EYEWITNESS: Return…

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…of kick-down-the-door banditry?

We Guyanese have a way with words when it comes to naming crimes, which leaves VERY little to the imagination. “Mugging” doesn’t tell you much, does it? But you know exactly what’s going on with “choke and rob”!! But “kick-down-the-door (KDTD) bandits” takes graphic telegraphing even further…It immediately evokes the image of men so determined to rob you, they’re brazen enough to kick down the door of your castle!!

Yet it doesn’t do justice to the terror inflicted on the hapless homeowners by the KDTD bandits with the “big guns”. That’s their trademark equipment and they relish wounding, maiming and even murdering the victims with them to extract loot and booty. The closest parallel we have is the pirates and buccaneers of yore who were “sic’d” on by the monarchs of England and France to plunder Spanish wealth in the New World.

The parallels go beyond the gratuitous violence and looting, because back in the 1980s, when the KDTD depredations peaked, it was common knowledge their banditry was just another form of political intimidation.

Anyhow, the attacks on homes over the last few years by criminals have become increasingly prevalent – and notwithstanding the Police playing with statistics, the populace is getting very restive, that it might be KDTD reincarnated. Yesterday’s shootout – where luckily five KDTD bandits were killed by the Police – will only exacerbate those fears. In other jurisdictions, criminals who break into homes to steal – “burglars” – are characteristically non-violent. They don’t walk around with weapons.

At the Presser by the Acting CoP, he spoke very knowingly about the rap sheets of the bandits…and it appeared his whole performance was designed to burnish the image of the GPF. Nothing wrong about that: credit should be given when it’s due. But something is definitely amiss with our justice system when such KNOWN miscreants are allowed to roam our streets with impunity.

If these fellas had been let off from their previous charges…wouldn’t they have to regularly check in with “parole officers” – or our equivalent? Or is it we don’t have such a system in place? This would be tragic, since – not only in Guyana but everywhere – most crimes are committed by members of a small, tightknit criminal community. The Police must have a system to keep tabs on them – whether through parole officers or paid snitches – intelligence!

Anyhow, with all this talk of Guyana becoming an “oil rich” country, that criminal fraternity will ratchet up its violent efforts.

Where’s that Security Plan, Minister Ramjattan?  Folks may start speculation of official involvement!! Again!!

…of unsustainable debt?

Contrary to its protestations – and its embarrassment over that NYT report! – the PNC-led coalition’s doing everything to ensure we contract that much-dreaded “Dutch Disease”! They’ve already destroyed the agriculture and forestry sectors – through the rank politicisation of policies to spite the PPP’s base. As in the 1970s, they’re throwing money into the hands of their supporters to empower them in those sectors. Seems they never learn, it ain’t that easy!!

Another ominous sign is the inexorable rise in the Public Debt…just as under the PNC in the 1970s. By the time the PPP took office in 1992, we had US$2.1 billion in debt – and were officially a HIGHLY INDEBTED POOR COUNTRY (HIPC). Bharrat Jagdeo had to pull off a miracle to free us from THAT albatross!!  In the seventies, Burnham got us into trouble by counting on sugar prices remaining high – and never anticipated the oil price rise.

Right now, Granger’s PNC’s betting that oil prices will remain high – to pay off the rising debts?

But why gamble with our future?

…of an Amerindian Party

Lennox Schuman assures us his announced new political party’s on stream. But your Eyewitness is disappointed he took time to stress it will be “broad-based”.

Why can’t a party of Indigenous Peoples be national?

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