There seems to be hardly any space for ideals in political circles. This explains why business and politics almost always go hand in hand, and why at the end of the day Government and opposing polities still seal deals behind closed doors, unbeknownst to the public.
It also explains why business magnates such as Brian Tiwarie jumped from being ardent supporters of the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) in 2011, to coalition partisans in 2015. If Tiwarie was not a businessman, perhaps we might have been a bit more surprised at his decision to switch sides. Similarly, prominent businessmen on the Essequibo Coast who built their fortunes for years on the open market policies of the PPP/C, went ahead and cut deals with the coalition, based on promises bred notably by the Alliance For Change in 2015. False hopes of securing up to $9000 per bag of paddy as promised by men such as Ramayya, Naithram, Doerga, Abel Seetaram and the now Prime Minister Nagamootoo, proved vain. Unfortunately, while for some, switching sides paid off, for others it might just have been an irreversible mistake.
But unlike these popular and established businessmen who came out to publicly voice their support for the coalition with nothing business interests at heart, there are others such as politicians who abnegate from their responsibility to uphold party ideals and values as they proverbially “hang their mouths where the soup flows”.
One of the things that all polities in this country have fought against incessantly is nepotism, despite that they are all equally guilty of indulging in the said. A current case which captured my attention is concealed within the Indigenous Affairs Ministry, under the LCDS-funded Amerindian Development Fund (ADF project).
It was discovered that following the review of the LCDS/GRIF projects which was completed late last year, the consultant who was hired by the Allicock administration to conduct capacity building sessions for the ADF project, is no other than Minister Allicock’s son-in-law. Interestingly, the individual in question is also a longstanding member of the PPP who was actively engaged in public campaigns.
While there is potentially nothing wrong with working for the development of Guyana regardless of the party in power,(and depending on how strongly one feels about her/his ideals), what is questionable is the ease with which certain politicians succumb to ills which oppose party values, and which feed the corrupt practices of the current Government.
Surprisingly, the partnering United Nations Development Project (UNDP) has either failed to conduct a background check on the individual, or has turned a blind eye to suit the whims and fancies of the powers that be at the Ministry. In either case, this represents a slackening in the recruitment standards of the UNDP which is tasked with ensuring internationally upheld principles of transparency and public accountability.
This also calls for examination of the level of adherence to the party values and stance by members of all polities herewith, and whether the violation of any of these is met with sanctions aimed at preserving the integrity and ideals of each polity. It would be difficult for the supporters of all sides combined, to have faith in parties which are failing to promote the standards which they defend without relent during their electoral campaigns.
Au finale, the cost of corruption is borne by taxpayers who comprise mainly of the working class and working poor. For this reason more than any, the Government of Guyana, notwithstanding Minister Allicock, must be held accountable and must answer to the multiple charges of nepotism which continue to pervade this administration is barely one year of office, falling against the very APNU/AFC 2015 slogan for a corruption-free Guyana.
Likewise, the Opposition PPP must hold its members and leaders to the highest standards if it is to present itself as a credible alternative for the advancement of all Guyanese, including Amerindians. One cannot be part of the problem s/he pretends to solve.
Send questions & comments to firstname.lastname@example.org