Sep 04, 2017  Features / ColumnistsFreddie Kissoon

What you are about to read in the next few lines was published twice before in these columns. I am repeating it in light of the establishment of SARA having its own budget, premises and staff. The building that housed a certain Ministry during the Burnham era was left unattended during the Hoyte presidency. That Ministry was moved to newer quarters. The building became derelict and was torn down.
Most people over the years thought it was state land, but during the privatization policy of President Hoyte the land was sold. The small businessman who bought it just left it unattended. A very close friend of President Jagdeo had properties in the same street and thought that the asset was state land because a famous ministry once stood there. This presidential friend in 2014 decided to fence the land. An employee of the small business saw the land being fenced and alerted his boss.
The small businessman turned up and enquired who gave the orders to work on his property. The crew reported back to the presidential friend what happened and that was the end of that. What you have just read is a true story. What is the meaning of this incident? We do not know how many other state properties this presidential friend has coveted then got legal sanction.
If the land was governmental asset, then the presidential friend simply would have taken it over and then gotten the legal transfer. Surely, there must be other similar incidents in which this rich presidential friend got state properties in identical fashion. There is an important question to think about – was he the only presidential friend that operated in such oligarchic ways?
This columnist has been told that such factual tales are being pursued by SARA and that SARA has found that one presidential friend has 42 properties in Georgetown alone. When Jagdeo became President, this type of power madness became common place. It continued under Ramotar because he was a surrogate for Jagdeo. Under both Jagdeo and Ramotar, this country was run as if it was the personal property of the PPP.

So what we have now – almost daily letters in the newspapers by Ramotar, (who as President was filmed blackballing with a woman who crashed the Old Year’s night party in 2014), Rohee ( who said that he will try his hand at the contest to be the PPP’s presidential candidate because “goat ain’t bite meh”), Gail Teixeira (who accompanied Satyra Gyaal when the US Ambassador was insulted on American Independence Day function in 2014), Juan Edghill ( self-styled bishop who said in 2015 if Jesus had come down to Guyana he would have voted for the PPP), Hydar Ally who spent 23 years as a Permanent Secretary in different ministries during the PPP’s reign. And of course there is the weekly press conference of Bharrat Jagdeo.
In all these letters (the group in now joined by someone named Harry Gill who seems to have a faulty memory when he writes his daily missives) and press conferences, there isn’t even an inaudible whisper that they are sorry for trying to dissolve the two independent dailies – Kaieteur News and Stabroek News – when they dominated Guyana because they are now grateful for these papers for publishing the propaganda, inanities and insanities that they churn out each day.
It was during this domination, this presidential friend saw private property, thought it was state property he could buy for chicken feed, and went and constructed a fence on other’s people’s land. It was during the hegemony of these two presidents that another presidential friend was a king of the wharves – his containers were never examined by customs officials and customs officers knew that their jobs were on the line if they proceeded to search the containers.
I have not even an ounce of respect and recognition for Bibi Shadick but she was honest when she wrote in a letter to the Chronicle that she was proud to be a member of the PPP cabal. When she wrote that missive she forgot to put a line each about two things. One was to congratulate the Chronicle for carrying her emanation, since when her cabal was in power no such expression from an opposition Parliamentarian would have been published. Secondly, to apologize for the behavior of one of her colleagues in the cabal when he told his staff to intimidate and harass NIS inspectors who visited his work place. Now, that wasn’t a nice thing, Bibi.