There are no real criminal cases to be made (Part 1)

first_imgDear Editor,Articles such as “Minister Sharma laments SOCU sloth”, and “Sharma annoyed by SOCU’s performance with forensic audits”, which appeared in the local press, are the latest in about two years of weekly and sometimes daily haranguing declarations and denouncements by many members of our Cabinet and Government in Parliament, committing to jail the members and administrators of the past PPP/C Administration.There has been no lacking in expressions of determination; and from time to time, as little, if any, progress is evident, we have had glimpses of the contentious blame game being played out between the various actors: Honourable Ministers, the Guyana Police Force, SOCU, SARA, the Police Legal Adviser, the overseas expert adviser, the DPP, and anyone on whom some blame could be hung, for the seeming lack of progress with the touted charges.This lament, the expressions of dissatisfaction and annoyance, the blame game, altogether would prompt experienced persons to wonder whether a number of the actors are not beginning to question how much substance there may be in these allegations of corruption; whether in the passion of the aftermath of our 2015 elections, mountains were not being made of molehills in the forensic audits.But no one wants to blow the whistle, no one wants to bell the cat!Editor, perhaps it is time that Honourable Minister Sharma opens his mind to the possibility that, really, there are no criminal cases of any substance to be made. And so too, perhaps, should all of us Guyanese open our minds.As former President Donald Ramotar allowed very early, we all only being humans — and Guyanese at that; some levels and instances of corruption were likely to happen, (suspicious cases would need to be investigated) but the allegations of corruption of a hundred billion dollars each year (about half of our national budget) against PPP/C Ministers and Administrators was very grossly exaggerated.It is time we recognise that these wild corruption charges took root in the context of intensely adversarial political contest (PPP/C going it alone as a minority Government after our 2011 elections), and fundamental differences in the policies and attitudes to inculcate and nurture development of our people and country. There was intense frustration and anger among then Opposition members and supporters when, after the Opposition passed a motion in Parliament forbidding the expenditure of Government/Consolidated Fund money on the Marriott, the PPP/C found a legal and legitimate way to complete a first phase of the Marriott Hotel project utilising money obtained from the sale of shares in GTT, all transactions falling within the umbrella of the PU/NICIL group. Would we Guyanese and Guyana have been better off if the Marriott had been abandoned half-built, somewhat like the intended Cacique Hotel aback of the Ramada Georgetown Princess at Providence?Editor, the charges laid against my colleagues: the former Finance Minister Dr Ashni Singh and the former CEO of PU/NICIL, Mr Winston Brassington, are nothing but clutching at straws. There is no allegation of any money reaching their pockets or the pockets of any other. None did. They carried out, in a lawful manner, legitimate decisions of our PPP/C Government. The development of Guyana and Guyanese altogether has been our purpose and our driving force, and in the pursuit of which, we exercised even-handedly and openly the judgement and discretion that were lawfully and legitimately within our authority.Sincerely,Samuel AA HindsFormer PrimeMinisterand Former Presidentlast_img read more