From the moment Brig (rtd) David Granger started stocking his Administration with ex-Army and Police officials at every level – from himself at the apex, to his Cabinet to Heads of Department and so-called “autonomous agencies”, like GPHC – your Eyewitness warned about the dangers this practice posed to our fledgling democracy. Democracy, after all, is based on making decisions by discussion and debate – and the willingness to actually LISTEN to the other side.
Armed forces, on the other hand, operate on the principle of “unity of command” within a hierarchical chain of command. Meaning, when the fella above you yells, “Jump!!”, the most you dare ask is “How high?”!! This orientation has been ground into the army types surrounding Granger for decades and has become second nature. But in Guyana, this anti-democratic reflex has been augmented by the perspective of the man who “moulded” our Disciplined Forces after he became leader in 1964 – Forbes Burnham.
Burnham didn’t beat around the bush…he declared openly – and it’s recorded in the GDF’s magazine, Purple Beret – that he didn’t expect any “abstract loyalty” from the armed forces, but a personal one where they swore fealty to Burnham at the PNC’s Congresses!! So, when those soldiers killed the Ballot Box Martyrs, they did so because they were indoctrinated with the principle of PNC uber alles – including Guyana!! It doesn’t get more anti-democratic than that, does it? And guess who was in charge of inculcating this anti-democratic perspective in the army? No other than the man who’s today President of Guyana! Surprised he’s trampling on every democratic institution in Guyana – from the Constitution; the Legislature and the Judiciary!
He can do this because all those ex-Army officials running the show passed through his hands – literally!! Look at the latest stunt of the PNC – Imagine a government picketing GECOM to demand new house-to-house registration!! That’s just not so subtly putting pressure on the supposedly “autonomous” body, to delay the constitutionally due March 19 elections as far back as possible!! On the day after Nagamootoo and Lawrence et al, had accepted the NCV as “the working of democracy”, hadn’t the GECOM PRO pronounced they could comply with the new timeline??
But Lowenfield is an ex-Army officer, isn’t he? He doesn’t need any Masonite signal to tell him what to do – the commanding officer has now ordered him to jump and all he wants to know is “How high, sah?” Granger may say that these high-handed actions are necessary to “protect the PNC’s base” – but isn’t this exactly what Burnham had said??
And look what he did to ALL Guyana!! Damnation and ruination!! Does the PNC base want to repeat history??
…the agriculture sector
Someone told your Eyewitness that maybe the PNC doesn’t really have it in for agriculture just because most agriculturalists are PPP supporters; it’s that they really don’t have a clue about agriculture. Your Eyewitness doesn’t agree with that thesis. The fact that they appointed Noel Holder as Minister of Agriculture when he wasn’t even a member of the AFC shows they knew exactly what they were doing – consigning it to the dustbin of history through clueless bumbling!!
But seriously folks, look what the PNC is doing about agriculture behind the four African Guyanese villages of Buxton; BV; Ithaca and Mocha. They first obtained a loan of $2.5 billion from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and worked out a comprehensive plan that started with organising the folks from the villages into co-operatives.
They then bought farming equipment, financed and executed land clearing, restored and upgraded drainage and irrigation canals; installed a drainage pump in each of the communities; built all-weather dams and provided technical support for farmers and arranged for marketing to Caricom.
They know exactly what they’re doing!!
Whether one thinks the girl who posted those bomb threats to UG was “troubled” or a terrorist, did the Chronic REALLY have to link her with the PPP, just because she’s the niece of an official??
Ow, man!! Nasty!!