For some months now, there’s been a developing consensus among African-Guyanese intellectuals and activists about “sharing the corn” in Guyana. There are all sorts of “corn” being discussed, but today your Eyewitness will focus on what are called “economic goods” – money and wealth. The discussion has been ventilated in the pages of our dailies, but it isn’t a new topic. In fact, some would say it’s been the only subject on the national agenda since Independence became a glimmer after WWII.
And right away we should see we’ve got a problem. If we’ve been sharing corn for so many years and folks still feel there needs to be more sharing going on, doesn’t that suggest we might be going about this corn-sharing the wrong way?? Frankly, your Eyewitness thinks the problem is all the talk about sharing the corn, and nothing about “planting the corn”!! Makes sense, don’t you think?? If you keep sharing and don’t plant to get more, pretty soon you’re gonna be outa corn to share; ain’t it so??
And that is exactly what happened during the PNC’s first turn at the wheel, between 1964 and 1992.
Burnham had all sorts of grandiose dreams about “housing, clothing and feeding the nation”, but by the time he gave up the ghost on an operating table at the ‘big hospital’, we were all homeless, naked and hungry. At the start, he shared out all the corn that had been accumulated after the British had shipped out most to the “Mother Country”, and there was great jubilation among his primarily African- Guyanese supporters. But he then nationalised all the corn production, and ran them into the ground within a decade, even though he borrowed more than US$2billion that he couldn’t repay. With no corn to share, “white mouth” stalked the land.
This is what the PPP inherited in 1992, but soon wiped off the debt and started planting corn. Within a decade and a half, we’d moved from being a Highly Indebted Poor Country to being a High Middle Income Country!!
The problem was that, even though by any measurement the corn produced was shared equitably except to the Amerindians, and poverty was reduced almost equally among African, Indian and Mixed-Guyanese, African-Guyanese leaders insisted this wasn’t so, and stirred up their constituency to rebel. The production of corn obviously had to fall and the share diminished. During the PNC’s return engagement from 2015, they again started sharing corn without growing any.
But it looks like African-Guyanese have wised up to their siren song, and have switched to the PPP. All Guyana now know you can’t reap if you don’t plant.
Well, looks like we dodged the bullet that most folks had though was coming our way when the recount deadline suddenly loomed like that iceberg in front of the Titanic. We just heard that – as your Eyewitness said yesterday – all it took was the Chairwoman amending the order she had crafted in the first place. It was a crisis of her making, and she blinked. But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves – she’s just pushing back the real decision that has to be made – once again by her.
And that decision has to do with what she’s gonna do about the 86,000 objections that Lt Col (rtd) Harmon of the PNC has promised will accompany the recounted ballot boxes. She’s given the Commission 3 days to address the PNC’s objections after the extra 13 to get the recount done – which will be summarised by no other than Lowenfield!! And this is where the next cock is coming.
The Commission can decide only on what’s in front of them; and guess what choices Lowenfield will be giving them!!
…the (recount) news
Your Eyewitness is quite pleased at an unexpected development that has taken place under the tent outside the ACCC with the reporters and politicians.
The reporters have developed a collective pair!!