…another PNC (looting) scandal
The word “loot” entered the English language directly from a Hindi dialect of India after the British East India Company’s conquest was followed by such pillage that it was as if a swarm of locusts had descended on the land. Their looting in their other colonies – such as Guyana – was more exploitation than anything. But that’s just because they didn’t find much to loot when they took over from the Dutch in 1814! But boy did they exploit our blood, sweat and tears during slavery, indentureship, and their aftermath.
In Guyana, it would seem that the PNC is determined to pick up from where the British left off when they departed at independence. We don’t have to recap their depredations between 1964 and 1992, do we? Suffice it to say that not only were we left as if we’d been hit by several hurricanes that levelled everything to the ground. But with one of the highest per capita debt burdens in the world, we were left in a deep hole way below ground level! During that time, the PNC and their cronies lived high off the hog!
When they slid back into Government in 2015, they picked up right where they’d left off in 1992. It was clear that Granger – who swore to fulfil the “legacy” of Burnham – wasn’t just speaking figuratively. We all know of the major swindles like the Jubilee Park scam, the bottom-house warehouse scam, the Ansa drug scam, etc. But the excavation by the new PPP Govt of their depredations in just one unit – the Asphalt Plant at the ironically named Garden of Eden location – offers an insight into the enormity of the looting.
The Plant – run by the DHB – fell under the bailiwick of the Public Infrastructure Ministry. It was supposed to facilitate the road rehabilitation/building programme, even though there were several private asphalt plants. We now know it was just a graft to fill the pockets of those who ran the Ministry. Reports surfaced that the Ministry would order a certain quantity of asphalt, but only have a portion picked up. The remainder was sold at bargain basement prices! An Inquiry was conducted which confirmed the scam where the contractors in the deal had to be paying kickbacks!!
The Inquiry didn’t just confirm that scam, but revealed it was long in the making. Even before the plant was set up, some $9.8 million was paid to a fictitious Trini company for cold mix! Then came the revelation that the DHB manager ordered a $897,000 bracelet for himself as a gift!!
And now another bombshell that Minister Patterson snagged a $504,000 bracelet!
In the meantime, the plant was determined to be non-functional!
…another crime to solve
Coming just a month after the PNC’s five-month long war of attrition following their (failed) attempted heist of the elections – the unfortunate gruesome murders of the Henry cousins acted like Rorschach Test on the body politic. Granger and Harmon made sure of that! While the entire country insisted they wanted the murders solved and justice served, the PNC partisans’ narrative was that it was “political” and the PPP was involved!
It is interesting that PPP partisans never tried to pin the murders on the PNC – even though the latter had exploited it politically. With the Police obtaining what appears to be a freely-granted confession, PNC partisans are contorting themselves into pretzels to show that the confession isn’t kosher. In the meantime, while insisting that the Police must also have forensic evidence to back up the confession, PPP partisans have now moved on to demanding that the Police crack the Haresh Singh murder.
Some, however, are claiming that it does look like this murder was retaliatory.
…another COVID-19 wakeup call
That we’ve been averaging over 50 new COVID-19 cases daily for the past week should remind us that we must remain vigilant.
The rule is: treat every person you encounter as if they’re infected.