Between the lines…

…of the land grab
Looks like this PNC land-giveaway isn’t going to just fade away as a topic du jour. Every day, one or another of the PNC beneficiaries is ISSUING missives – which look more like missiles than anything else – that just scream for “condign” treatment (as GL&SC’s Benn and Burnham would say). And this is just perfect grist for your Eyewitness’ mill!! The latest was one from retired Major Aubrey Heath-Retemyer, who’s the Deputy Director over at SARA – formed, we’re told, to recover any and all State assets illegally acquired.
SARA and Heath-Retemeyer  were in the news last December when Heath-Retemeyer objected to Basil Williams informing Parliament that he was making $3 million monthly (with his boss, Clive Thomas, clocking in at $4 million!). Retemeyer huffed, “The figures that were read (in Parliament by the Attorney General) included, in addition to the monthly salary, vacation allowances, gratuity and a number of other things which combined.” As if vacation allowances etc., aren’t part of the benefit packages of all employees, private or public!! $275Million was budgeted for SARA’s salaries for its 44-member staff – not mentioning the monthly rental for its HQ of another $200 million!!
Now you’d think a fella in this position – where he’s going after people who’d scammed the Government – would know he had to be seen as purer than Caesar’s wife, wouldn’t you?? But not Heath-Retemeyer!! The man honeyed to the PNC line to insist there’s nothing wrong with Government officials benefitting from possible insider information to enrich themselves!! No wonder that Code of Conduct never saw the light of day after the perfunctory draft by Raphael Trotman!
But in examining into the Retemeyer lease of 10 acres at Yarrowkabra, he claimed he applied for these lands back in the 2000’s and again in 2013 and 2014, but wasn’t approved!! But a cursory Google of his name revealed a different story. Wasn’t he in NYC during those years, when he became a citizen and started teaching mathematics at a High School? He claimed he earned a Master’s in Education – which makes sense since one has to take at least 18 credits in Education in NYC to teach…and it’s not much more to get that Masters.
But what struck your Eyewitness was how exactly did he qualify himself to work in SARA with teaching Maths and having all those credits in Education?? But then, he’s listed as the Chairman of the Pan-African Development Foundation (PADF) of NY, so maybe Clive Thomas, Eric Phillips, and Tacuma Ogunseye – all from ACDA – wanted another common mind?
And on the 10 acres? How’d his application get selected out of the 30,000 backlog??

…on Police’s 180 years
The Police force is celebrating its 180 anniversary. But it’s a sad day indeed when such a venerable institution – with all that time to get its act together— is mired in accusations of corruption and graft. David Granger’s father was a Police officer back when the British still had an Englishman at its head. We wonder what he’d tell his father if he were around! Because back in the British days, it wasn’t just a tradition of “spit and polish” but one of professionalism from top to bottom.
But Granger had a direct hand in the corruption of the Police force – as Burnham’s man, tasked with inculcating into all members of the disciplined forces the notion that it wasn’t loyalty to Guyana that was paramount, but loyalty to the PNC and the paramount leader Forbes Burnham. In Father Morrison’s book, “<<<Justice: The struggle for democracy in Guyana>>>”, he detailed the lengths Burnham would go to deny principled officers’ promotion and push those loyal to him. The Police force has never recovered!

…on oil bonuses
Jan Mangal pointed to the anomaly of Frontera shelling out a bonus payment of US$33 million for a block with no confirmed oil, versus Exxon’s US$18Million for confirmed 1.4Billion barrels of oil.
So why didn’t he blame the PNC Government?