese workers are “significantly better off” under the Coalition Government? There was no mention about the increased cost of living resulting from the new taxes and fees imposed on the Guyanese working class. There was no mention of the fact that thousands of sugar workers are on the breadline, having been fired, and this Coalition Government has failed to respect the rule of law to ensure that all severance payments are made in full.
This was the least of the fictions embraced by the AFC. Party Chairman, Mr. Khemraj Ramjattan, reportedly informed the party that rice farmers are “pleased” with the Coalition Government’s efforts. What effort is Mr. Ramjattan referring to exactly? The increase in land rental fees from $3,500 to $15,000? The threat issued to farmers that they will face the full force of the state apparatus and be ‘hauled’ (Ramjattan’s favourite word) before the courts if the new, increased, fees are not paid? The imposition on VAT on tractors and other machinery? The imposition of increased taxes on other agricultural inputs? Or is he referring to President David Granger’s statement that rice farmers are on their own because rice is a private sector? It is instructive that the only reference to ‘effort’ made by Mr. Ramjattan is the installation of street lights on the Corentyne Highway, as if this was done because of the benevolence of this government. Works like installing street lights are routine works Mr. Ramjattan; it is what governments are expected to do – serve the Guyanese people.
Editor, realistically, it can be concluded that with Local Government Elections on the horizon, the AFC is attempting to recreate its image. But Guyanese have seen through the AFC’s charade.
The AFC has been complicit in not only the egregious acts perpetuated on the Guyanese people, but has joined the PNC-led A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) in blaming, of all groups of people, Guyanese public servants for its own incompetence and failures.
All Guyanese must reject the AFC’s attempt to blame hardworking public servants in the health sector for the consistent shortages of drugs and medical supplies, by arguing that health workers are involved in an “unusually high dispense rate” of supplies. Has the AFC forgotten that it was Health Minister, Volda Lawrence, in May 2016, who admitted that there were problems with the procurement system used by this current Administration and these problems were the result of the drugs shortages and medical supplies? Has the AFC forgotten that it was this Coalition Government, which changed the procurement system that worked under the former PPP/C government after it took office in May 2015? Has the AFC forgotten that talk about changing the procurement system, again, came up at the same time – a diversion clearly – when the Government was dealing with the media disclosures about the $4 billion+ of taxpayers monies that were spent on pharmaceuticals and medical supplies without any public tendering processes?
The AFC seems intent on perpetuating the view that it somehow has an independent voice in the Coalition, but actions speak louder than words, and the Guyanese people will not be duped by the latest contrived ramblings of the AFC – months out from the expected Local Government Elections.