EYEWITNESS: Where angels fear to tread…

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…Jordan rushes in

Your Eyewitness wouldn’t be so het up if Finance Minister Winston Jordan wanted to play Russian Roulette…Hey! Maybe he gets off with the adrenaline rush and all that! But he does have a big problem when Jordan decided to play Russian Roulette with our upcoming Oil Revenues that’re supposed to be intermediated by a “Natural Resource Fund” (NRF).

After sitting on the draft that had been passed on to him by Trotman for two years, Jordan rushed through the Bill when the Speaker had been asked to reverse the no-confidence resolution. And most germanely, the Opposition had indicated they would not be in attendance!

The Government’s own consultants from the foreign NGO “Natural Resources Governance Institute” (NRGI) had explicitly warned them at a public lecture organised by the GRA discussing the Green Paper on the NRF, that there must be “an open discussion and consensus building between the political parties to look at these rules that will be governing your money … and agree on how Guyana as a whole will be managing its money”.

The consultants were very clear as to why they recommended this move – and it wasn’t for any airy fairy ethereal reason but a very real world one: we wouldn’t want every new administration to come in and change the rules of how the Fund ought to be managed, would we? This would wreak havoc on our returns on investment and only benefit the Fund Managers who’d charge us their usual arm and a leg in management fees every time for every dot they have to insert and every “t” they have to uncross!

The consultants had also indicated that in this world of Wall Street Gordon Gecko types, there should be explicit strictures against being a “pig” and investing in highly risky investments. Like say, future swaps. As the saying goes in the world of investment, “Bulls make money, bears make money and pigs get slaughtered!!”

But there’s an even more pressing reason why Jordan shouldn’t have rushed through the legislation: as Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo said, “It’s illegal!!”
Bear in mind after the no-confidence resolution was passed (and subsequently AFFIRMED) by the Speaker at the same sitting, by Article 106 (6), the President and his Cabinet (including Jordan) were explicitly mandated to RESIGN.

Conceding that the GOVERNMENT had to remain in place till the elections in 90 days according to Article 106 (7), not even ordinary business – much less the establishment of a Sovereign Wealth Fund! – should’ve been conducted without the approval of the Opposition.

And ignoring that is exactly why folks can wash their mouths on us and label us a “sh*thole” country.

…Nagamootoo rushes in

Never let it never be said your Eyewitness doesn’t give Moses Nagamootoo credit: the man takes his job VERY seriously. He’s never missed his column in the Chronic!! This week, he purported to explain what the Speaker said in the National Assembly. Your Eyewitness isn’t sure why he did that –  to fill column inches?! – since the Speaker was pellucid: he wasn’t reversing the no-confidence motion, which had been transmuted into a binding resolution!!

Anyhow, as usual, Nagamootoo maudlinly reminisced about his “high school days”, to offer his perspective on what his MP Charrandas’ vote meant to him. He compared CP’s action to Guy Fawkes’ 1605 “Gunpowder Plot” to blow up the House of Lords and kill James I  and bring down his government. But clearly, Nagamootoo was a very poor student, since James’ Government discovered the plot and the explosion was stillborn. Unlike, of course, Charrandas’!!
But your Eyewitness wonders if Nagamootoo read about Quisling?
The Norwegian who cooperated with the Nazis to exterminate the Jews and whose name is now synonymous with “traitor”?

…Ramjattan and Nagamootoo rush in

Have you noticed, Dear Reader, it’s Ramjattan and Nagamootoo who’ve been taking the lead in defending the Government’s desperate rear guard battle to remain in power??

It’s not easy contemplating Bush Rum again, after you’ve tasted Chivas!!

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