EYEWITNESS: Minority Report…

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…in Procurement

Not so long ago, there was a movie, Minority Report, starring Tom Cruise. The futuristic plot centred around three individuals who could “see”, and project on a screen, crimes unfolding just before they were committed. The job of Cruise’s team was to stop the crime in real time before it actually happened. The three clairvoyant individuals’ brains were “wired together” for unanimity, but sometimes the more gifted one would see things a bit differently, and would file a “Minority Report”.

Well, in Guyana today, something analogous is playing out, but, as always for us, there’s a twist. Here, for decades, the APNU/AFC Opposition had accused the PPP Government of committing mega-crimes while procuring billions and billions’ worth of goods and services for the Government’s use. They insisted, challenged, and demanded a five-person Public Procurement Commission (PPC) be wired together to look into crimes that might be committed in procurement, going forward.

Not as futuristic as the clairvoyants – but what the heck?! Better late than never; and hopefully, by locking up a few (high level) miscreants, this would have a chilling effect on others who might be contemplating raiding the Consolidated Fund’s cookie jar. Well, the fact that after the Opposition APNU/AFC got into government they dragged their feet, kicking and screaming and took more than a year and a half to appoint the PPC should’ve been a tip-off that things na regulah. They’d been making a fuss about crimes in procurement because that’s what they had in THEIR minds. They were projecting!

In that year and a half, there were all sorts of crimes (and a couple of misdemeanours) committed from the moment they got the keys to their offices. Those crimes were all swept under the rug, which contained so many bodies that when a $605 million whopper was committed in pharma purchases, the mega-bulge just had to be explained.

Well, the PPC was finally in place, headed by no other than the wife of the former leader of the PNC, who’d stepped aside gracefully for the present pressie to become leader.
While there were sceptics, hope beats eternal, doesn’t it? There was an investigation into the pharma scam, headed by the member nominated by the PPP. But, amazingly, the report was submitted without that fella’s signature. He’d indicated he had his own opinion on what really went down – and just like with the most gifted clairvoyant in the Tom Cruise movie, you’d expect him to submit his “Minority Report”, wouldn’t you?

Well, that’s what the fella figured, too…but his report’s been buried. In the movie, this meant somebody higher in the organisation had committed the crime.
What’d you think happened here?

…in Mash

Just when everyone thought “Mash”, which had defined “Republic Day” for so long, was being phased out as our “national celebration”, in favour of Independence Day, up comes news about this year’s version. Mash is going back to its roots with a vengeance. The Govt’s Minister of Social Cohesion – who’s also Minister of Culture – gave a preview of what lies ahead in a launch of Mash 2018 in Linden.

The theme, we’re told, is “Unity in Diversity”, but the Chronic captured the essence of what transpired in the town where Mash started 48 years ago – “get ready to Mash down the Town”!!! And that’s why your Eyewitness has to file his Minority Report. After years of sober citizens complaining about the vulgarity into which Mash had descended, there were hopes that the more sober commemoration last year would set a more fitting tone.
But it looks like Cuffy’s bold sacrifice, that set us on our course to independence, is once again going to be symbolised by gyrations and dutty wining.

…on the Police

Your Eyewitness wants to know whether the Police upper echelon is undergoing a shakeup or a bloodbath?!

Was the crackpot “assassination plot” the cause for the long knives, or was it simply the occasion?

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