The headline blazoned on the first page of the Kaieteur News edition of Friday June 15, 2018 proclaimed thusly: “GECOM hiring policy concerns not about race, but fairness.” Those are the words of Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo, Leader of the Opposition. The Leader of the Opposition adumbrated the same concerns as I have, perhaps more elegantly, hence this Letter to the Editor. No, I am not accusing the Leader of larceny of my idea but rather I do applaud him for having the courage and indeed gonads to enunciate a principled position. To advocate for the contrary by promoting ethnicity before ability and subjugation for suitability or any other platitude is to coronate ethnicity King of this domain, ordained by the crown prince – Institutional Racism. It would be maladroit and explosively dangerous to enunciate otherwise. The following came to me from a Facebook follower.
“Lest we forget this was the ethnic make-up of GECOM in 1999
Senior Managers 1999
Doodnauth Singh – Chairman
Stanley Singh – CEO
Gocool Boodoo – ACEO Administration
Albert Ramsaroop – Chief Accountant
Arnold Depoo – Advisor to IT Department
Arun Mangar – IT Manager
Totaram Mohabir – Manager GECOM Stores and Purchasing.
On the face of it these gentlemen appear to be from one common ethnicity. A few conclusions follow. My first impression was that my friend “Dood” (the Chairman) must have had a very fertile catchment area from which to choose his team hence the apparent racial imbalance. I have the honour of sustaining that tradition. Today there are those who are crying ‘foul,’ ‘unfair’ ‘we wuz robbed’ merely because the Chairman of GECOM gave his casting vote in hiring a senior manager “…not about race, but fairness” as per Dr. Jagdeo. This is the system that was in place for decades. I challenge anyone to dispute my claim that GECOM is the best run bureaucracy in Guyana. I suppose my good friend Mr. Doodnauth Singh is turning in his grave right now at the concerted efforts of those who would wish to undo his good work.
Democracy and free and fair elections are conjoined Siamese twins and the sine qua non of any stable democracy. There are those who want to see this country balkanised. Their modus operandi is to sow seeds of discord and division. I urge you, nay I adjure you to keep a safe antiseptic distance from such counterfeits. We are abiding in an environment where truth is distorted and integrity is put in a blind trust pending its ultimate evacuation from polite society.
Justice (Ret’d) James Patterson
Guyana Elections Commission