Senior officials in a Government are in special positions of authority to influence the mission, administrative priorities, and business decisions of the State. Ministers, in particular, are considered senior officials. These individuals are expected to consider as their primary responsibility their obligations to the nation.
Upon taking the oath of office, their private financial business interest becomes secondary. If they cannot adhere to such best practices of good governance, then they should just get out!
Therefore, the call from Transparency International Guyana Inc(TIGI), for policies to provide boundaries for those Ministers owning companies that are doing business with the State, has to be seen in that light as a good call.
But isn’t this a call too late? The egg-suckers have already gotten accustomed to sucking eggs.
To his credit, in late 2014, Dr. Anand Goolsarran, former head of TIGI, also made this call. Since Dr Goolsaran’s call, Mr. Granger promised the nation that he would have provided the framework for good governance upon winning political power. He was very clear in his words on the 2015 campaign trail. Mr. Granger personally promised the nation that he would bring an end to “cronyism at the highest levels that seemed to be draining the nation’s financial resources and blocking human development”.
Is Mr. Granger suddenly suffering from amnesia?
It is now 2019, and the evidence clearly illustrates that Mr. Granger failed with an “F” GRADE to match his words with action. In simple language, the entire nation was scammed by a BS artist.
Who are the politicians today draining the people’s resources into their personal companies by putting their personal interest above those of the people? Just read the newspapers and you will find adequate evidence of at least 29 members of Team Granger, in just three years, who have engaged in all sorts of side hustle: from fuel smuggling to influence buying, to using their positions to win contracts for themselves and close family members without any competition, to securing multi-million-dollar jobs with private oil companies for their spouses and other close family members, and so on. These are all acts of conflict of interest.
Today Team Granger offers fickle promises, fatuous platitudes, and long-winded empty statements to throw sand into the eyes of the people as they try to cover up these massive acts of conflict of interest and corruption.
But to this call by TIGI, they should know that the time is long gone for statements; the time is now for greater advocacy on the international front, where organisations like the UNODC can be lobbied to help they uproot these massive acts of misappropriation of public funds. After all, it is Transparency International that defines corruption as the “abuse of entrusted power for private gains”.
If one were to reflect on the two latest cases, one would ask the legitimate question: Were the profits from VideoMega and Yearwood Construction not shared with sitting senior officials in Team Granger? Are these two officials associated with VideoMega and Yearwood Construction not in a position to influence contracts in favour of these two companies?
I rest my case! BETTER MUST COME!