I know that I have had cause to express my curious appreciation of those columnists and dedicated letter writers – based in Georgetown and overseas – who, virtually, daily, lambaste Bharrat Jagdeo, his heirs and wannabes, most relentlessly with a view to regime change.
(I wouldn’t know how to do it with such pointed frequency, even though I have nothing against those gentlemen’s ultimate success.)
Incidentally “when yuh own louse bite yuh…” Research how many of today’s harshest, most strident critics were once in the same room with the matured Donald and young Bharrat. And silly me! Why do I keep wondering what would have been happening today if Moses or Ralph Hari Narayen had secured the PPP/C vote for Presidential nominee?
Perhaps my latter personal puzzle is the motivation for returning to what was, by around 1995, the Bharrat Jagdeo enigma. Along with the phenomenon of how, with electric swiftness, to the chagrin of his comradely seniors, the relative enigma became profound reality! With indelible consequences for his own party and our own country. (Recall too my sustained wonderment with regard to normally upright persons of ability, values and integrity, serving a regime who stole the people’s will for years.)
Young Bright Burnham returned to British Guiana just in time to be embraced by Young Cheddi Jagan, only to swiftly become Jagan’s relentless nemesis. Old PPP knowledgeables still around would recall Burnham’s political acumen, inclusive of the “race-card” dealt to him, between ’53, ’55 and ’57. Fast-forward to ’92, ’95, ’97.
Out of the political blue arrived a young Progressive Youth Organisation (PYO) East Coast Demerara member; briefly a school teacher who went to Moscow to become an economist, returned to work with the PNC’s Haslyn Parris at the State Planning Secretariat, then emerged after the PPP/C returned to government near the end of 1992.
Like Cheddi his mentor, he had a rustic charm, deceptive smile and, privately, vast ambition. The latter fuelled by the Jagans – especially Comrade Janet.
Travelling with Cheddi and Senior Finance Minister Asgar Ally, young Soviet-trained Bharrat enjoyed a relatively brief apprenticeship before becoming full Finance Minister after the 1997 elections. Cheddi had passed on months before in ’97. But young Bharrat was moving forward. Like lightning!
I could not agree with the nastiness on the streets when Comrade Joe Hamilton, Aubrey and other PNC “militants” demonized Janet Jagan after the 1997 Elections. Say what you like she was a political Amazon.
Like Comrade Carberry I didn’t care about her being my President. She succumbed to the pressure of the streets and law courts and failing health.
Recall, then the unprecedented, governmental musical chairs organized by Comrade Janet: Young Jagdeo was made Prime Minister, President Jagan resigned. Prime Minister Jagdeo became President and re-appointed Samuel Hinds as P.M. all in four or five days! All politically vulgar, but constitutionally acceptable.
President Jagdeo, role and legacies
Manufactured and Readymade! Made in Janetland! My Guyana had her Bharrat as President of our Republic. I understood the hurt of such loyal “Cheddi Children” as Reepu, Moses, Navin, Clement, Ralph, even Roger and Robeson.
Look, even I, who had grown weary of my erstwhile PNC strategies and excesses, looked forward to what this baggage-less new Kid-on-the Political Block (literally a “kid”!) would offer.
I wrote about the “new Bharrat” as, mistakenly, many thought Cheddi was “a Bharrat” once. I did a whole newspaper supplement on his first 100 days. Such hope as he posed with Linden’s Afro-Girl students! Swiftly, President Jagdeo shed his masks and, Putin-like, even did some Forbes Burnham-like things. He seemingly made his Party secondary. He grasped Presidential and Constitutional authority. At his swearing-in he said Cde Janet would “always be (his) President”. Later he would describe her as “an ordinary citizen sharing her views”. There was venomous aggression against both Party and external critics. Old Cheddi stalwarts were immobilized, co-opted, hushed or evicted.
Enter the Real Jagdeo!
Unlike other more hostile commentators and political analysts, I can’t ignore the strengths and positives of leaders. However temporary, strategic or meant to deceive.
Mr Jagdeo did steady and sustain an erratic exchange rate – – even if his parallel market had something to do with that; he did seek out a more robust continental foreign initiative with Venezuela (Chavez), Brazil (Lula) and Suriname (the Doubtful Desi); Jagdeo did attempt massive infrastructural works – – even if many contractors never built dreams before; he withstood a five-year crime wave, eventually getting the murderous gang; he catapulted Guyana onto the Global Climate Change/Forest Preservation Map and he was a Master of Showpieces – ICC World Cup at new Stadium, Carifesta 10 and Jamzones many.
His loyalists of the current new PPP recently responded to a litany of his failed Presidency by presenting their own Super List of his Achievements – from the Law-of-the-Sea triumph over Suriname’s claim to his weathering the international financial meltdown. Good for them. But really, how will Bharrat be remembered? Not because of what people write and assess, but by the thousands of poverty-challenged citizens of this Blighted Land?
A powerful, petulant,
President’s (PPP) Legacy?
Jagdeo was masterful in having the selected Ramotar declare that, as President, he (Ramotar) would “continue” the policies of Jagdeo. Great for Bharrat, Catastrophe for our poor and powerless.
Frankly Speaking, to me, this lad from the fishing village of Unity, now known by the UN, Caricom, South America and the world, succumbed to the virus of unmitigated power, power that immobilised even successive bright intellectual opposition(s).
From Virgin Lands, Guysuco’s retired acreages; the so-called “Commanding Heights of the Economy”, the Private Sector, Investment Opportunities and Parliament, to even the electronic spectrum, Jagdeo channelled to his buddies. Using from nepotism, new legal entities, fronts, sleight-of-hand to retroactive legislation.
Frankly Speaking, young Bharrat made young Black Professional Persons seem like either an endangered species – or extinct. His is a powerful “legacy” of Indo-names in every sphere of authority, power, status and public life.
Sadly, even if not of his doing, under his watch sugar collapsed, crime and cocaine reigned, extra-judicial killings soared, greed submerged even sport, institutions were compromised and national morality plummeted as thousands fled and his own folks also suffered. And still suffer. Now add your List.
What is to be done?
The perennial question! What have been the Opposition responses to the Jagdeo legacy since he departed from Office but not from influence?
Unfortunately I’ll have to return to this as time and space shackle me here. (Just don’t ask Chris Ram that question). To me the Ramotar fellows – and Madame Gail – have done a fine job to stymie any effective measures the Brigadier’s Opposition have mounted. The Administration has used judicial challenges and delays to a fine art.
Budget challenges are by-passed, contracts are awarded like ice-cream and the PPP/C boys are rewarding themselves for any eventualities. Hail now the AFC’s No-Confidence motion! But wait! What’s in store for the Opposition? Stay connected.
*1) Old PPP fellows tell me they get Bharrat livid by telling him that – “is you mansion and pension mek we lose de majority. What America, Britain and de PNC fail at you manage to do!”
Til next week!
As nationals of Guyana, we have been concerned about how poorly employers, particularly the PPP regime, have used the human resources in the country.
For too long, this government has allowed the finest minds to be either underemployed or without any positive and active involvement in the country affairs.
Yet the state continues to expend significant amount of resources on educating the people and encouraging them to prepare themselves. To what end?
Let’s call a spade a spade! Almost daily, available jobs are usually advertised in the media and elsewhere by the government in order to satisfy some internal organizational protocol.
But government officials merely go through the fraudulent motions of an interview process when they have already decided who the holder of the position will be. And it is one of their supporters or relatives of high ranking PPP officials.
But the regime has the gall in these advertisements to let potential applicants know up front that they thank them for applying but do not have the decency to even acknowledge their applications let alone call them for an interview.
This is the scam that this regime has been involved in for years and it has caused unnecessary grief and pain after those who apply found out after what has happened. To use such a sinister ploy to deceive the nation indicates how low the administration has descended.
The fact is when the private sector engages in these acts, at least the consequence is personal, and shows up in their bottom line expense sheet.
But when the Government does the same, employing only friends and supporters of the PPP despite their lack of ability, qualifications experience and requisite skills, the entire nation suffers.
Let us be clear in saying that we have no difficulty whatsoever with the regime wanting to hire its party supporters and members or people of like thinking in critical policy areas so long as those persons are qualified to do the job.
But this has not been the case at the office of the President and at several other state agencies and departments which have employed hundreds of contract employees who are paid super salaries because they are the children, relatives and friends of the PPP cabal.
This is happening in a country where brain cells have gone on strike for an extended period and the loudest mouths in political campaigns are usually rewarded with the most influential positions.
This is wrong and the Jagdeo/ Ramotar cabal must stop this ignominious and dishonest practice if it is to regain the trust and confidence of the people.
The reality has been since Guyana attained its Independence on May 26, 1966, party purity and loyalty have become more important than to employ qualified and experience persons to carry the government tasks.
Once a political party wins, its candidates begin to circle the wagon of political power. The game is essentially about paying back those who made the win possible.
While the noble intentions of politics are “serving the people’s interests,” the first people usually served are those elected, that is, jobs for the boys.
The bigger question is why most of the educated Guyanese with college/university degrees are all over the world and not in Guyana.
The answer, we believe, is that we have never found a way as a society to harness and apply the best and brightness minds to address our nation’s challenges at any one time.
The real sadness of all this is that it does not matter where you come from in society, what your ethnicity is or whether you belong the PPP or the PNC, it was Guyana and the Guyanese taxpayers who have given you a start in life and have prepared you for wherever you now are.
Our continuous poor use of our most qualified personnel is tantamount to perpetrating an injustice on the country which has invested heavily through taxation, blood, sweat and tears in the development of its citizens.
With that said, we always held the view that the real issues we face in Guyana are not only corruption, poverty, crime, joblessness, illegal narcotics trafficking but also injustice! People all over the world have fought and died for their civil rights and against injustice, will Guyanese do!
Dr. Asquith Rose and
Harish S. Singh.
After many years of courting the House of Israel founder, the PPP/C have finally managed to lure PNCR executive Joseph Hamilton. Hamilton’s kids were also given lucrative jobs at OLPF(Jagdeo one laptop vote buying scheme) in the Office of The President, and we think this was one of the few perks Donald Ramotar extended to the House of Israel man to get him to jump ship, sorta like how Luncheon gave Mortimer Mingo a cheap house lot in Pradoville 2, but the poor PNC man check bounce, so you could say Mingo couldn’t afford to buy into the PPP/C cabal, maybe if Mingo had ties to House of Israel, he would have been given a financial boon like Hamilton.
What is most surprising is that PPP/C parade Hamilton in front of the same Berbicians that only a few months before Bharrat Jagdeo told they must remember the crimes of the PNCR. It sure seems like PPP/C are confident that they can fool Berbicians with anything, for them to parade Joe Hamilton in front of Berbicians to cheer, the same Joe, the man that was the pulse of all things Rabbi Washington, I guess it goes to show PPP/C only like people like Joe Hamilton if he is on their side, so I ask you, is PPP/C really any different than the old PNC?
Well then again Rabbi Washington was Janet Jagan boy, when he was a fugitive on the run from the US authorities, he was shacked up in freedom house for many months hiding out. Then again after Hoyte tossed him in jail for murders, PPP/C set him free. So Rabbi Washington could have been a murderous PPP goon all along, after all PPP/C is the only party that has anything to gain significantly from a racially divided Guyana and especially when the Indian population is scared of the blacks.
Reminds us of Gregory Smith the man wanted for the murder of Dr. Walter Rodney, Bharrat Jagdeo & PPP/C knew he was hiding out in French Guyana but did nothing to bring him to face the courts.