October 24 ,2020
Kaieteur News – Where are they now? Where are the guardians of democracy? The private sector powers now reduced and exposed as self-enrich pretenders? Where are the lawyers and young professionals from both sides of the political chasm that were so engaged for so long about what is right and who was wrong?
We invite looking around and listening. There are few citizens standing up when Guyana needs them to say something about governance, oil, ethics. The political new-comers who sold themselves to the public as fresh and clean, are now revealed to be selling themselves to government under the cover of darkness and sheets. What we have in Guyana for many a long month is a bevy of those who prostitute themselves politically for personal gain.
To PPP agitators and advocates, we say: there is more to democracy than elections and victory. The same is said to coalition detractors and defenders. Both groups had something in common, which was attacking whoever stood in their way to political paradise and the plums of power. They are there: one side live with paradise lost, with only itself to blame. The other regained it with apparent readiness to go down the same crooked road just like before.
What happened to them – most of those previously loud voices from both sides of the rupture? The partisan politicking may be temporarily over, but where is the national governing? Again, where are they today? Why do they have nothing to say about anything? About leadership oil treachery? This applies in almost equal shares to both the PPP government and the opposition coalition, Guyana’s oil betrayers. One would have thought that the energies manifested over electoral democracy would be similarly brought to bear for oil transparency. Yet both the PPP and coalition – leadership, stalwarts, fanatics, sycophants – stand as monuments in resistance to any accountability relative to the people’s oil.
Nowadays, the once fevered democratic are suddenly tyrannic on disclosures on oil, with the nation’s patrimony reduced to top-secret handling. In short, most of the characters around with honourable before their titles and/or names stand as the most disgraceful representations of what is dishonourable.
It would be helpful to the unity so easily (meaninglessly) spouted by President Ali, if something nationally healing could be said about people from GECOM and how to handle with the big picture in mind and what pieces could be picked up from our shattered and ragged environment. It may be beneficial to go about in a different way: send messages but demonstrate that seriousness and severity could be tempered with mercy; examples could still be set with limited leniency extended. There is no need to manufacture martyrs. Rise above the moment, look ahead, look at the world of Guyana through a wider lens, the widest that could be discovered internally. Because think of this: so they are punished and put away (in whatever fashion), then what? What else and who else? How many more?
We move to state boards and state lands and state projects, the progress of the state itself. So, the coalition’s people are locked out. Fine! It is psychically treasured in the vindictiveness and malice savoured. But we ask again: then what? This is the stuff, as accumulated by time and events and passions, that leads to those brinks that no one desires to look beyond, save for those who insulate themselves from the ensuing consequences and leave others to face the fires and sweep up the ashes. This has been said before, a one-party state may be thrilling, but it has, uncatered for, disastrous downsides.
The president revels in his assigned role of good cop: soothing and sweetening, and all the while saying the helpful things that he thinks appeals to nobler instincts. But he must be more of substance and less of saw dust; those nobler instincts must originate from him and be exemplified by him. He cannot be a figurehead (as widely seen and disparaged) but a force for what is positive and good. Though many are the conclusions that he lacks what is required, he can prove all wrong. How he will be remains to be seen. Somebody has to call government out on the many things mishandled. Where are they?