The Chairman of the Integrity Commission revealed that, last year, 42% of the public officials who’re required BY LAW to file declarations of their assets failed to do so. 41 of the defaulters were MPs, mostly from the Government, and included President Granger!
Declarations are supposed to be filed by June 30th annually, and this year the record’s worse, even though the deadline was extended to Aug 31. The defaulters now number 65%, almost two-thirds of the cohort of folks who’re supposed to be running this country on our behalf.
With oil money supposed to start flowing next year, the mind boggles and the body shudders at what’s in store for us. After all, if they feel compelled to hide their assets when we’re just another sh*thole country, imagine what’s gonna happen when we become the per capita richest country on the planet. You can be sure what the numbers may say: THAT most of the wealth’s gonna end up in the pockets of these same “public servants” who’re NEVER filing their assets’ declarations!
There’s no other reason for not filing, except that these defaulters have something to hide. It’s just like Trump: doing backflips to avoid revealing his tax returns’ filings. He knows for sure he’s been doing all sorts of hanky-panky with his finances. But what’s even more egregious about our state of affairs is that, even though these defaulters can be prosecuted according to laws presently on the books, the Commission has been unable to do so, since it hasn’t been given the requisite funding.
As Immanuel Kant pointed out, “ought” implies “can”, and without funds to pay investigators, prosecutors etc, while the Commission OUGHT to prosecute these miscreants, they certainly CAN’T. And, trust this Eyewitness, this Government know this fully well, and have deliberately underfunded the Commission. Scads of skeletons in their closets! IN the decades since the Commission was established by the PPP, the PNC have refused to cooperate, insisting they didn’t trust the first Chair, Bishop George. Imagine that!! But they’ve got no excuse now, since they appointed the present Chair.
The gentleman made an eminently sensible suggestion: that the Commission be made into a constitutional body, so it will automatically receive funding, once Parliament scrutinises and approves the quantum. He also suggested that the Integrity Commission function on a full-time basis. With oil on the horizon, this is even more eminently sensible, and should be complemented with a large team of full-time investigators.
But after this Government’s vile behaviour following the CCJ request that they act with “integrity” in following the commands of Art 106 (6) – to resign and call elections in 3 months – don’t hold your breath.
Well, our Warriors have certainly roused their fans – meaning all Guyana – with their bravura performances in their first two games. Your Eyewitness is writing this before the third game’s played, but you, dear reader, would’ve known the results as you read this. Whatever happens in this game of “glorious uncertainty”, the Warriors have given us a welcome respite from the interminable wrangling and rancour the PNC have introduced into our country in their determination to hold on to power by any means necessary.
The ironic thing is: quite a lot of the politicians were at the game, and you’d think their conscience might prick them for stoking divisiveness in those same folks who were rooting as one for “their boys”. They would’ve seen Guyanese performatively demonstrating they can, as a matter of fact, become “one people; one nation with one destiny”. The secret was right in front of them: give our people incentives to be part of a common endeavour.
But are they gonna do it? Not in this life!!
More wrangling and rancour in store.
The depravity of the Chronic, run by Nagamootoo, knows no bounds. This week, he featured Barrington Braithwaite — an ERC member!! – blaming only the then PPP Administration for the 1998-2008 violence.
Wasn’t Nagamootoo a leader of the PPP then??