Edward Burrowes has arrogated to himself a whole lot of authority and learning. He assumes, but cannot authenticate. In his Aug 03 letter, he pontificates that “The PPP (People’s Progressive Party) is reminded that in March 2020, citizens voted for the lesser of the evils.” This is kind of ludicrous, and so I have to question him.
First, Borrowes has to explain the overwhelming statistical evidence that ‘skin-up’ the egregious shortcomings of the previous A Partnership For National Unity+Alliance For Change. In a mere five-year run, with almost a third being illegal, the APNU+AFC Administration, by virtue of unprecedented mismanagement, was inevitably toppled via the No Confidence Motion against it. After that, for some 18 months, it carried on as though nothing happened, trampling on the sacred Constitution as it bullied the country, thereby adding to the decline of the nation at every level.
I revisit what was illustrated in the Bank of Guyana’s statement of Assets and Liabilities published in the May 23, 2020 Official Gazette. It showed that the General Reserve stood “…at
-$290,667,332. Additionally, Public Deposits have also depleted to below $0, also recording a negative balance of -$88,629,401,855.”
Guyana’s Contingency Reserve account also reflected an alarmingly low amount of $2.3 billion.
Contrast this with when APNU/AFC took office in May 2015. Guyana’s General Reserve had in its coffers just about $6 billion, while the Contingency Reserve held $4 billion. This transits to the harsh reality that former regime actually spent $1.2 trillion in its five-year rulership, and thus left the economy in utter disaster.
It abused the Contingency Fund and also bequeathed a US$400 million in new external debt. Details herein proffered can be verified for the likes of Burrowes. He should explain the impact on voting, since, according to the record, from 2015 to 2019, the Former Government, APNU+AFC, overburdened the population with taxation and collected revenues totalling $992 billion, and then proceeded to squander $1.2 trillion.
As regards the Health Sector, the fact is that APNU+AFC spent in five years just as much as the PPP did in 23 years. In terms of medicines and medical supplies, that is $36.7B vs. $36.4B. However, shortages abound at hospitals and health centres, leaving the nation vulnerable and the present Government with a monumental repair job.
So, the PPP/C was re-elected after subsiding to the APNU+AFC, but people quickly realised their mistake and corrected it, and now are more in support of the present Administration. In fact, I wonder how Mr. Burrowes would explain a contracting Opposition if one were to consider the numbers showing up at protests and resignations/defections that were effected of recent.
Let me get to this “…perceived corruption and failure to honour a promise to create 50,000 jobs,” Mr. Burrowes must be reminded that his biases are what he deems perceptions, which are not reflective of reality. Job creation has begun, and it is in conformity with the PPP/C’s five-year plan, as set out in its Manifesto. Let us all be mindful that the havoc created by the COVID-19 pandemic is ongoing; moreso, that the PPP/C had to clean up for APNU+AFC’s mismanagement of the diseases. Mr. Burrowes needs to assess the number of ongoing projects and what their realization would mean in terms of employment.
Outside of the Oil and Gas sector, there are many things happening countrywide, but I will take only GUYSUCO. It is common knowledge that APNU+AFC wrecked this industry, leaving not only thousands of indigent families, but psychological and mental despair. What is currently obtaining is very refreshing. GUYSUCO declared, just a few days ago, that some 442 people will be rehired by Christmas of this year, and that 200 are already in the work force. This is a huge accomplishment as, in 2017, some 6,000 – 6,500 workers were put out of jobs. GUYSUCO has made it public that by 2023-2024, when all is done with Skeldon, Rose Hall and Enmore, more than 3,000 persons will be coming back to work.
Let me close with a comment on the volatile Oil and Gas debate that is consuming so many people. Guyana’s situation, if it can be deemed problematic and controversial, has its base in the APNU+AFC Coalition. In fact, it is on record that The Alliance For Change (AFC), the minority party in the Coalition, did admit that it was trying to secure the contract with oil giant ExxonMobil, to kick off operations offshore Guyana, but in fast-tracking that process, there were several loopholes in that contract signed by its executive member Raphael Trotman. I wonder if Mr. Burrowes did check to see if and how this single ‘giveaway’ affected voting patterns.
This admission came directly from AFC Leader Khemraj Ramjattan, who served as First Vice President and Public Security Minister under the previous APNU/AFC Administration that signed Guyana’s oil contract in October 2016. He explained that “…there was hardly anything the then coalition Administration could have done regarding the first contract that would not have been criticised.” This is where Burrowes should direct his angst and suspicions.
I challenge Burrowes and those he claims he is speaking for to debate, live, the PPP/C on these matters, since he and I are not speaking live, face to face.