For quite some time now, corruption has been one of the main topics that the media, those hostile to the PPP/C, have been plugging. We have put forward the argument before that while there is no denying that corruption existed during the PPP/C administration, it has been highly exaggerated.
The corruption ‘promotion’ and the distortion and lies against the PPP/C have not been reduced, despite little or no evidence of such in the many forensic audits being conducted. However, corruption is flourishing to such an extent that the pro-government Kaieteur News in its March 28 editorial was forced to recognise its existence, even though qualifying it to deny it was less than the time of the PPP/C.
The fact remains that the regime has failed to identify any major corrupt practice/s that they previously expounded so much about. The forensic audits have failed thus far to reveal corrupt practices/transactions. The regime, in concurrence with those friendly auditors, is now relying on distortions, innuendos and downright lies. People are being attacked without an opportunity to explain themselves or offer comments on the auditors’ reports.
This smear campaign is being sensationalised by the very media who inculcated the belief in Guyanese that everything the PPP/C did was corrupt. The mere fact that nothing of substance is being discovered by the auditors is clear evidence that the perception of corruption under the PPP/C administration was engineered by speculation and distortion (and not based on reality).
We have oft repeated the measures the PPP/C took in fighting corruption, including establishing the bidding (tender) system for the awarding of contracts, (that system has ceased to exist), the Cabinet disengaging itself from the contracts award process, and the establishment of the Integrity Commission, among other measures.
The PNC/APNU and the AFC never cooperated with the Commission and did everything to sabotage its work. Today, all these systems the PPP/C implemented to curb corrupt practices are being trampled by the APNU/AFC’s media supporters.
The regime has spoken about excesses the PPP/C administration indulged in, yet they have now doubled the number of contract employees and their emoluments. Their ministers have received huge salary increases and the Cabinet has increased from 18 to 27 members.
The media that supports the APNU+AFC regime and who artificially created the perception of corruption during the PPP/C administration are now silent on that fact that this regime has voted against a Bill proposed by the opposition to declare all their earnings and properties, both in and out of Guyana. The Bill proposed jail terms for those who deliberately mislead the National Assembly with wrong information on these assets.
These are the measures the PPP/C proposed in a bid to curb corruption. The APNU/AFC voted it down. Yet a section of the media, which tries to portray the impression that they are interested in transparency, has also not done anything to support this profound measure. Indeed, they helped to the APNU/AFC regime to bury the issue.
It is this very same section of the media that is most responsible for helping the APNU/AFC to create the perception that the corruption rate in Guyana was very high.
However, corruption is flourishing to such an extent that the pro-government Kaieteur News in its March 28 editorial was forced to recognise its existence, even though qualifying it to deny it was less than the time of the PPP/C.
This happened at a time when Guyana, under the PPP/C, probably had the lowest level of corruption on the region. Yet, from the point of view of the ‘created perception’, Guyana’s rate was the highest.
The audits that the regime has undertaken at great costs have proven this fact (low corruption rate) very clearly.
The APNU/AFC regime is now digging deeper into the corruption pool, which the Kaieteur News is being forced to grudgingly recognize. However, in the same breath, this same media house is also trying to defend the actions of the regime and cover up this rascality.
It will be interesting to see how things will evolve in the future.
I predict that the same media house will be forced to change its cover up strategy. But this will be a tough process, since they are the ones that initially created the perception of corruption