The post-colonial insanity of the PPP
The story of the failed leaders who inherited the territories of the Third World after the white man left is tragic in the extreme. No writer with access to Dickensian ability to use the English language can even attempt to describe the economic and psychological death of the Third World after Independence.
To say that I am not emotionally overjoyed with the defeat of Gaddafi is to exhibit immense personal dishonesty. This fool of a leader overthrew the monarchy forty years ago, then, became a monarch himself. One of his sons paid the superstar Beyonce, two million dollars to sing three songs. The year before, he paid Lionel Richie, one million dollars to do two songs. This money wasn’t his; it was the country’s resources he was using so wastefully.
All over the Third World you see the pitiful, Naipaulian failure of post-Independence leaders. Their people run from the psychological prison these rulers built and turn themselves into second class, third class and even tenth class citizens in other lands.
A friend of mine told me it was a horrible sight to see how four Berbician carpenters were living in Barbados. Apparently the employer of the construction work they were doing, allowed them to stay in a large dog kennel he had. I mean every word of this. I am dead serious of what I have just written here.
If the citizens of Niger, Guatemala etc., run away from their birthplace and submit to these semi-civilized conditions, one can understand, given the economic ruins they are fleeing from. But not Guyana. The consensus of the economists who visited this land is that Guyana is a rich territory.
What do our leaders do with our money? From August last year right up to the time of writing, the State is involved in the expenditure of funds to sustain non-stop entertainment. It has gone so bizarre that it goes beyond singers and dancers. They bring in international cricketers to play in meaningless matches. The Government essentially pays these cricketers and performers. Of course American money is the preferred currency.
I am still to make up my mind which is the stupidest statement I ever heard from a PPP leader since that party came to power in 1992. I know Mrs. Jagan wrote in one of her Mirror columns just before she died that Guyana’s medical services are superior to the US, because in Guyana there is free medical treatment. What was foolish about this is that if people could afford it they would spend their money on private hospitals and refuse the Health Ministry’s generosity.
The Secretary of the PPP’s Executive Committee is the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Heath. His name is Hydar Ally. Mr. Ally published a brief letter in the Stabroek News informing readers that the founder of the communist ideology, Karl Marx was proven right by the United States in 2011 because right now in America, life is about the rich dominating the poor.
No one will pay any attention to Mr. Ally; no one did. But what is frightening is that this man occupies one of the most important positions in the public service and is a high-ranking member of the ruling party.
He is followed closely by another PPPite that has substantial authority in the public sector, Prem Misir. He wrote that all over the developed world (and he cited the UK), Governments are cutting back on funding the universities. This was meant to justify the limited money UG gets from the State. What Misir deliberately, and I say deliberately omitted, was the gigantic fact that Guyana has only one university while the UK has over one hundred.
Go on High Street today and you will see the post-colonial insanity of the PPP. More Guyanese citizens are served by the Licence Revenue Office at Smyth and Princes Streets than the Magistrates’ Court on High Street (courts 1, 2, 3). Yet there are extensive extensions being done to these courts and the High Court. But the Licence Revenue Office, smaller than perhaps the large cow pens of rich farmers, remains an incommodious hell-hole.
To accommodate the large influx of people who have to be there, Smyth Street, between Durban and Princes Streets, has been made into a one-way. The PPP expects more persons to be charged and placed before the courts so they extend the agencies of coercion. Institutions of force get more priority than places where development takes place. Only a change of government can save Guyanese.
Minister of Agriculture, Robert Persaud, has finally acknowledged that the Skeldon Sugar Factory investment is a failure. This investment amounted to about US$200 million in an economy with an annual GDP of about US$1.2 billion. As a percent of GDP this investment amounts to about 17% of GDP. This makes it the largest single investment failure since Guyana’s independence in 1966. Even the PNC did not accomplish a failure this gigantic.
The PPP Government is hustling to exonerate itself from blame, fixing same on a hapless GuySuCo Board and Management. Guyanese must not be fooled by this false claim. The entire lot should bow out in shame if they have any sense of honour and decency.
The first cause of failure was the mis-advised grant of the contract for construction to the firm, China National Technical Import and Export Corporation (CNTIC), which had no experience in sugar factory building. The other failings included the acceptance of the factory as complete before the Chinese firm had proven to GuySuCo that it was fully complete and operational; the non-training of locals to operate the factory after the Chinese would have left; the stifling political interference which resulted in experienced, qualified and senior staff including agro-engineers and agronomists being forced out and being replaced by friends and supporters of the Government; the ill-preparedness in not expanding cane cultivation to feed the factory; and, the disrespect for sugar workers which has resulted in massive migration away from work in the Estate.
To solve this problem the PPP Government plans to enter another management contract with either an Indian or Chinese company. Minister Persaud is quoted as saying that the Government was currently evaluating two proposals to manage the said factory.
The AFC sees this development as a grand opportunity for massive corruption. There is no record that any management contract was ever put to a public tender. Moreover, the AFC is aware that taxpayers’ dollars of nearly US$2.5M would have to be paid to the contract manager per month.
More significantly, the AFC has come by reliable information that the Chinese company identified is the selfsame CNTIC, the same company that built the third rate, very high cost Skeldon factory, where the exploded boiler has not yet been properly fixed, the new cane dumper cannot function, and numerous other problems caused by poor quality components are being experienced every day. The maker of this defect-riddled 8,400 tons cane per day grinding capacity factory, which has not yet achieved even half that amount for one day, is being evaluated as a potential contract manager.
Also, the Indian company being evaluated is none other than Surendra Engineering which has the contract for the US$10M Enmore Demerara Gold sugar packaging plant, which plant recently exploded and killed a worker. That specific equipment has not yet been fixed and, in addition, the massive internal work on the factory upgrade to supply the bagging plant has not yet been completed. GuySuCo’s technical managers have refused to accept this work despite political pressure to do so.
This same Surendra Engineering, obviously specially favoured, was awarded by the Ministry of Agriculture a contract for the recently tendered 8 big drainage pumps despite the fact that it does not make pumps at all! Surendra Engineering through another Dubai-based front Company, Salim al Midah, was given the consultancy contract valued approx US$500,000 to provide the plan to upgrade Enmore and Blairmont factories. There is every indication of an unholy alliance between Surendra Engineering and key GuySuCo managers, directors, and politicos to huff all of GuySuCo’s engineering projects including the one now to manage Skeldon, a task Surendra Engineering, like CNTIC, is incapable of doing, both not having the history, experience and managerial capacity in running sugar factories.
The AFC is aware of very experienced and well known Indian and Brazilian consortiums which ought to be invited to give proposals to manage the Skeldon Factory and possibly to procure finances from their respective Governments to assist in doing so.
The AFC has crafted an alternative vision for GuySuCo that will assure simultaneous accounting and social profits for the people. The AFC proposes to reconfigure the sector to retain its survival and sustainability by investing in Fuel Ethanol and Electricity cogeneration. We have even spoken to certain investors about these proposals.
Two Ethanol plants of capacity 100,000 litres per day, operating at least 300 days per annum, can be built adjacent to the existing sugar factories at Enmore, and Wales. The sugar cane from both the Enmore and LBI/Diamond/Houston cultivation would be transported by punts to the re-configured Enmore sugar factory for milling and extraction. Similarly, sugar cane from West Demerara farmers, Wales and Uitvlugt Estates can be combined and be sent to a new Wales factory.
In order to provide the necessary steam and electricity needed at these factories at Enmore and Wales, new steam and electricity cogeneration plants will be built at both these sites.
The expected total investment of these Ethanol Plants, Ethanol Storage, and cogeneration Units is to be approximately US$50M. The field area comprising a total of 40,000 acres, which would be modified over a period of 5 years to accommodate mechanical harvesters, would provide for 1,600,000MT of ripe sugar cane per annum.
1) There would be no significant loss of jobs in the field cultivation areas. In any case, as 20% of the acreage is being modified each year to accept mechanical harvesters, more jobs for tractor and excavator operators would be created, while the reduction in the cane cutters pool would continue on the basis of attrition and aging of the current workforce.
2) The economic activity on the East Coast Demerara and West Bank/Coast Demerara area would see no net loss of major jobs caused by the conversion, and we are likely to see increased commercial activities in the adjacent communities.
3) The two investments would meet with the approval of the World Bank and IFIs which are constantly pushing the Government of Guyana to see either the closure of the Demerara estates or make them produce raw sugar at a competitive world market price, with the latter challenge being impossible to achieve.
The AFC wants to make it clear that an AFC Government will not be fettered by the contractual terms of any management agreement entered into by the PPP/C Government and either CNTIC or Surendra Engineering.
A management contract ought not be entered into now but ought to await until after the elections.
Wikileaks – Confirms what most Guyanese knew, the Bharrat Jagdeo PPP/C are a cocaine friendly government
Guyana heading for narco-statehood; govt lukewarm about drug trade– Wikileaks|
Written by Demerara Waves
Saturday, 27 August 2011 13:47
The United States (US) badly wants a Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) office in Guyana because the South American country is approaching narco-statehood, already resulting in drug seeping into almost all layers of the society.
“Post requests the formal establishment of a DEA office at Embassy Georgetown. Guyana is well on its way to narco-statehood — a prospect that poses a real threat to U.S. interests,” said then American ambassador, Roland Bullen.
The cable was dispatched on May 24, 2006 to, among others, the US Secretary of State, DEA Headquarters in Washington. “The level of narco-trafficking influence on the political, judicial and economic systems in Guyana creates ripe conditions for the emergence of a narco- state,” the Grenada-born ambassador told his principals as well as counterparts in Trinidad, Suriname and Venezuela.
The American envoy believed that a DEA presence in Guyana would significantly improve the US government’s ability to fight drug trafficking in Guyana.
Bullen noted that while Guyana, with a population of 750,000 people and an official Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of less than US$1 billion does not attract much US government attention, narco-traffickers regarded Guyana where they can “operate with impunity” partly because of its geography, law enforcement corruption and a government that is less than enthusiastic about smashing the drug trade.
“They see a country with porous borders, corrupt and ineffective law enforcement, little or no control over its airspace, vast swaths of uncontrolled land, ready access to the Caribbean, North America, and Europe, and a government that has been lukewarm about clamping down on the drug trade,” Bullen said in his missive.
In an earlier cable dated January 6, 2006, Bullen noted that the two countries have been talking about setting up a DEA office here since 1999 and questioned the Guyana government’s sincerity in wanting one. “The current stumbling block is the GoG’s inability or reluctance to give approval for basic logistical details. Post’s position remains the same — the USG is ready to work with and advise the GoG as soon as the GoG is fully prepared to move forward in its fight against narco-trafficking.”
The Guyana government has, over the years, complained bitterly that countries like the US have been reluctant to provide enough funding and other rescources to combat the narco-trade. Guyana expects support through the one-year old US-Caribbean Basin Secuity Initiative (CBSI) to fight the narcotics trade and money laundering.
In the May 24, 2006 cable , the American envoy described as “an especially disturbing development” was Guyana’s involvement in “drugs for arms; financing for insurgent groups like the FARC throughout the region.
In addition, large-scale Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia (AUC) infiltration into Venezuela has led to their playing a significant role in narcotics smuggling activities on the Guyana/Venezuela border, he said.
The US embassy’ primary objective in 2008 of disrupting criminal organisations was, he said, difficult by the lack of a permanent DEA presence in Guyana. The office in Trinidad is fully pre-occupied with the counter-narcotics initiatives in their host nation.
Describing the narco-situation in Guyana as “severe”, he said the DEA could work more effectively to accomplish the critical MPP counter-narcotics objectives and provide more sustained support to local law enforcement agencies in Guyana.
The DEA was expected to establish a vetted counter-narcotics unit in Guyana but the ambassador told the Secretary of State that he was worried that it could become infected by corruption.
“An important challenge facing this unit is the pervasive corruption in the country, which has undermined previous Guyanese counter-narcotics initiatives,” he said, adding that establishing a DEA office will allow close and constant monitoring of the vetted unit to help alleviate this problem.”
The Queens Village ringleader of a massive mortgage rescue scam that defrauded homeowners — many of them from the borough’s Guyanese community — and lenders out of more than $2 million in equity was sentenced last Thursday to four to 12 years in state prison, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.
“In unjustly enriching himself and his accomplices of millions of dollars, the defendant created a human tragedy of immense proportions for the homeowners — many of whom were members of Queens’ Guyanese community — who had turned to him in desperate hope of saving their homes from foreclosure,” Brown said. “In light of the enormous fiscal damage the defendant has caused, the sentence imposed is a just and reasonable solution to this matter.”
Roger Huggins, 36, of 92-06 Springfield Blvd. in Queens Village, co-owned and operated a Richmond Hill company that went by various names — Home Solutions Management, Home Solutions Enterprises and Home Solutions Ltd. — and claimed to be a home foreclosure rescue company, the DA said.
He pleaded guilty Nov. 17 to grand larceny before acting Queens Supreme Court Justice Joel L. Blumenfeld, who sentenced Huggins to four to 12 years in prison, Brown said.
Huggins targeted homeowners in Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx who had substantial equity in their homes but faced foreclosure because they either could not make their monthly mortgage payments or were behind on their mortgages and looked to refinance or modify their loans with their lenders, the DA said.
He offered to help the homeowners by telling them to put their title in the names of a third-party purchaser for one year in exchange for his promising them to improve their credit rating, help them obtain more favorable mortgages and then return the title to the homeowners, Brown said.
But at the closings for the homes, Huggins fabricated reasons why he needed to hold the homeowner’s funds in escrow, including the claim that the equity withdrawn from the properties would be used to pay the mortgages and expenses on the homes and to repair the homeowners’ credit, the DA said.
As part of the scheme, the DA said, Huggins had two attorneys — Trevor Rupnarain and Shawn Chand — representing lending institutions, buyers or sellers at various Home Solution property closings, Brown said.
The lawyers concealed the true nature of the transactions from their clients and distributed fraudulently obtained loans proceeds to themselves as well as to other defendants and entities on behalf of Huggins, the DA said.
The attorneys also fraudulently prepared various financial and real estate documents, Brown said.
Rupnarain pleaded guilty in March to criminal facilitation and was sentenced last week to a one-year conditional discharge, Brown said.
He also resigned from the New York State Bar, paid $50,000 in restitution and indicated that he would move to Guyana, the DA said.
Chand, who has been disbarred, pleaded guilty to grand larceny in October 2010 and was sentenced in December 2010 to five years’ probation and ordered to pay $48,833 in restitution to mortgage lenders.
Huggins, Rupnarain and Chand were three of 17 people charged with participating in the scheme, Brown said.
Of the 17, 12 have pleaded guilty, four are fugitives and one defendant’s case is pending, the DA said.
PLANS BEING HATCHED AGAINST KAIETEUR NEWS
We have learnt from very reliable sources of a plot to fabricate allegations against persons connected with this newspaper so as to lay the basis for them to be charged.
This plot, we understand, has been hatched because of official concerns over the things that this newspaper has been exposing. We have been exposing the rampant corruption, the theft of national resources and the transfer of these resources to colleagues, associates and cohorts.
Certain persons in the upper echelons of the society are adamant that we should not be allowed to continue to report these things in the run-up to general and regional elections. As such, there is a plan to silence Kaieteur News by targeting persons connected with this newspaper.
One senior official has already threatened members of the Kaieteur News that should anybody ever make a mistake, be it traffic or otherwise, that staff member would be faced with the full force of the law and more.
We are not taking these reports lightly and we are hereby notifying our readership about what we have learnt. We are also placing the nation on alert about these plans which we consider devious and a direct assault on freedom of the press. They are so serious that they could force the closure of this newspaper and deny the nation a credible source of information about their interests and welfare.
We have repeatedly said that we will not bow to pressure. We will defend the right to publish matters of public interest and for the right of the people of Guyana to receive this information. As a national newspaper this is our pact with the people of Guyana. We shall not be deterred from doing our job and will zealously guard the canons that we uphold.
Kaieteur News will stand in defence of those associated with this newspaper; those who are being targeted because of the views expressed herein. We shall stand firm in the face of this continued onslaught against our newspaper, but we will be vigilant given the information that has come to hand.