Every reasonable-minded Guyanese must now admit that the Alliance for Change’s leadership comprise a band of fortune seekers and desperados, not unlike the buccaneers, pirates, and privateers who once roamed, rampaged, pillaged, and plundered the seas of the Caribbean.
The high echelon of the AFC has lost sight of the founding principles which were enshrined in its Constitution and had been the dominant force which drove many persons to move away from the PPP and the PNC— especially the PPP— in their quest for a third force which has the capability to forever change the political landscape of Guyana. Unfortunately, this was never to be, and sadly, will never be.
In the second edition of the Alliance for Change’s Action Plan, Mr Khemraj Ramjattan, now leader again, had declared to Guyanese that “The Alliance for Change is the key for Guyana, the key to unlock us from the divisive racial politics of the past, from the corruption that engulfs us, from the oppressive taxes we are forced to pay, from the deadly crime that haunts and traumatises us, from the economic decline, and from the hopelessness that we breathe daily”.
Today, this same man is the second Vice President for Guyana and the Minister of Public Security and this declaration should now be read thus, “the AFC is the key which has locked us into divisive racial politics, locked us into unprecedented spiralling corruption, locked us into a multitude of extremely oppressive and retrogressive taxes, locked us into spiralling deadly crimes which are traumatising us daily, and locked us into an airtight compartment of hopelessness”. Things have changed drastically-for the worse!
Similar sentiments were expressed by Mr Raphael Trotman and he added underdevelopment, nepotism, pettiness to the AFC’s arsenal. He had warned that unless there was change, then there will be “five more years of higher taxation, higher unemployment, soaring crimes and widespread hopelessness”. Anyone reading this today will have to admit that both Trotman and Ramjattan are speaking about what is happening currently under this coalition Government and had resulted in a successful no-confidence against them. The Alliance for Change had made a series of ‘wrong turns’ and closely embraced every single issue that they had vowed to fight against and change.
The Alliance for Change is one of the architects and bears full responsibility for the dismissal of more than 30,000 persons, including more than 7,000 sugar workers. Both Ramjattan and Nagamootoo presided, aided and abetted the demise of the sugar workers in Region 6, Wales and Enmore.
It is a crying shame that both Nagamootoo and Ramjattan belonged to rural farming communities. Nagamootoo had once acclaimed himself as the ‘champion of the sugar workers’ who had once ignited candles on their behalf. He would later vulgarly label the sugar workers ‘raiders of the Treasury’, whilst Ramjattan blamed them for ‘eating’ the resources which could have used to make better prisons and pay public servants. Such callousness and insensitivity from two persons, who had once begged the support of the sugar workers and promised them 20% as soon as they were elected to Government. Four years after and NOT even 20 cents increased, in fact, many were dismissed and many hard-fought benefits were snatched away from them.
Not to be outdone, Minister Trotman has made tremendous ‘blunders’ with the EXXON deal which reeked of corruption with this nation losing whatever windfall would have accrued from the massive discovery of oil. His gimmicks and excuses have become not only unbearable, but unacceptable to the average Guyanese. Even the US$18 million signing bonus only recently surfaced more than three years after! Guyanese will have to continue to live as third class citizens because of his ‘blunders’. This man had spoken about ‘underdevelopment’ but his wilful acts and omissions have done nothing to take Guyanese out of our vicious circle of poverty and underdevelopment.
Moreover, the Public Infrastructure Minister seems to be having a rough time to determine WHO IS NOT CORRUPT within his Ministry. Cronyism and corruption are devouring his Ministry, starting from himself. It is corruption from the ‘base to the pinnacle’ within his Ministry. From the tender process to the certification of substandard work, there is a trail of corruption. He, himself, cannot rid from the stench of corruption, be it when you landed at CJIA, when you travel along the highway, when you cross the Demerara Harbour Bridge or when you sit at Durban Park to witness a spectacle involving the waste of taxpayers’ dollars!
Then, there is the conflict of interest scenario involving the Minister of Public Communications, Ms Catherine Hughes and her company, Videomega Productions. Pleading ignorance does nothing to eradicate the nauseating stench of corruption which emanates from the numerous contracts awarded to her company.
It must be noted that shortly after May 2015, the AFC has become increasingly tone deaf to corruption and gave its approval to all the corruption issues mentioned above, making it abundantly clear that the AFC ministers and those within the coalition Government only intend on securing the ‘good life’ for themselves, cronies and families. Not to be outdone, the junior AFC appointees and within the Government, the National Executive members, and even the little fries, have also displayed a huge appetite for corruption.
Today, the leadership of the Alliance for Change is no longer secretive about the fact that they are only interested in remaining as the ‘scrap dealers’ in the coalition Government and they are even willing to engage in open internal dog fights for the anticipated scraps which they hoped will be flung in their direction should they ever get back in power— an eventuality which will never happen!
RDC Councillor Region 6