EYEWITNESS: Waiting, waiting…


…and then there were 5

Almost two years ago, it was revealed that the Government was going to shutter Wales Estate on the West Bank of Demerara. When the Government finally had the guts to tell the “people of Guyana” — on whose behalf the PNC of Burnham had nationalised the sugar industry in 1976 – the Government announced its “rationale” and plans for the “way forward”.

Government officials admitted the “course of action has nothing to do with the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into the sugar industry,” and went on to paint a most dystopian picture of conditions at Wales to justify their draconian decision.

“Wales is by far the estate in poorest shape. The details of its performance include: 60 per cent of its D&I infrastructure is run down; 75 per cent of the bridges are in poor shape; the cultivation is also in poor condition and the factory is old and in need of major investment. It is impossible to make sugar production at Wales viable.”

The Government blithely announced it would initiate projects at Wales for “wealth creation and employment generation”. Sadly, its officials followed up with closing three other estates – Enmore, Rose Hall and Skeldon — and announced they were going to sell them off, along with Wales. Receiving a slew of expressions of interest (EoI), the Government then hired a high-priced ($60 million) international accounting firm – Peat Marwick – to evaluate the assets.

Well, after all these preparations – while a soap opera played out between the Ministry of Agriculture and a Special Purpose Unit (SPU) formed to oversee the disposal process — officials announced they received 70 EoIs. But when the bid box was opened, only 5 bids were received!! What happened?

In trying to be too clever when closing Wales, Government officials had shot themselves in the foot (actually, Guyana’s foot) in trying to justify their senseless decision. They’d painted too bleak a picture of the assets, and your Eyewitness wonders why they’re surprised that most of the EoIs wondered whether they were buying “scrap metal”!!

The Government is also NOW concerned the buyers all want to go into sugar – with exception of one rum producer, who wants molasses – and they might now go into competition with GuySuCo!! Ain’t that a b*tch!?

Your Eyewitness always wondered why the Government had been touting the pipe dream of “diversification” of the GuySuCo lands when they’d never even conducted a study as to what crop other than sugar cane was feasible!!

Well, the PNC-led Government, like all “smart flies”, is caught in the BS in the bull’s backside!! Because of its big mouth, it’ll be forced to sell off the assets for a song.
To friends and donators, of course!

…on Jonestown closure

This month, it’ll be 40 years since the event that will probably stain our name till the end of time – the 908 persons who committed suicide in Jonestown. It was less than four years after we became a Republic — and the year after Burnham rigged the 1973 elections — that he gave permission for Jim Jones to bring in all those Americans to “farm” in our North West District.

What was on his mind?? We know he’d also accepted an American refugee on the run from the law — “Rabbi” Washington, and his House of Israel – to set up shop here. They’d become one of his goon squads, in addition to opening up a “plantain chip” operation that probably inspired David Granger, who was then a junior officer in the GDF.

But the stories that circulated at the time about the relationship between Jim Jones, Burnham and his government have never been put to rest.

Stories of funds diverted, guns supplied, women shared, and Guyanese being among the dead.

Isn’t it time for a CoI to bring closure?

…in an ironic world

The news announced that Dextroy Pollard, the prison escapee who was on the run for almost two weeks, was recaptured at Free and Easy Village on the West Bank of Demerara.

Yes…“Free and Easy Village”!!


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