EYEWITNESS: Trust…

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…versus thrust in politics

For sure, EB John, that old HR specialist out of Bookers isn’t anti-Government. So one would hope they’d give a hearing to the homilies he delivers ever so often in the letters pages. His latest one was on the importance of “trust” between individuals and institutions for effective performance. It was very timely since he took pains to mention the lack of trust between citizens and Government.

Against a background of heightened concerns from a fuming populace of repeating Burnham’s saddling the country with unsustainable debt, the Granger Administration just signed an MoU with China and committed themselves to participate in the latter’s Belt and Road Initiative (B&RI). The latter, of course, is a source of funding for infrastructural projects in poor countries at very generous terms. So why the concerns?

Well, as Burnham found out: ‘Wha’ does sweeten mout’ does hu’t backside”!! Unfortunately it was the collective backside of the Guyanese peoples that ended up in a sling! The point, of course, is that even generous loans have to be repaid …and no matter how small the interest, when it is compounded over the years, the payback can be more than a bitch! And that’s why the secrecy over the terms of the MoU with the Chinese is very unsettling and certainly not improving the trust deficit this Administration suffers from.

Today, we found out almost accidentally that the funding for the Lethem-Linden Highway is on the MoU!! Now this is a mega deal that’s been on the cards since the 1970s – by that same debt accumulator Burnham. Last year, a 321km highway to be built and funded by the Chinese in Zambia – connecting their mining areas to their southern region abutting Congo – came in at US$1.2 billion!! The distance between Linden to Lethem is at least 100km more.

So why wasn’t the highway not built since the 1970s?? For the simple reason that prospective funders – from Brazil to the World Bank to the IDB – didn’t see where the moneys would be coming from to service the loan! Tolls like in Zambia?? Even there, citizens are protesting. At one time, there was talk of shipping goods from landlocked Manaus to the Atlantic via the road. But that ship has looong sailed!!

And we return to the issue of trust. This PNC-led Government is counting on the coming oil revenues – such as it is! – to pay off all the debt it’s racking up. With this ploy, they expect to bypass the scrutiny that might be placed on the Sovereign Wealth Fund, into which the oil funds were to be placed.

Another knife thrust into “trust” between Government and citizens! Deadly!

…in sugar Board?

This PNC Government sure knows how to do thing half-a55ed backwards. Take their long-awaited appointment of a new BOARD for GuySuCo. Looking at the names, the only question that arises in the mind of any halfway knowledgeable individual about the industry is: WHY DIDN’T THEY DO THIS FROM THE BEGINNING???

But your Eyewitness will tell you why. Since these gentlemen all have some experience with sugar, and several were on the CoI into the industry, THEY WOULDN’T HAVE SHUT IT DOWN!! Instead, as they recommended in their CoI report, they’d have done the rational thing and injected much less that the $30 billion the SPU borrowed; fixed up all the estates and brought the entire Corporation to a point of sale!

But that couldn’t be allowed, could it? That move wouldn’t have allowed 7000 sugar workers – most loyal to the PPP – to be fired! So what’s this Board supposed to do?? Fetch water with the basket that was handed to them??

The first thing they should do is demand control over the $30 billion bond!

…and doctors

After reading Frank Anthony’s letter revealing the abysmal conditions under which doctors work at GPHC – and for wages (NOT salaries!!) that would make the cleaners balk – your Eyewitness finally understands why Government official go ABROAD for medical treatment!!

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