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|The Alliance For Change (AFC) is expressing alarm at the allegations of “mounting” corruption against the governing People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C). In the first full year (2021) of the Irfaan Ali government, according to Transparency International, Guyana has dropped two points on the Corruption Perception Index which means that corruption is on the rise.
In a recent press statement, the party, taking aim at the financial management of the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo), is calling on the Auditor General to launch an investigation into the allegations of corruption as was disclosed by Anthony ‘Tony’ Vieira, former Vice Chair of the Board. And according to the party, “if true, anyone associated with such corrupt practices must be held accountable.”
Vieira, who resigned from the Board last June, in a scathing letter to the media earlier this month, lambasted the performance of the corporation including its money management and purchasing of the accelerated tractors. The former vice chair said the decision to purchase the tractors saw the acquisition of “the machine [which] is made up of a hodge-podge of parts from all over the world, making acquiring parts next to impossible, [yet the corporation] has recently decided to buy eight more!!”
In condemning the quality and purchase Vieira did say “[th]ere can only be one explanation for all of this!! And like an iceberg this tractor story is only the tip of the wicked agenda being executed in GuySuCo today.”
Prior to Vieira’s letter there were a plethora of others condemning the purchase of tractors versus the John Deer and its suitability for Guyana’s topography and estate work. The AFC, in apparent reaction to these concerns, observed that despite the alleged wastage of money “the Government continues to pump monies into the sector with no elevated production to show.”
The beleaguered corporation, within times, has not only lowered its production target but even at lowered level the corporation continues to fall short as the Government continues to pump billions of dollars into it. GY$3.4 billion was budgeted for GuySuCo in the Supplementary Bill passed last Monday.
Pointing out that the failure of the sugar sector started under the PPP/C, the party, in calling the government out is asking that they be honest about the state of the sector, and continue the process of rightsizing as was started under the A Partnership For National Unity and Alliance For Change (AFC+AFC) coalition government.
The coalition rightsizing approach has found favour with social activist and economist Ramon ‘Rambo’ Gaskin. In conversation with Village Voice last week Gaskin said while the policy is commendable, moving to implementation on the eve of the 2020 Election was bad politics. It is opinion the implementation timeline caused the coalition to lose a lot of support and the election.