Letter: They are either Ministers or students

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Dear Editor,

President David Granger is reported on in the State Media as saying “there is nothing corrupt about the granting of scholarships to ministers Annette Ferguson and Nicolette Henry”. Along the same vein, I also have the Brooklyn Bridge to sell.

First of all, the President and his Cabinet have violated the general principles of granting scholarship in the public services by not acting impartially to all groups, persons, and organizations when these scholarships were distributed. 

This 2016 scholarship-gate was a giveaway fest for PNC party hacks. Even the professionals in the Public Service Ministry Training Division expressed private disgust at the level of political interference to one of my friend and they all voted for the Coalition.  The line between professionalism and unprofessionalism continue to be crossed every day by this Granger government; it is like they cannot help themselves and act professionally and within the rules for once. 

Secondly, the President is being absolutely dishonest with the public with this statement because he is fully aware once these Ministers commence their program of studies, they will not be able to give an honest effort in delivering service to the public.  They cannot be “sucking cane and blowing the whistle” at the same time.  They are either Ministers or students during this period but undoubtedly, they cannot be both since a Minister is a full-time effort.  Who really does the President thinks he is fooling?

Thirdly, this act by the President in doling out these funds to these Ministers evidently represents an abandonment of his responsibility and a failure to protect and spend public funds in the best interest of the nation.  This act of having the Minister with one foot in and one foot out is nothing but public fraud, public waste and misappropriation of public funds by the Granger government. 

Any high school child will know that this act by the Granger government is public corruption.  Anyone who try to pass of this public act of corruption as good public services procedures is deliberately playing the fool.  Is this what this 71 year old President is doing?

The duty of a Minister is to fulfill their mandate in good faith and with a full obligation to the citizens of Guyana. How can a Minister who is busy doing an assignment for a school project be able to offer the Guyanese people top service in the middle of a seawall break-away.  

That Minister will never be 100% on the job and what is the most important role of a Minister – making decisions. So we can expect many clumsy and ill-thought out decisions from Minister Henry and Minister Furguson in the ensuing period. Who really President Granger thinks he is fooling with this foolish “cop-out”?

In conclusion, this scholarship situation is nothing but a wanton abuse of the rules and the misuse of public office by the Granger government for private gains for selected members of the PNC. They have used non-public information to benefit PNC insiders, PNC friends and even children of the serving Minister of Education Dr. Roopnarine who has also dished out a scholarship for his daughter because she did a PNC march and who may never come back to serve the nation.

This is an immoral commitment of state funds for PNC officials that bind the taxpayers in a relationship that has very little value for money for them and all the benefits for the PNC and WPA apparatchiks. 

The mere fact that these scholarships were offered to these two sitting Minister illustrates that they are gaining financially from a transaction that comes into direct conflict with their responsibilities to the Government and people of Guyana. So this last minutes whitewash statement from President Granger cannot and will not erase the black mark on his government concerning this unethical abuse of the Treasury.  We must reject and combat these immoral acts of abuse by the Granger administration on all fronts.

Yours truly,
Surujdai Lilmohan

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