I hardly ever respond to the articles penned by Freddie Kissoon for many reasons. However, my attention was drawn to his May 5 column in the Kaieteur News titled “On Indian Arrival Day, African Guyanese must denounce injustice”.
In passing, the headline is totally misleading. The article was mainly another PPP bashing and the self-glorification of Mr Kissoon.
That though is not the purpose of this response. It is to set the record straight on some of the charges he made against the PPP/C.
He accused the PPP/C Administration of dismissing his wife from her job at GO-Invest on many occasions previously. In his May 5 article, he again implied this, it is totally false and he knows it to be untrue.
I was President at the time when Mrs Kissoon resigned from her job at GO-Invest. I recall that Mr Keith Burrows, the then Chair of GO-Invest, brought it to my attention in one of our meetings. He went on to tell me that she was a very good and competent officer and he was going to ask her to withdraw her resignation.
I encouraged him to do so, since all the reports I had about her work were very positive.
Subsequently, Mr Burrows told me that Mrs Kissoon did not accede to his request. He said she told him she had gotten a better job. That is simply the truth.
Mr Kissoon should desist from perpetuating this falsehood. Making that false accusation, even when he has to know the truth, is most unethical.
The other point that Mr Kissoon keeps misrepresenting and misleading the public on is the circumstance that led to his separation from the University of Guyana. He claimed that he was dismissed. This is far from the truth.
The fact is, Mr Kissoon had reached retirement age at the end of December 2010. He was allowed to continue to the end of the academic year, which was August 2011.
The Appointments Committee did not recommend any extension for Mr Kissoon, a retiree and a Lecturer II because he failed to meet the University policy with regards to retention of academic staff, which was; i) have a healthy academic record with research and publications reviewed by academic peers and; ii) to face a competitive process with other applicants.
All fourteen members of the UG Council, including the UGSS and his fellow colleagues of the academic staff, supported the position of the Appointments Committee not to renew his contract. It is true that some PPP members were on the Board, but were only a part of the 14-member Council.
At this stage, let me also say that this was the same charge made against Mr Kissoon by former Vice-Chancellor, Mr Dennis Craig in the 1990s. Mr Kissoon showed no improvements over the years.
In the same article of May 5, Mr Kissoon implied victimisation of his daughter. It is the first time I am hearing this and Mr Kissoon did not state anything concrete on this matter, therefore, I can’t comment on this. It would be good for the public to know what he was referring to.
There are many more things that I can say about his article. For instance, his talk of being viciously attacked is, in my view, highly exaggerated. However, I would not dwell on that since those are opinions of mine. In regard to his departure from UG and his wife’s resignation form GO-Invest, those are facts that can be verified.
Mr Kissoon should apply some ethics in his writings.
All for the public’s information