Over in Kenya, a land with some forty-odd tribes (some VERY odd!!), they have our electoral problems in spades, since they gotta contend with seven times the combinations and permutations of matters that can be manipulated to fix the results!! Like us, free and fair elections were returned in 1992, and since then, they’ve gone through all the trauma of violence and resort to the courts etc, like us. But, to their credit, their interventions in the running of elections, like with Elections Commissions, Boundaries Commission and electronic voting – but mostly the law that elections petitions must be decided in FIFTEEN days – have served to bring peace, if not tranquility there.
WE should take some lessons from the Kenyan elections’ playbook!! Cause here we are, more than two years after the five months it took to get our elections’ results to effect a change of Government, the Opposition’s still insisting that the PPP is an “illegal-installed-cabal” – repeated so frequently it’s now practically ONE word!! Now, we have also, like Kenya, recourse to the Courts when there are disagreements on elections’ results. But with us – even though this delay can precipitate the actual breakdown of the state, since the legitimacy of its governors is rejected – these petitions seem to drop into a legal black hole.
The one the PNC filed in the 1997 elections wasn’t decided until 2001, by which time it was a moot point, since the PNC had battered the PPP into giving up two years of their term, and elections had been scheduled for that year!! In 2015, the PPP filed a petition after the results showed that the APNU/AFC coalition had won, but that was never heard until matters were overtaken by the 2020 elections, which had its own drama, that went to the CCJ several times!! And after the 2020 elections, which the losing APNU/AFC stoutly maintain that they wuz robbed, they filed not one, but TWO elections’ petitions.
The first one – based on their allegations that the dead and emigrated had voted for the PPP – was thrown out by the Courts for the extraordinary reason that the APNU/AFC lawyers didn’t serve their leader Granger within the stipulated time!! The law, like the Lord – seems to work in mysterious ways!! That decision was appealed, and is before the CCJ, where one Justice snarkily remarked on our Courts’ foot-dragging on elections’ petitions!!
The fate of the second petition – which claims the order for a Recount was illegal – was thrown out by the High Court, but the APNU/AFC’s move to the Appeal Court was in limbo, because both they and APNU/AFC left it there!! Yet, the APNU/AFC kept up the drumbeats that the petition would vindicate them!!
…to cane farmers
In order to deliver some justice to Guyanese who’ve been damaged by the various plagues that have befallen us recently – COVID-19, floods, PNC depredations etc – the PPP Govt just doled out $44M in relief grants to 294 private cane farmers in Region Three. Now, we know that when the PNC shuttered Wales, some 40% of the cane supplied to that estate was from private farmers. And even though the PNC Government had promised to construct an all-weather road to transport their cane to Uitvlugt, that was never satisfactorily done.
So, your Eyewitness wonders what this mere $150,000 per farmer – while better than nothing – would do. But there’s an even greater injustice that needs to be rectified: when the four estates were shuttered, there were 4700 workers directly hired by GuySuCo who each received their gratuity and grant. But what happened to the 2300 workers who’d been hired by the private cane farmers? Who’s looking after them?? If you prick them, do they not bleed?
Something’s definitely amiss with Hetmyer. There’s no question he’s a tremendous cricketing talent, but that doesn’t mean he’s not challenged, like the rest of us.
There’s too much at stake for the GAW and WI Cricket team to leave him unattended.