Whilst the coalition Government is holding on to power for dear life, the coalition-sponsored ‘Outreach Circus’, a political gimmick meant to revitalise or resurrect the Government, has concluded and has failed miserably to meaningfully resolve any social and economic issues affecting the various regions. People came empty-handed and went home the same way as crimes and cost of living continue to spiral out of control.
Can you imagine that on Saturday last while the Public Security Minister was on television making ridiculous claims of the PPP intending to rig election via Facebook, two gunmen were leisurely robbing a Chinese supermarket just a stone’s throw away from the Albion Police Station? The men, armed with one AK 47, waltzed into the supermarket, robbed the business, sent the police patrol scampering for cover as they shot ad lib and then strolled away without even a bullet being fired in return by the police. All of this happened around 9 pm! It seems we now need a 7 pm curfew! It is a fact that daring and armed banditry is on the increase and quoting statistics will do nothing to erase that.
On the other hand, the lines at all the money transfer places such as MoneyGram and Western Union continue to be overflowing. I have never witnessed such a spectacle before but this is heralding the return of the dark Burnham era. It is a fact that the poor in Guyana are getting poorer daily and are once again mustering their ingenuity and resilience which made them survive during those dark days. However, this time, many have benefitted from the 10-year visitor’s visa, compliments of the PPP/C Government and do not have to take the perilous ‘back track’ route. These are the people who are going and work for a six-month period and sending remittances to their families. This has greatly buffered the harsh economic realities which have gripped this country since 2015. These people have sacrificed their family ties just to feed them! What a shame on this Government! I could recall the late Dr Walter Rodney’s statement that the PNC has the “Midas touch” meaning that everything they touched transformed into excrement. Now the issuance of these visas has fallen by 80 per cent, compliments of the coalition Government which has run the economy to the dust and returned Guyana to mendicancy. The issuance of visitors’ visas, other things being equal, are linked to the economic prosperity of a country.
Once again, the PNC-led coalition Government is unleashing a socio-economic onslaught of gigantic proportions. Over 30,000 persons were dismissed while thousands of youths are without jobs and even those employed by GuySuCo have not received any increase in their wages since 2015. The majority of employees earn a paltry $10,000 (US$50) per week with a minimum wage of $2000 per day. How is a person supposed to survive on this? Once again, Guyanese are engaged in doing all sorts of menial things to supplement their incomes. Fishing is no longer a hobby for many of them and gardening is no longer therapy! Children have once again been forced to resort to the vending of odd items and prostitution is on the rise.
We have heard the coalition Government bragging about ‘skills training’ for sugar workers but there have been no reports of jobs created and so far we have more ‘skilled’ unemployed persons. The four closed estates are still to be privatised whilst they have been completely abandoned. Once again, the nation is losing billions of dollars on the value of canes which were left standing, deteriorating infrastructures and cannibalised factories. Minister Jordan had said he will not “moth balled” them but will make them operational to increase their sale value. What a joke! The loan of $30 billion is yet to be accounted for.
Minister Trotman had said that “This country as the sun rises in the East is not going to be left behind. Guyana will rise from Berbice”. Well, Minister, since the closing of the estates and your bit of poetry, the only things rising are corruption, cost of living, suicide rates, crime rates and prostitution rates among our females.