Corruption is a plague that must be resisted, rejected and condemned in every form and fashion, wherever and whenever it is identified. Last week, we learnt of the fiasco involving Integrated Security Services with the non-payment of its workers for, in as much in some instances of two months, was reported from the Berbice area.
My colleague, People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Member of Parliament (MP), Harry Gill is representing this cause. What is worrying is that officials of both Central and Regional Government allegedly in defense of the contractor, instead of addressing the issue based on merits of the claims raised by the workers, they sought to obfuscate the issue by saying that I, Bishop Juan Edghill is a shareholder/part owner of Integrated Security Services (ISS). This, obviously, was an attempt to have the guards drop their claims and to have MP Gill fade into the background and for the matter to die a natural death.
Editor, I would like to state publicly for the record that I, Bishop Juan Edghill is not a Director or shareholder or part owner or is in any way, form or fashion connected to ISS. My position on this matter is clear, if you employ persons and they deliver services, they must be paid. The guards must receive their full benefits for services from ISS.
Against this backdrop, I am not at all surprised or dismay by the attempts by the PNC-led APNU/AFC Government to hide their corruption, incompetence and nepotism by creating smokescreens. The corruption of the Government, in such a short period in office, stinks to the high heavens. They are undoubtedly unashamed, brazen and bold face in the execution of their devious plans, even when large number of persons are affected. They ensure that their small elite group receives maximum benefits.
We know as a country that individuals and companies with known alliances to the political directorate are sole sources and awarded contracts to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars, annually. A simple case and point is the Sussex Street Drug Bond that was sole sourced to a known PNC financier/supporter.
Now we have this developing situation of a contract being awarded to a shady character with no experience in the procurement of drugs and medical supplies being awarded contracts for $1.4B GYD, for the procurement of medical supplies. That came on the heels of a lucrative fertilizer contract. Notably, this person’s only qualification is that he is the friend of the right people. This is the latest addition to the long list of persons without the requisite qualifications being either, handed contracted or employed with super salaries, most of them being relatives or friends of some senior government functionary.
The list of corrupt deals and transactions of this Government, in just over two years, are too many to mention. So, in the interest of space, here are a few: the Durban Park, where over $1.4BU GYD was expended and to date no documents are available for the Auditor General; the Ansa Mcal $605M sole sourced contract for the GPHC; Guyanese have also witnessed the mishandling and the corruption surrounding the new river crossing across the Demerara River, which is not over yet. The unacceptable reconfiguration of the scope of the Cheddi Jagan International Airport, which includes a reduction from eight air bridges to a mere two and yet the contracted sum remains the same; The lack of accountability and transparency at the Georgetown City Council as it relates to expenditures to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. This list is by no means exhaustive.
Guyanese beware of wolves in sheep clothing. It this the righteousness, good governance and good life that you voted for?
Bishop Juan Edghill