Aug 12, 2017 Source
This is an open letter to His Excellency. Kindly publish. It has been two years since the APNU/AFC coalition Government assumed office. Like most Guyanese, at home and in the diaspora, I was excited about the possibilities that lay ahead. The country was going to be lead for the first time in over two decades by a man who was held in high esteem by most; a man with an impeccable reputation and thus expectations were high.
It goes without saying that leading a coalition government is difficult and rife with challenges, particularly one as tenuous as this six-party coalition. I expressed some disappointment with the makeup of the original cabinet but hoped for the best. I can now say without any reservation and say firmly that the best is clearly not good enough.
Yes, there are members of the cabinet who are performing amazingly well and those names are known by all: Patterson, Trotman, Hughes and Harmon to name the stars. The list of non-performers, however, is long. This is sad! I will name some of them later and outline why it is commonly believed they are not performing.
I can already hear the strong supporters of the government saying where were you when Jagdeo was” screwing up” the country? I will never use the low bar set by Jagdeo and his bunch of crooks as my yard stick to evaluate good governance. The fact is, they were so horrible in their efforts to convert the nation into a criminalized state that the majority of right thinking citizens voted for change. Consequently, we need not use the Jagdeo era as our frame of reference .
What Ministries appear to be under performing? I am willing to hazard a guess that ninety percent of informed Guyanese will list the Ministry of Legal Affairs as the number one under-performing Ministry. This is embarrassing as the former AG is allowed to castigate and humiliate the existing AG with persistent claims of incompetence. I am going to try to avoid personalizing this discussion thus will refer to Ministries and not Ministers.
One just has to look at how many times the courts have ruled against the legal arguments of the state to be concerned with the quality of legal advice the government is receiving. Looking at this from another perspective, this speaks volumes about the independence of the judiciary and is a positive development.
It is important to note that this government spent all its time in opposition correctly pointing out how corrupt the former government was and to date it seems very little has been done to prosecute those wrong doers. Forensic audits conducted at great expense to the state using in some cases questionable actors have been laid to waste. You, Mr. President, suggested that no international help was needed. The low number of successful prosecutions suggest that this was indeed not a priority and remains an idle electioneering gimmick. Rest assured, a large number of your supporters regret this ambivalence on your part.
While we deal with the systemic dysfunction in your efforts to seek redress on behalf of the State, you must be aware that there are serious questions related in relation to the existing DPP. To date, the State appears irresolute in seeking to correct the many indiscretions of the former government.
A lot was expected of the new Minister of Finance. He was rumored to be so good that he was picked over a highly respected former Finance Minister specifically because of his institutional knowledge garnered from the role he played in helping the former Government with what limited success it had in the budgeting process. In my humble opinion, the problems with this Ministry are not knowledge or competence but are directly related to ineffective and insensitive messaging and lack of parliamentary experience.
The Minister has repeatedly uttered insensitive comments suggesting a lack of the appreciation of the importance of the politics that lead to his elevation! His rush to implement the 50% salary increase defines his failure in his role and the more recent imposition of VAT on tuition in private schools proves how out of touch he continues to be.
This letter is getting too long so I will quickly sum up to you Mr. PRESIDENT who I, and am certain, a majority of the nation still have faith that your inaction in addressing these vexations will not be permanent by noting firstly that Agriculture has major issues that require change from the top. The Ministry needs to be revamped urgently.
The Ministry of Communities also has major issues and I will be happy to point them out later. The Ministry of National Security has to perform much better. In fact, the current Minister has the dubious qualifier of two deadly prison fires, prisoner breaks and a penal system run amok under his tenure. The Ministry of Business is in virtual quicksand with the
Minister’s recent admission of his inability to deliver on his responsibilities but the proud delivery of a plantain chip factory in Leguan. So much for visionary thinking!
In closing let me deal with the comments I already get when I post anything that could be seen as critical of the Government. I am not smart enough nor do I have any desire to get involved in Guyana’s politics. What I do know is what a Government needs to do from the standpoint of managing perception.
The Government has to live up to some of your promises prior to assuming power. The Government should sell the assets they claimed were so bad for the government when they were in opposition, lock up some of the criminals you made so many allegations about. The President was elected as the honest alternative so when things like the medical bond matter comes up, it cannot be defended but must be addressed immediately.
While I and many Guyanese abhor the Jagdeo alternative for 2020, the litany of errors elevates him in the eyes of many. His bungling former AG seems to have emerged as a star when compared to our current AG.
Guyana can do better! A LUTA CONTINUA!