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In what turned out to be an explosive report by US-based VICE News into allegations of corrupt practices between Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo and businessman Mr. Su Zhirong, the Vice President has fired back, saying he will sue Su and wants him to vacate his house immediately.
Su is a tenant of Mr. Jagdeo, living next door to him in Pradoville II. In an interview with Mark Benschop, on his Straight Up programme, Su said his monthly rent is $1.2 million, which he pays to the Vice President via cheque. Post airing of the VICE report, Jagdeo has informed another media house he will pursue legal action against Su and wants him out of his house.
Yesterday VICE News aired, on U.S Showtime channel (television and online streaming), the much anticipated interview with the Vice President and investigative journalist Isobel Yeung. In the programme titled, ‘Guyana For Sale,’ based on the interview done last February, Su is heard making allegations of the Vice President taking bribes in order to give out government contracts.
When Su’s allegation was initially made public, i.e., last February, he issued a statement denying ever making the claim. But the programme revealed him taking an undercover ‘businessman’ to meet the Vice President as proof of his paid role as an intermediary with access to high level officials in government and being able to get government’s favours.
As the Vice President has been quick to put his perspective to revelations in the report and is threatening Su with legal action and eviction, and the Government has thus far remained silent, the Alliance For Change (AFC) and People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) have issued sharp responses. The AFC, in a statement issued shortly after the airing of the report, said the revelations were damning and demanded a leading internationally recognised auditing firm conduct an investigation into the awarding of state contracts.
PNCR Member of Parliament and Shadow Minister of Legal Affairs, Mr. Roysdale Forde SC, in an interview on Straight Up, noted the seriousness of the content in the VICE report and called for the resignation of the Vice President and an independent probe into allegations he took bribes. Mr. Aubrey Norton, Leader of the Opposition, Leader of the PNCR, and Chairman of the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU), appearing on the same programme called on the Vice President to resign.
Guyana’s rating in the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index has taken a hit, increasing by two points, since the People’s Progressive Party/Civic returned to government. The VICE report, which has been seen around the world, could likely have more adverse impact on the country’s image and reputation.
Watch the VICE interview: https://www.sho.com/vice/season/3/episode/7/guyana-for-sale-and-moors-rising
And the February interview shared by the PPP/C- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-n8Cuw2Hxvs