Burke’s arrest warrant, hounding of Jordan, and Ali’s tax-free salary

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It is pure stupidness passing for governance, a consequence of putting authority in the hands of those who are lawless, selfish, irresponsible, reckless, incompetent and unmindful of people’s concerns. This government doesn’t care what the people say. They have managed to enlist some media houses, hired pens and international public relations firms, to spin a narrative to deny or demonise the articulation of independent and dissenting voices that seek to hold them accountable.

This nation is lurching from one crisis to another and everywhere you look the hands of the government are involved. For instance, when they are not doing anything sensible to address the escalating cost of living, they are imposing on public sector workers a measly 7 percent increase in violation of the law and are practically giving away Guyana to foreign capital. The actions of the men and women in office are akin to buccaneers and pirates. They are ruthless.

It is difficult not to arrive at the position that their primary interest for getting into office is to enrich themselves at the citizens’ expense, which they are hoping to mask by creating ethnic tension, distracting the masses, and abusing the laws. The arrest bulletin for Rickford Burke is pure stupidness and waste of taxpayers’ money. It is nothing more than an attempt to intimidate and drive fear into society in the hope of silencing independent and dissenting voices and keeping others muzzled.

What law are they talking about upholding? These are lawless men and women who have used their privileged positions, as representatives of the people, to have charges dropped against them. Before they came to office, they made it very clear that should they return, the charges of theft and fraud brought against them by the state would be dropped. It is instructive that this was among the first things they did, leaving persons to conclude that they are guilty and afraid to have their day in court.

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The arrest of former Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan, last Thursday is the regime continuing to execute their pre-election threats of locking up and jailing those who worked with the APNU+AFC government. Ali and his ministers would find it difficult to convince society the timing of Jordan’s arrest was not aimed to keep him in the lockup over the weekend as they did with Colvin London, Trevor Benn and others. These people are playing a dangerous game and are evidently up to no good. They need not fool themselves their actions will not have consequences.

I was a Member of the Privatisation Board when that Kingston Wharf was approved to be privatised and the beneficiary identified as B.K International. The company that was originally recommended to acquire the wharf bid approximately $2 billion but when their bonafide was brought into question the bid was taken off the table. The second highest bid, which was below $1 billion, was that of BK. It is instructive that over the life of the PPP/C government this deal was not finalised, but it is important to note acquisition of the property was sealed by the Privatization Board under the Bharrat Jagdeo government.

Finally, we must raise our voices in unison and call for President Irfaan Ali, Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs Anil Nandlall, and any other in the government that do not pay income tax to start paying. The spirit and intent behind the non-payment of taxes, which began during the Forbes Burnham government, have outlived its usefulness. The spirit and intent were to allow persons to take home more pay without increasing the salaries of the operatives.

Over the years as the PPP/C government increased their salaries they are still not paying income taxes. They are earning hundreds of thousands and even millions per month, but the ordinary worker who has to live on $80,000 per month is paying income tax. This is the party seeking to fool society that they are working class centred when in their world some are more equal than some, and for them they must always be the ones economically better off.

If they are not guided by conscience, they must be guided by the ruling of Judge Fidel Corbin-Lincoln, last month, that income tax exemption is unconstitutional. The present Constitution of Guyana states that any law that is in contravention of the Constitution is null and void. We must demand starting this month the President, Attorney General and others be guided by the Constitution and Corbin-Lincoln’s ruling.



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