Sep 06, 2017  Features / ColumnistsFreddie Kissoon

This is a dysfunctional, shambolic, dystopian country going nowhere fast. I know this. I cannot stop it although I am willing to try; and I do try. But there is one thing I am not going to shut my mouth about or be fearful about picking up my pen and writing about. It is my tempestuous refusal to be treated as a second class citizen in my own country.
In reverberating decibels Monday morning, I let the people at the Lands and Surveys Commission (LSC) know that. And trust me; my tone was loud.
I got up early Monday morning to go the National Park, then to testify at the Lands Commission. Then I was to touch town at John Fernandes warehouse on Mandela Avenue to bid on one of those disused cars GRA had put on auction. Before I left my home, I called Adam Harris. I had spoken to my KN colleague, Leonard Gildarie, last week about advice on how to bid for one of those cars. My thinking was that you get one cheaply. Leonard said he wasn’t sure about how much is a good bid. So I called Adam for similar advice.
He said he doesn’t know how much you can get one for but he thinks the engine remains good but other parts may need fixing.
At LSC, there is a security hut that you have to pass through. There are three supernumerary ranks and a LS C officer on duty. The LSC security detail requested my ID card. I told her I do not carry around my ID card. She asked for my driver’s license. The day before, (Sunday), my daughter cleaned the car and removed my vehicle documents. I failed to put them back. So I didn’t have that paper too. She said then I cannot enter.
That was the end of the matter for me; she was doing her duty. Even though she referred to me as Mr. Kissoon, I didn’t request to be let in.
frddie3I know the CEO of LSC, Trevor Benn. My strategy was to ask him to come down and verify my identity. I requested to see a management official. She told me that there was no such official in the building. I asked for her identity and position. She refused to give it. That was when all hell broke loose. I told her she was lying and that I was not moving out of that hut; they or the police would have to physically remove me.
My decibels at that time were reverberating over the LSC. A gentleman came up and asked what the problem was. I told him, he said I cannot enter. I asked for his designation. He refused. By this time I had gone insane. They kept asking me to lower my voice.
Another gentleman came, identified himself as Sherwin Benjamin and escorted me into the building. I went to see Trevor Benn but he wasn’t in. I saw his deputy, Mr. Duesbury, who accompanied me to the security hut. By this time, the woman and man from LSC had disappeared. The presiding supernumerary rank confirmed to Mr. Duesbury that the LSC security officer did tell me that no senior LSC person was in the building.
Mr. Duesbury then told her he was in the building. Duesbury agreed to conduct an investigation and I hope he takes a statement from me. I will have more to say about this ID card requirement.
I then went to the John Fernandes warehouse to bid for one of the cars. GRA officials told me the cars are not there. I showed them the newspaper advertisement in which GRA directed citizens to go there. I was told the cars were at the GRA bond at Eccles. I went there and stepped on something mysterious but it will have to wait for another column. On auction were worthless vehicles; only the spare parts importers bid on them.
Then a guy whispered in my ears to go to another section of the huge bond which is in an open yard and I will see the good cars which they do not put on auction but selected people get them. I was prevented from entering that section. I saw a security guard peeing openly, so I alerted the other guards. She went to stop him.
That was when I slipped past him and had a good look at the conspiracy. Two GRA employees came and asked me to leave. They do not put the saleable vehicles on open bidding. It was explained to me how the bidding for those cars go.
Well, I guess better luck for when a cleaner government comes in. But I may not live till then.