Jul 05, 2017
“We know that under the PPP government corruption on the ground was encouraged and that is something that this government has to move very resolutely to root out.”- Dr. David Hinds
In the interest of this nation’s well being, the government needs to move urgently to delink the State from criminality before oil starts pumping. This is what is best for Guyana. So said Executive Member of the Working People’s Alliance (WPA), Dr. David Hinds, during a press conference yesterday.
Dr. Hinds told the media that the culture of corruption has become imbedded in Guyana. He said that the experience of the last 23 years has really instituted corruption as a way of governance.
“Professor Clive Thomas (also a WPA member) calls it the criminalization of the state which is the merging or the fusion of criminality with state operation,” said Dr. Hinds.
Dr. Hinds said that with the coming of oil, and the history of Guyana, it is then reasonable to come to the conclusion that “we will face big corruption.” “WPA wishes to say categorically that we feel before we start pumping oil we should decriminalize the state.”
Hinds said that this should be the immediate task of the government.
He said that decriminalization of the state would include prosecution of those who have taken advantage of the country’s patrimony in the past.
Hinds told the media that it is known that a lot of state assets have been transferred to private hands and accounts under the rule of the PPP.
He said that the WPA is of the opinion that the State Assets Recovery Agency should be further empowered to carry out its mandate as “state assets recovery is an important part of the decriminalization of the state.”
The politician continued, “We have to be proactive in terms of delinking the state from criminal activities and corrupt practices.” Dr. Hinds said that corruption does not only exist at the ministerial level. He said that there is corruption at all levels of the various ministries.
He said, too, that there are public servants who are co-opted to be corrupt or face dismissal from their jobs. “We have to move very aggressively to get that out of the system.
“We know that under the PPP government, corruption on the ground was encouraged. That is something that this government has to move very resolutely to root out.”
Commenting on the fact that The Economist—an internationally recognized—magazine-format newspaper has assessed the state of the Guyana government, Dr. Hinds said that while he knows corruption is big in Guyana he is not swayed by what The Economist had to say.
“We are conscious that big countries like to lecture small countries like Guyana on corruption as if they are not corrupt so I am not suaded by The Economist passing a judgment on Guyana. Guyana has had its fair share of corruption and so does the rest of our Caribbean family and those countries that the Economist champion had their fair share of corruption.
“So, we would not encourage any lecturing of Guyana on the part of big countries that are just waiting in the wings to take advantage of our oil and wealth. That is a bigger form of corruption and we urge our government to beware of that kind of thing,” said Dr. Hinds.