Jul 13, 2017  Features / ColumnistsFreddie Kissoon

 Why does this country need to spend more than 10 million dollars for an event we can do without – the ceremony inaugurating the 10th Vice Chancellor? The previous nine didn’t have one. One of the union leaders said the projected 10 million-dollar figure is likely to be exceeded. The university’s response is that the money is not coming from the State. But that is nonsense, just like the atrocious explanation for the building of the Durban Park project.
The Government said the Durban Park cost was defrayed by donations. This is a silly defence that makes a country’s leadership look foolish. The fact is that the donors gave you money that could have gone elsewhere. When the CEO of Smith Corporation says, “Hello Mr. President, we would gladly contribute a few millions to the government’s flower show,” you inform him that the Government Technical Institute’s electrical engineering department is without automobiles for the students to learn with, and the money can best be used by buying a few second-hand vehicles.
Even if donors are giving the money to the inauguration ceremony, take the very sum and buy what UG doesn’t have, and that which it should have, and that which is shameful because it doesn’t have them – photocopying machines.
The vexation in this situation is not the Vice Chancellor. Why beat up on him if he wants to have an inauguration ceremony. It is for the President to step in, have a word with the Vice Chancellor, and let the ceremony be dropped using diplomatic language. President Granger isn’t going to do this, because I don’t think he has the leadership qualities that could influence him to show such type of political finesse.
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From Granger through to Nagamootoo, right down to the junior ministers, this country is on autopilot control without a skilled captain flying the plane. This government is to be blamed for the worst prison arson in the world that took place in Guyana. No country has seen a prison rebellion that led to the fiery demolition of the entire central prison in the country. It is responsible because it lacks thinking leaders.
Why would a country’s leaders not want to comment on sheer wildness that takes place in the courts? When a court in Miami gave a family permission to pull the plug on a woman who was brain dead, President Bush said publicly he didn’t agree with the decision. It didn’t mean he was intimidating the courts. Granger, Nagamootoo, Ramjattan and the Cabinet shut their mouths on the inhumanities that take place in the magistrates’ courts, and look what it may have contributed to – two prison rebellions. Maybe convicts in the jail for possession of a marijuana cigarette knew about the conspiracies, but were so cynical after how the law (and government by extension) treated them, that they didn’t care about the ensuing inferno.
The APNU+AFC regime watched helplessly as the judicial system failed poor people, and they are watching helplessly at other situations, the most egregious being the incompetence of the City Council. We hated what the PPP cabals did to the environment of Georgetown. The exact scenario is returning, only this time not under Jagdeo, but the great Moses Nagamootoo with fifty years of activism under his belt.
Garbage is piling up again, making the capital the eyesore of the world. City Council owes two cleaning companies over 300 million. How could these companies be so reckless to allow such a sum to climb to such prodigious heights? Maybe they get free money from the skies.
This is the same City Council that introduced a diseased parking meter project that led to the formation of a highly successful movement, which in turn morphed into a pressure group which will inevitably transform itself into a political party by 2020. This group will take the votes that the AFC normally gets, effectively decapitating the AFC. The APNU+AFC autopilot mode has already driven the plane off the runway, paralyzing the AFC in the accident.
The dirty capital is not slowly returning but has arrived. I see huge mountains of parapet grass all over Georgetown blocking motorists’ view. I see clogged drains all over Charlestown when I go to Kaieteur News. The incompetence of City Hall has killed off the career of Ronald Bulkan. At the Burnham Institute’s brunch on CARICOM Day on July 3, a very powerful Minister came up to me and David Hinds and chatted. He said Mr. Granger will be running back in the 2020 elections. I looked at David, David looked at me. We both curiously smiled.