Home Letters Enactment of George Orwell’s political allegory, Animal Farm
During the past three (3) years of this Coalition Government in office, we have witnessed a modern-day, real life enactment of George Orwell’s political allegory, Animal Farm.
It must be recalled that immediately before the entry of the APNU/AFC Coalition into Government in May 2015, the then Minister of Health, Dr Bheri Ramsaran, was sacked by the PPP/C Administration after there was a ‘public outcry’ backed by the Guyana Bar Association, the Guyana Women Lawyers Association, the Justice Institute of Guyana, and the Private Sector Commission. This was supported by condemnation from the US and British envoys. It was concluded that the utterances by the minister cannot be condoned. This is despite Dr Ramsaran being charged and hauled before the courts!
Let us now fast forward to July 2018, a sitting Junior Minister of Government, Simona Broomes, claimed that two security guards attached to the KGM security firm approached her vehicle as she and her driver were parking, and abused them. One of them cocked his gun in her direction and threatened her life. The two guards were arrested and locked up for 12 hours, before being released on their own recognizance.
The surveillance camera, however, contradicted her version of what happened. It was the Minister and her driver who were abusive to the guards, and the Minister even went as far as hurling the ‘No Parking ’signs to the ground. It is evident that she willfully lied to the Police, which resulted in the wrongful arrest and unlawful detention of the two guards.
Unfortunately, the ‘public outcry’ is now subdued, and the various organisations which were so vociferous in Dr Ramsaran’s case are among the silent majority. Can you imagine private citizens being locked up because a Minister, who is supposed to serve their interests, lied and snatched away their civil liberty? This is the same Minister who had declared that the monthly rental of $500,000 is justified, since she has made ‘great sacrifice’ and ‘commitment to her people’, and asked ‘God to keep her heart in the right place’. This is the same Minister who was reprimanded by the Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr Barton Scotland, for bringing the House to disrepute for filming a parody video in the Chambers and distributing it on the social media.
This Minister is untouchable: “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”
It must be recalled also that it was the APNU/AFC Coalition which had said that the Code of Conduct for Ministers will be in effect before their first 100 days in office, but despite coming into effect nearly two years later, the effectiveness of the Code is questionable, since disciplinary action and penalties for the breach of this Code lie solely with President Granger and the Minister of State, Joseph Harmon.
Transparency International Guyana had noted that, instead of leaving this to the will of the very people the Code would govern, specific penalties for some breaches should be laid out. This has now come to pass!
The Code of Conduct for Public Officials clearly states that “a person in public life shall, in the execution of his or her official functions, conduct themselves in a manner which engenders the respect of their peers and the public.” It also states that “a person in public life owes a duty to the public, and shall consider themselves servants of the people.”
It is evident that there was a breach of this Code, but the Minister of State had concluded that the Broomes case is ‘a Police matter…let the Police do their work’; while the President is silent, the Minister of Public Security offered ‘no comment’, and the Minister of Social Protection, Amna Ally, ‘got better things to do’ than addressing ‘social protection issues’. Surely, the Code does not apply to Government Ministers and officials!
“Man serves the interests of no creature except himself.”
? George Orwell, Animal Farm.
RDC Councillor —