Home Features APNU/AFC’s plundering of Guyana’s national assets – the land-grabbing stench
The exposé of the scandalous, mind-numbing, shocking land-grabbing exercise within the Ministry of the Presidency and the Guyana Lands and Survey Commission (GL&SC)— an exposé resulting from the courage of whistleblowers— is only the tip of the iceberg. There is clear evidence that questionable transfers of land have occurred through the GL&SC, Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC), Mahaica/Mahaicony Abary (MMA), etc. There are more shocking stories that would emerge in the coming days and weeks. This is in spite of the illegal, mad rush to surreptitiously remove and hide files and threaten public servants.
Even as Government officials twist in the wind— twisting more than an American pretzel— to obfuscate the obscene issuing of tens of thousands of acres of land to a few people, there can be no dispute that this is a massive land-grabbing scandal orchestrated and facilitated by APNU/AFC. In fact, the amount of State land being transferred into the hands of families, friends and cronies of APNU/AFC since December 21, 2018 to the present time, a period of about seven months, surpasses the total amount transferred for the period between 1992 and 2015. In just a few months, more land had been given out illegally than the total amount of land distributed for the 23 years of the PPP Government. The amount of land given out to families, friends and cronies in just a few months is more than the total amount of land existing in the majority of Caricom countries; more land than what exists in Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda, St. Kitts and Nevis, Grenada, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
When the whole story is told, this brazen APNU/AFC land-grabbing will stand out as one of the worst corruption scandals in Caricom’s history and rank amongst the most corrupt Government behaviour anywhere in the world in modern history. This is not hyperbole. Despite the futile efforts of obfuscation, only a hypocrite, a cynic, or a fool could argue against the indisputable evidence that there is a corrupt land-sharing orgy, with mostly prime properties given away to a handful of persons linked to APNU/AFC. Even if all the information shared is not accurate, the fact remains there is an obscene giving away of prime State lands.
As Guyana’s national assets are being plundered, David Granger remains silent, as if this is happening somewhere else. Not only is it happening right under his nose, it is happening in his name. Of course, SOCU and SARA have no eyes to see, no ears to hear. Of course, SOCU and SARA are impotent. While it is true that many Guyanese have become numb to the rampant corruption binge happening in Guyana during the last four years, and particularly since the No-Confidence Motion on December 21, 2018, the latest whistleblower exposé of land-grabbing and the quicksand of corruption at the GL&SC are truly mind-boggling.
The response of the CEO of the GL&SC was outright despicable. Instead of being concerned that national resources might be improperly and illegally distributed, he had vouched to “deal condignly” with the whistleblowers. Beside threatening public servants for doing their civic duty reporting wrong-doings in accordance with the Public Disclosures Act 2018, he threatened to send Police to arrest Bharat Jagdeo for being in receipt of stolen properties. The irony that Jagdeo was informing the nation about stolen State property was entirely lost on the CEO. The CEO’s pathetic effort to obfuscate included the allegation Jagdeo got thousands of acres of State land, but he could not say where and could not provide any proof. I expect, once again, innocent and committed public servants will be punished for exposing a crime. This is the modus operandi of APNU/AFC. Earlier, a whole department in the public service was fired and then unfired and subsequently suspended for exposing illegal payments to two children of a Minister.
Some of the sycophants tried desperately to defend the land-grabbing stench by changing the narrative into an ethnic discrimination foolishness. One of the sycophants claimed the land-grabbing mess is merely one to correct what they alleged was land distribution in which only Indo-Guyanese received land under the PPP. But in the same breath, this Afro-Guyanese admitted he received over 1,200 acres of land under Jagdeo’s PPP. Another denied being a recipient, but when faced with evidence, claimed his denial was that he never received 3,000 acres, but only 2,000 acres of useless land. All of the sycophants ignored the truth that the land being illegally given away are prime properties linked to significant, transformative developmental projects, such as deep-water harbours and oil refineries. Guyana’s future is being mortgaged because once these projects are ready for implementation, the State will have to pay an arm and a leg just to re-secure these lands.