The Opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) has called out Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo over what they described as “misleading comments” he made while citing the 2017 Country Report on Human Rights Practices in Guyana released by the United States (US) State Department.
The People’s Progressive Party said while the Prime Minister pointed to some positives in the report, he willfully ignored other pressing and important matters released by the US, because it creates a bad image for the Government.
The Party was speaking also about the 2018 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), which cites “Government Corruption” as a major source of money laundering for the first time.
“Nagamootoo instead of addressing this issue remains silent. He opts, instead, to defend the cause of good governance as ‘defined’ by the Director of Public Prosecutions, and stands in defence of the siphoning off of State resources through corrupt dealings,” the PPP said referring to several breaches of Guyana’s financial laws and the financing of several controversial projects including the D’Urban Park.
Making reference to the statements made by the Prime Minister with regards to “pervasive corruption” being cited in the 2017 report, the PPP said Nagamootoo ignores the scathing comments about the Integrity Commission, which speaks to financial disclosure under the law that requires public officials to declare their assets to an Integrity Commission, the Commission had not been constituted by year end.
The Party noted that Nagamootoo made no comment on the fact that the Secretariat of the Integrity Commission was disbanded under the current Administration.
“He did not comment on the fact that he appointed his ‘friend’ as the Chairman of the finally constituted Integrity Commission, an admission that came from no less than the new Chairman himself. And he also remained silent on the fact that since taking office, not one of his colleague Ministers has filed declarations with the Integrity Commission” said the political Opposition.
Speaking about what the report had to say about the independent media in it expressing a wide variety of views without restriction, the PPP reminded about the discovery where the Prime Minister determined that all headlines in the State-owned print media be approved by the Office of the Prime Minister.
“In April (2017) the Minister of Communities publicly admonished the Editor of the State-owned newspaper for using a report on oil and gas as its lead article. The Minister stated a report on a Local Government should have been the lead article,” the party also reminded.
The PPP said Nagamootoo’s aversion to dealing with facts was also exposed when he talked about the “inherited problem of over-crowding” of prisons. The Party highlighted that the Prime Minister failed to mention that the report makes no mention of the two jailbreaks in three weeks, during July 2017, and the destruction of the Georgetown Prison and the deaths that resulted from that incident.
“This so called ‘advocate’ for anti-corruption, not only distorts reality for his purpose, but sits silently in the face of some of the most egregious acts, acts of corruption only surpassed by the APNU/AFC coalition Government’s incompetence. Nagamootoo is involved in his Government’s actions that make a mockery of Guyana’s financial and other laws, actions that are in stark contrast to good governance” the party quipped.