…cleaning the PNC’s Augean Stables
Back in the days of yore, the standard for cleaning up “messes” was set by Hercules, who was given – as one of his “labours” – to clean up the stables of King Augeaus, whose horses had been dumping their stuff for a hundred years! Well, the PNC had only five years at the helm, but, in that time, have done so many “dirties” that they’ve made the Augean Stables look like an army barracks just before inspection!!
So, of course, just as the PPP had to clean up 28 years of PNC “dumping” after 1992, once again, that’s become their sorry lot. There was one of the highest debt rates in the world – US$2.1B; collapsed bauxite, sugar and rice industries; massive squatting, hunger and nakedness after the PNC’s “feed, house and clothe the nation”; and so on and so forth. It fell to the PPP, mainly under Jagdeo, to clean up those particular Augean Stables – which he did! And transformed Guyana from a “Highly Indebted Poor Country” to an “Upper Middle- Income Country” by the time he demitted office in 2011.
So here it is, they’re at it again under another young PPP President – Irfaan Ali. And there’s another Greek anecdote to describe his task: the story of Sisyphus. As a punishment for what the Gods decided was a transgression, Sisyphus was given the task of rolling a large boulder uphill; but every time he reached the top, it rolled downwards, and he had to repeat his task again, and again, and…! It seems as though the PPP inherit a Sisyphean task every time the PNC get back into office and are forced to leave!!
Today happens to be 100 days since the PPP have been at it in this iteration. But while they’ve hit the ground running, it’s pretty hard to make headway when the ground is covered with horses’ stuff! And what stuff!! The Treasury’s empty; lands worth billions have been given away for a song; the PNC are stirring up racial animosity on West Berbice; the COVID-19 pandemic runs unabated; businesses are falling under because of the said pandemic; the PNC riggers have to be taken to court for attempting to derail Guyana’s democratic trajectory; and so on, and so forth.
But even while dealing with the PNC’s sh*t, the PPP have reopened the PNC-shuttered sugar estates; renegotiated with EXXON on Payara, and as a quid pro quo, gas will be brought ashore to generate electricity to cut its cost by three quarters.
And for the ordinary folks, VAT has been removed from a welter of goods and services they use daily.
Let the good times roll!
…PNC internecine warfare
But while the PPP are trying to fix the country, the PNC have their own challenges. They didn’t heed the old folks’ warning that “all smart flies end up in cow’s posterior orifice”! First, Granger thought he was slick to use his powers as PNC leader (obtained via a rigged internal election) to exclude the CHAIRMAN OF THE PNC – Volda Lawrence – from Parliament!! And that separated him and his coterie from the largest PNC base in the country – Georgetown – controlled by Volda.
And while that bloodletting’s flowing, another front has opened up. Former Mayor of our not-so-fair city, Patricia Chase-Green, a one-time protege of seemingly Mayor-for-life Hamilton Green, took on some of her colleagues in the City Council on several appointments. Her former mentor Green immediately informed her (using the royal plural): “We are very disappointed that she is being disloyal to the group to which she belongs”.
Chase-Green responded by questioning the “loyalty quotient” of Green’s forming the GGG to challenge the PNC under Hoyte!
…fighting drug smuggling
Your Eyewitness is still trying to figure out how 11 TONNES of cocaine were transported from Brazil or Colombia into Guyana without being detected.
What happened to all those (expensive) drones Ramjattan bought for surveillance of our borders?