…for public officials’ Code of Conduct
Our dual-citizen Minister of Business, Gaskin, announced that by this Friday, Guyana will have a “Minibus Code of Conduct”!! Imagine that!! We’ll have minibus drivers and conductors wearing slick-looking uniforms instead of those ratty and dingy outfits that looked like they were handed down by gold miners on their return from the bush!! Conductors will be politely inquiring, with a smile, whether you’d like to travel in their spanking new “carriages” and inform you of the fare in advance!!
No more pulling or tugging between competing touts vying for your body and being willing to tear you apart –- in addition to parting you with your money!! And best of all, they will address you as “Ma’am or Sir” and turn off the music the moment you let them know you’re going crazy with the cacophony!! Truly, Guyana will be creating transportation history in the Region.
But as your Eyewitness breathed a deep sigh of satisfaction as he contemplated this coming nirvana, he wondered what had become of that Code of Conduct which had been promised in the PNC-led coalition’s Manifesto.
The PNC and AFC had made quite a sturm and drang about the PPP officials when they’d been in office. All sorts of accusations had been hurled their way from the then Opposition parties both in and out of the National Assembly – graft, corruption, inaccessible, and so on and so forth.
When they got into office, they (fervently) promised, they’d institute a Code of Conduct (COC) so thorough, their people in Government would be purer than Caesar’s wife!!
Within three months of forming the Government in 2015, with great fanfare and trumpeting, Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo announced that Raphael Trotman would be heading a Committee to draft their COC.
And within another few months a Draft was submitted which proposed “ten guiding principles” that rivalled the ten commandments brought down by the other Moses: Accountability, Dignity, Diligence, Duty, Honour, Integrity. Loyalty, Objectivity, Responsibility and Transparency!!
Sadly, it soon became clear that these COC principles were not cast in stone. Nagamootoo hemmed and hawed about combining the COC with the Integrity Legislation – which none of the Opposition had bothered with. Then claimed he’d have to submit it to the Parliamentary Drafters, etc – much like the foot-dragging exercise now being conducted by GECOM!!
In the meantime, Ministers signed away Guyana’s oil for a pittance; assaulted and jailed security guards to get to their fried rice, issued sole-sourced contracts; insisted that only PNC members could “get wuk”; dabbled in hocking fuel and evading taxes, etc, etc!!
…but isn’t it great minibus operators will follow rules of etiquette and social graces!! They got a COC!!
Another promise made by the PNC-led coalition in their Manifesto was “Political Reforms”: “APNU/AFC recognise that the Constitution, in its present form, does not serve the best interest of Guyana or its people”. They promised a “new constitution which will put the necessary checks and balances in place to consolidate our ethos of liberal democracy.” But as with the COC, a Committee was speedily set up; it made recommendations to Moses Nagamootoo and then…deafening silence!!!
Sadly, the Manifesto had already spelled out a specific change – taken from the Cummingsburg Accord – for the President to share power with the PM! They labelled it, “Shared Executive Responsibilities” and it was supposed to’ve been implemented as soon as they got into office. It would’ve seen Nagamootoo “chairing the Cabinet and in charge of domestic affairs”, not to mention “appointing heads of agencies”.
But why go on? Like with Nagamootoo, this government thinks the Guyanese people are a pack of fools.
Prove them wrong next elections. Payback’s a b*tch!!