Home Letters All vestiges of corruption must be removed
During the past week, we became inundated with the revelations of the corrupt practices of the PNC Government while in office. The scope and magnitude of the corruption are yet to peak as more and more corrupt activities are unearthed as the audit moves forward into the various Ministries of Government.
The central figure in this latest plague is the “honourable”, or should I rephrase that statement to read, the dishonourable David Patterson – he received millions in gifts and furnishings gifted to him from various Government agencies. These were all wrapped and packaged with the hard-earned taxpayers’ dollars, so from our very own vantage point, Patterson can rightly be called “the minister of gifts.”
Now, this guy is “notoriously gifted” having received numerous kickbacks ever since he assumed ministerial office in 2015, some of these he apportioned to himself, while others he coaxed out of some of the agencies that came under his Ministry. It seems that his kleptomaniac tendencies were well in place long before he assumed office! Patterson is the prime example of what we can describe as what the office of a Minister can do for him, rather than what he as a Minister can do for his country.
It is a totally unacceptable, dishonest and reprehensible position to take by such high office. But this is the situation we had to endure as a nation for five years and 3 months.
Ministers of Government, by law, are prohibited from receiving gifts, for the simple reason that it is an avenue that can be exploited for corrupt purposes. This fact is explicitly clear, so Patterson cannot feign ignorance of it, which also tells us that this shameless denizen was out of place to have mentioned that it is a customary act to receive gifts. So, let us quickly audit the stewardship of this man.
In the first instance, Patterson is on record as a Minister who never, I repeat, who never completed any project during his watch, which tells you that he was far too busy accepting gifts than to address the assigned duties of getting the people’s work done. Working for the people was the least on his list of duties. I am talking about his gifts of monies placed into his personal bank account by the Chinese, while jewellery of all sorts was lavished on him from his acolytes. This was his agenda while holding public office.
We are also mindful of this Minister’s suspicious and shady affiliations, as we take into account that his brother was busted with near 8 pounds of cocaine in Grenada. Despite damning evidence of a brother who left these shores with the illegal substance, the persons who facilitated that drug transaction, as well as his intendant corrupt associates, we are still left in the dark to figure that out. So, but for the fact that Patterson was one of theirs, the Granger Government was not in any way eager to pursue nor prosecute the offending brother in this matter, quite interesting to say the least!
But this we do know – around the same time that Patterson’s brother was held with the illegal substance, there was another drug bust of a Guyanese Indian gentleman by the Grenadian authorities. In that second bust, there is a lot of mystery surrounding that incident. The Indian gentleman was never charged nor was he brought before a court of law. This raises a lot of questions: why would an Indian held with drugs be let off the hook so easily knowing the racial politics that exists in our country? This just doesn’t make sense. In addition, you must take into consideration that there is another so named Patterson individual who was at one time the acting Chief Justice of that Island. Could it be that each and every one of the above factors was acting in concert? I, therefore, call on you my readers to draw your inferences on this matter.
But lest the PNC should insinuate that these revelations are in any way a vindictive move by the governing PPP/C Government, then they should just take a step back and review their own actions towards the PPP/C when they were in power. Theirs was a constant parade of PPP/C personnel before the courts, from former Presidents to wheelchair-bound Dr Luncheon, none was exempt. So, the PNC are bereft of excuses when it comes to their actions in Government, all they have to do is stand and take it like a man.
My advice to the Government is that Patterson and his cohorts ought to be dragged before every court to answer charges for their corrupt practices. Either they make restitution as in the Westford case (hope I am quoting the right individual) or face jail time, we demand no more, no less.
I close by saying there is a new dispensation blowing through the land, that is we will not countenance corruption – in no shape or form – and in the same way we did not tolerate it under the PPP/C we will not give it a free pass under the APNU/AFC. Everyone must be held accountable to the people of this country. All vestiges of corruption must be removed from Government as we pilot the way forward.