Daughter of the late President Dr. Cheddi Jagan leveled a blistering attack against the PPP
Bitten by one’s own bug
The daughter of the late President Dr. Cheddi Jagan leveled a blistering attack against the party her father founded and there has been nary a criticism of her comments. In fact, they passed almost unnoticed because in the first instance, the woman is not known as a public figure. In the second instance the children of former presidents who choose private lives are not really newsmakers.
That the woman chose the heart of the party to address the people is significant. She must have watched the shenanigans from her home and must have read the various media reports. She must have been shaken by the steady stream of reports on the criticisms.
Indeed, she saw the homes of people who worked for salaries and knowing that her parents were also salaried people who could only afford a modest home, she had to ask questions about these people. What is not known is whether she had held discussions with some of the targets of her criticisms and whether she got answers that she found disapproving. What is known is that she was angry and perhaps ashamed that the party her father founded is not what it was intended to be.
Kaieteur News was the first of the media outlets to target the corrupt actions of people in government office. It started to examine some of the contracts that were actually over-priced. In addition, the work was slipshod and the taxpayers were asked to foot the bill.
Investigations revealed that many of the contractors were required to pay graft to secure the contract. This meant that less money was available for the particular project. In the end a compromise was reached. The contractor was allowed to overbid so that the project would not suffer unduly and the person collecting the graft got his share from the top.
The next area of focus was on the acquisitions of certain people. Many of these appeared to be part of the noveau riche when by no stretch of imagination they should have been anything but comfortable. There has been a difficulty in tracking down the finances but there has been no difficulty in identifying the assets these people acquired.
Ms. Jagan-Brancier also saw these things and she was pained. She addressed people who have been with the party from the day they were born and told them of these things. There must have been a state media presence but they never reported a line because their controllers would not have been happy with the publication and because of the embarrassment.
It would have been easy to attack the critic, had he or she been someone somewhat removed from the party but to have the criticism coming from someone so close—Ms. Jagan-Brancier and her children made a public show of joining the party when her mother died—it must have been gut-wrenching.
Surely, the hierarchy of the government must have noticed the same things that Kaieteur News and Ms. Jagan-Brancier have been talking about for so long. There were also the reports by the office of the Auditor General. These highlighted so many irregularities that surely there should have been a revamping of the financial system. There were cases of unsupported expenditure and undocumented monies, unsupported cheque accounts reports of monies being paid to contractors in excess of what they should have earned.
There were also reports of senior officials making purchases with money that they could not have earned and while an investigation was promised nothing was done.
Ms. Jagan-Brancier would have been aware of the time her mother was invited to a house opening in what is now known as Pradoville and on reaching the location, refused to attend the function when she saw the house. Mrs. Janet Jagan was asked to ask how was it that one of her party members could own such a house. Since then Janet Jagan was aware that all was not right. Her successors never took note.
In the Forbes Burnham era no one could display unexplained wealth. There was the Remigrant officer who simply had a car that appeared to be beyond the pale. This man was investigated and prosecuted. He died before going to trial.
Despite the various exposures of obvious corruption nothing has been done. Ms. Jagan-Brancier has added her voice to this rampant irregularity. While the private media have reported her contention and the state media have remained silent, the authorities cannot escape the fact that there is rampant corruption in the highest circles. The public awaits action.