A failed president accuses me of untruths
Former President, Donald Ramotar, took time off from his daily propaganda chores of letters to the Guyana Times to reply to me in the letter pages of the Kaieteur News (April 5) denying that when as president, he intervened with a foreign company to deny Gino Persaud (now High Court judge) the CEO job at the Credit Bureau.
Let us get a few things out of the way before I confront Ramotar’s fictionalization of his time in office. One- Persaud was identified to be the CEO and was sent on months of training in Europe, particularly Slovakia.
When the office was established, Credit Bureau informed Persaud that there was governmental pressure not to employ him and the company has to move on. On hearing this, I made contact with the Credit Bureau. I spoke to a senior official.
I was told that this is the reality in the Third World and Credit Bureau has to live with that reality. He said he wished it didn’t happen but the investment has to gone on. I enquired why Persaud was let go. He told me the government was unhappy with him because he is a high profile political activist. Of course we in Guyana know that Persaud was head of the Guyana branch of Transparency International for one year.
I specifically asked him who made the request from the government side. He declined to identify a minister. I remember saying the following words to him; “It came right from the top, just say yes or no sir and that would be fine with me.”
These were his exact words. Though I couldn’t see him, I detected from his tone that he had a small smile as he spoke; ‘I would not say it, but you are smart enough to know who it is.” I interpret those words to mean the president. Let me say unambiguously – I don’t believe Ramotar. I believe deep in my heart it was Ramotar.
In his response to the column in which I made the accusation, Ramotar wrote; “I have decided to respond because if I don’t then Mr. Kissoon will continue to repeat this untruth as he is wont.”
Well I have got news for Ramotar. It is not an untruth and Ramotar’s words above will not stop me from repeating it. I think Ramotar knows me and knows that I am made of persistent stuff. If he thinks that he has made a clarification he is wrong. It is not a clarification for me. It is a denial of just one of the many wrongs Mr. Ramator committed during his three-year presidency.
I wanted to title this article, “So what’s new Donald” meaning it is yet another denial of the millions of wrong things his presidency and Jagdeo’s reign did to this nation but there would never be an apologetic acknowledgement of even the most unimportant one.
I ask readers out there if they think Ramotar and Jagdeo would admit to any grievous things they have done. But there is a reason for the steadfast refusal to admit. It is contained in that very letter. Let’s quote Ramotar again; “I have not been doing so (replying to Kissoon) since he has no constituency and, therefore, has no responsibility for people’s welfare. He has the luxury to be very irresponsible. He does not have a constituency.”
Right here lies the explanation why since 2015 PPP leaders have not admitted to just one mistake. Because they have constituencies which they will not know how they will react if they tell them they are sorry for hurting innocent citizens, displaying unmitigated arrogance, using power for personal aggrandizement, and pursuing some wild, destructive policies.
Having said that, one must ask if Ramotar still has a constituency? His balance sheet is extensively unimpressive. He lost the majority government in 2011. He lost the general elections of 2015. He lost the post of General-Secretary of the PPP. He lost out on being a parliamentarian. He lost out on being the leader of the Opposition.
It is interesting to know that these days Ramotar works out from the Cheddi Jagan Research (CJRC) Centre and not from Freedom House. I honestly don’t know if he is allocated an office at Freedom House. If he has then, he shuns that place because he is often seen working at the CJRC.
Could it be that he avoids Freedom House because the man in charge there is his nemesis – Bharrat Jagdeo? Life is so funny and ironic. Jagdeo made Ramotar. And it was Jagdeo that broke Ramotar. Ooop! I apologize. Ramotar isn’t broken. He still writes a letter a day. But in Jagdeo’s newspaper.