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Tuesday October 09, 2012

Kaieteur News

Letters... Where your views make the news

Corruption undermines essential cohesiveness in Guyana DEAR EDITOR, The realization that corruption is a major hindrance to development is widely held by most international donors, development practitioners and most importantly the citizens of Guyana. It is a phenomenon that cannot be ignored, regardless how hard the PPP tries to sweep it under the carpet. As Guyana embarks on its largest infrastructure project, the Amaila Falls Hydro Electric Project, it must recognize that the G$168 billion it plans to spend is some 35% the size of the entire economy and therefore transparent and participatory governance is an essential component in the process of whether this project makes or breaks Guyana. Thus we welcome the oversight committee to monitor and evaluate this project. But how can such a committee be effective if it only represents the minority government? What about the majority political opposition? What about Civil Society? (TUC, FITUG, Private Sector,

Consumer Association, Amerindian People’s Association) This Amaila Falls project can be the flagship project to demonstrate to the people the commitment of President Ramotar to the process of economic growth and progress and thus can be the opportunity for him to break from the corrupt past that was associated with the PPP regime from 1999-2011. But to date, we and many Guyanese continue to be befuddled by the lethargy in Governance and this philosophy of “doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result”. Guyana’s modest resources are not infinite and thus this opportunity to finally take a stance on corruption must become a national priority. But whom are we fooling? Those who pay the piper call the tune and thus the poor and working class will continue to face the economic apartheid unleashed by the PPP as they continue to reward the payers of the pipers, their business buddies. It is all about how many “Taj Mahals”

these PPP politicians can accumulate in the fastest possible time. For how long more will the nation bear that tax of financial waste (‘Fip’ Motilall project), fraud (we cannot explain the source of income for our Taj Mahals while we serve as senior PPP officials) and inefficiency (very little value for money on the mega projects such as the Skeldon Sugar Factory)? For how long will we put the people’s economic and social development on hold to serve our quest for personal selfenrichment? All the international indicators have pegged Guyana at the bottom end of the corruption ladder, resulting in a negative impact on potential transformational investments, which only affects our viability to compete in the global economy. This is exclusively the fault of a greedy and plundering political class in Guyana that has forgotten their roots in the working class. The time is now for the Ramotar administration to bring a swift end to the tainted

image that Guyana has globally, as a country with a corrupt ruling class who continue to stifle the dreams and ambitions of the poor and the working class for their own selfenrichment. It is time we become the Roosevelt’s of the world and think big, entice investors on fair and transparent terms, and seek assistance from international institutions to move the reputation of this country as the bedfellow of Haiti on the Corruption Index, to keeping the company of Barbados. To d a y t h i s n a t i o n i s divided and broken politically, and socially, and a major driver that undermines essential cohesiveness is nothing else but corruption. This nation is bigger than building “Taj Mahals” for the rulers and more about molding, healing, building and transforming a nation. We are a peaceful people, we not troubling anybody; but “these li’l boy bicycle nah got brakes”. Asquith Rose and Harish S. Singh

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