EYEWITNESS: Turned tables…


…at GuySuCo

The tables have been turned at GuySuCo and, (to mix a metaphor) how low have the mighty fallen!! You could’ve knocked your Eyewitness over with a feather when he read the headline: “GuySuCo managers protest”!! Talk about “man bites dog” news!! Managers in the sugar industry PROTESTING? What next? The Queen of England scrounging with a begging bowl??

For the uninitiated, when Eric Williams declared “Massa day done!”  after independence, he didn’t know what the heck he was talking about! “Massa” wasn’t just the British Governor and his cohorts – he was the fella from “the Mother Country” who continued to run “King Sugar”. Their predecessors hadn’t just been cracking the whip in the fields over OUR forefathers’ (and foremothers’) backs…they created a rarified lifestyle designed to inspire “shock and awe” in the latters’ eyes. Nothing exemplified this more than the “Massas’ quarters.

There were segregated “compounds”, with lofty mansions set in cultured lawns, with swimming pools; and the “club”, where they could while away the evening over gin and tonic, or whatever else their hearts desired. Servants took care of their every need, and the world “EVERY” was meant to be taken quite literally. Our “mixed” population is, of course, the result of the fulfilment of some of those needs!! In the modern era, their children were driven to and from school in designated vehicles, while the cooks took care of mundane things like shopping.

After Burnham nationalised the sugar industry and “Guyanesed“ the management staff of what was now dubbed GuySuCo – the policy of “jobs for the boys” with PNC cards kicked into gear. And some new “Massas” not just stepped into Massas’ quarters – but into their shoes!! In astounding displays of “never see come fuh see”, the PNC Massas even outdid the excesses of the departed White Massas. By 1990, production had plummeted to half of what the old Massas had routinely achieved – but you could never tell from their Marie Antoinette lifestyle. In one (in)famous instance, when the daughter of the head honcho was getting married – at the Managers’ Club, of course – and the rain made the approach muddy, hundreds of tons of fertilisers were spread over the mud to create a pristine path!!

This “life in London” lifestyle might’ve been dampened in the last decades, but the managers of GuySuCo still lived “high off the hog”, compared to the workers. But when NICIL created the SPU to sell off the four closed estates, they decided to be the NEW Massas by sprucing up the Ogle Managers’ Club for THEIR own high living!!
And this is what the old Massas are protesting!! What goes around comes around.

…at City Hall

The Local Government Commission (LGC) have said they’ll make a decision on which of the recommendations from the Kennard Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into City Hall will be implemented. This should be interesting. From what your Eyewitness has read, the entire staff in those Augean Stables should be thrown out – along with the rotten materials from the collapsed building that housed them.

On Royston King, the Town Clerk, who was the cynosure of the CoI’s eye, it said, “While it is the easiest of recommendation to make, this officer should be terminated, and criminal charges should be laid against him in respect of his actions… the SARA (State Assets Recovery Agency) and the Guyana Police Force should lead a joint probe to ascertain the relevant criminal charge(s) to be laid…for gross misconduct, abuse of office, recklessness, dishonesty, conspiracy and misappropriation of funds.”

Whew!! He was just as direct on Chief Constable Foo – “lacks credibility, integrity and competence to manage the City Constabulary, which is under his control.”

Citizens should be on the lookout for the LGC sweeping these boulders under the rug.

…on GHRA

The one-man GHRA woke up from his slumber to announce he’s disappointed at the lack of progress on Constitutional Change.

What about the human rights of those fired sugar workers left to starve with their families?


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