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The main Opposition, A Partnership for National Unity and Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC), has accused the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) government of running a kleptocracy and being both unwilling and reluctant to initiate an investigation into allegations of bribery and corruption against its Vice President (VP), Mr. Bharrat Jagdeo.
At a recent press conference, the Opposition made a resounding call for the architects of the bribe takers and corruption to be dealt with. The coalition said it should not be business as usual in such an atmosphere as it reiterates the call for the resignation of Jagdeo and an inquiry into reports that emanated from the United States-based VICE News that exposed a sophisticated underworld network between government officials and Chinese businesses to get lucrative state contracts. VP was named and identified as having a leading role.
The VP has denied involvement in the racket, which also includes money laundering, and has since filed a $50 million lawsuit against Su Zhirong, the Chinese businessman who named him as pivotal in the lawlessness and who the VP admitted is his friend and tenant.
The APNU+AFC is accusing the Irfaan Ali government of facilitating corruption by their failure to proceed with the investigation. This, the Opposition said “is clear indication the regime has no regard for the people of Guyana. They do not believe in democracy and the rule of law. Their only interest seems to be in the pillaging of the resources of Guyana.”
There continue to be calls for the VP to step down and if he fails to, President Ali asks for his resignation, and also to have an investigation by a credible international body.
The AFC has proposed approaching the World Bank. Mr. Khemraj Ramjattan, the party leader, said the institution has an investigative arm that is composed of top-notch, professionals equipped to investigate corruption. “That unit of the Bank knows what to recommend to be done and should Guyana utilise the Bank’s service it will save the country monies, too, for a costly commission of inquiry and a certainly questioned Report which will be found unacceptable by half the population.”
Continuing to chide the government for its inaction, the Opposition said what is even worse is that VP, while being accused of bribery and corruption is presiding over the doling out of Guyana’s lands to the PPP elite family and friends, and has the temerity to speak about taking back lands from a respectable Guyanese professional.
“The VP will do well to repossess the lands that were allegedly given out during his Presidency to Su and others. That he is accused of corruption and bribery brings his character into further disrepute.” It is an affront to the right-thinking people of Guyana to have a bribery and corruption accused still having a say in the management of our national resources, said the Opposition, who also pointed out that “in any democratic society [the VP] would have had to resign or be removed.”