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|Trade unionist Lincoln Lewis and social activist Mark Benschop feel Vice President (VP) Bharrat Jadgeo should do the decent time by retracting and apologising for statements made against leaders of the International Decade of People of African Descent Assembly-Guyana (IDPADA-G) and the organisation.
The VP, in a press conference last Friday, accused leaders of enriching themselves from the less than half billion dollars grant given to the organisation over a five-year period.
IDPADA-G, in a stinging rebuke of the VP, accused him of executing a mischievous crusade of misinformation, lies and defamation, and declared their intent to expose him and his mal-intent. Read more on this in “IDPADA-G fights back, says Jagdeo on mischievous crusade of misinformation, lies and defamation.”
Lewis, speaking with Village Voice, said the VP is engaging in public mischief and trying to sow seeds of discord in the African community by besmirching the character and integrity of African leaders with no evidence to substantiate his reckless claims. “His actions are aimed to decapitate the African community of leadership in order that they can trample on rights and entrench their marginalisation and discrimation.”
When the VP made the allegations no evidence was provided to validate his assertions. Responding to this fact, Lewis said he is not surprised because the VP is known for making reckless statements and not being called to account. His cheap politicking is all part of furthering the ‘one Guyana’ ethnic triumphalism agenda, said the trade unionist.
Benschop, weighing in on the matter, told Village Voice,“the VP is in no position to point fingers after presiding over the bloodiest, most divisive and corrupt era in the history of Guyana.” He thinks the VP is looking for an opportunity to draw comparison in order to excuse his cruel and corrupt presidential reign. It is the opinion of social activist’s opinion Vincent Alexander and the entire leadership of IDPADA-G should sue the VP for slander and libel. “If they don’t take him to court he will not stop the lies.”
During the presidency of Jagdeo, Guyana was ranked the most corrupt English-speaking country in the Caribbean, and hundreds of young men were murdered by state-sponsored death squads, which resulted in a Commission of Inquiry.
Jagdeo is engaging in distraction, said Lewis, which he sees as an attempt to divert attention from alleged nefarious activities with Su Zhirong and Chinese businesses, and to take attention off the embarrassment of the Police Force handling charges made by Detective Sergeant Dion Bascom.
Lewis advanced that whereas an apology from the VP is not expected it does not mean the citizenry should not hold him to account. “If unto today he has not accepted the folly of his decision for burdening the nation with a US$200+ million debt on the white elephant Skeldon Factory, widespread corruption and discrimination, it does not mean we should not continuously hold him accountable.”
The U.S-based VICE News in two explosive investigative reports drew attention to a sophisticated money laundering and corrupt network between government officials and Chinese businesses in the awarding of state contracts. The VP is the only official named in the alleged racket with Su. He has denied the allegation and filed a $50 million lawsuit for libel against Su who he said is/was his friend and tenant.
Bascom has accused members of the Guyana Police Force of unprofessionalism, including trying to cover up a 2021 killing that had the involvement of a city businessman. The Force and individuals accused by Bascom have denied the allegations.
Benschop said he is asking Guyanese not to be fooled and to pay attention to the fact that the PPP will never harass and attack the Indian Arrival Committee (IAC) which has the party’s support and operated out of Office of the President. He also inquired about the Mon Repos incident and cash grants where millions have been paid out and many are still holding their pink slip. “Could the VP answer for these monies?”
Turning attention to the reaction of some, the social activist said the VP is creating division and individualism among Africans when African culture has always been one of collective survival. “We are reminded it takes a village. Jagdeo is taking advantage of the ignorance and greed of some of those who are satisfied that they are getting bread and butter as others can’t even drink lil sugar water tea because there is no sugar to put in the water.”