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Su Zhirong, the Chinese businessman and tenant of Vice President (VP) Bharrat Jagdeo seems to have vanished into thin air. Since the explosive U.S-based VICE News report, aired last Sunday, that revealed information suggesting a clandestine relationship between Su and Vice President Jagdeo, the former has apparently gone into hiding or is hiding in full view.
Su, who rented another house owned by the VP in Pardoville II, is said to no longer be occupying the premises. The VP, immediately after the VICE News report broke, denied allegations in the story that Su functions as his middleman to Chinese businesses in the awarding of state contracts and receiving kickbacks.
The VP has since threatened to sue Su and said he wanted him to vacate his rented property forthwith. Stabroek News had reported Su paid rent up to May, this year. VICE’s story was broadcast this month. Su, appearing on Mark Benschop’s “Straight Up” programme, admitted to renting the Pradoville II property at the monthly rent of $1.2 million which was paid via cheque.
At his press conference last week, the VP said he doesn’t know where Su is. He further said, he will be pressing “reputational charges” (civil action) against Su, based on the VICE report, when he finds him but presently he is not occupying his premises. Leader of the Alliance for Change and Member of Parliament Khemraj Ramjattan rubbished the VP’s pronouncements saying it’s a “sham.” Jagdeo “get catch with his pants down.”
Speaking to Sherrod Duncan, on his “In The Ring” programme, Ramjattan said the VP “is trying to bamboozle the public with BS.” It is his opinion that the VP “can’t do a damn thing to Su because the man could very well go to the court and talk the truth, which the [VP] is afraid of.”
Another point Ramjattan felt the public needs to know- i.e., the proximity of Su to Jagdeo in the housing arrangement. Ramjattan said it smacks of corruption, drawing reference to Russia, some countries in Africa and the Middle East where corrupt government officials pursue similar arrangements. He feels a redeeming factor to this whole Su/Jagdeo/Guyana shame is for the VP to “come off the scene.”
Pressure has been mounting for Jagdeo to demit public office or President Irfaan Ali have him resign, and for a credible independent international inquiry to be conducted into the awarding of state contracts.