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Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo has no moral authority to speak about good governance, discrimination, and the upholding of law in this country. He must also be told he is squatting on the people’s interest. He and President Irfaan Ali must be made to respect the people of Guyana by demonstrating respect for the Constitution and Laws of Guyana in its entirety.
They must first adhere to the constitutional stipulation that the Prime Minister is the First Vice President and Head of Government Business in the National Assembly. Mark Phillips by virtue of the office he holds is ascribed the stated positions, yet he is not allowed to so function.
Whereas Phillips appears content to support the constitutional violation, Jagdeo and Ali must know in Phillips there are the physical characteristics of a Black man, and such relegation to the African community reinforces that even when the constitution so ascribe and we stand to benefit, Jagdeo and Ali will take it upon themselves to deny. This has been their politics and practice over the years.
It was during Jagdeo’s presidency the bauxite industry self-contributing Pension Fund, worth more than $2.5 Billion was destroyed. This saw the destruction of the single largest pool of money owned by African workers, along with their constitutional right to a pension.
During his presidency all bauxite workers, both at Linden and Berbice, were terminated. Jagdeo nor the PPP didn’t think about the village/town economy when they placed thousands of bauxite workers on the breadline, causing great economic and social depravity to families and communities. To Jagdeo and the PPP this group of workers were deserving of the economic dislocation, forced status into poverty and the dire social consequences of their decision.
We have the Bauxite Company Guyana Incorporated (BCGI) 14 years grievances that they refuse to apply the law and resolve, quite aware that was where the David Granger/Moses Nagamootoo administration was before the March 2020 Elections. But no, the Black man and woman must live on their knees for them or be forced to accept placing their dignity under their feet in order to have a morsel or enjoy what’s justly theirs. In this instance as outlined in Article 147 of the Constitution of Guyana and Section 23(1) of the Trade Union Recognition Act (1997).
This nation continues to bear witness to constitutional and economic discrimination.
Every few months the Jagdeo/Ali regime would throw billions of taxpayers’ money into the beleaguered GuySuCo on the pretext of keeping the village economy of sugar workers alive. It is not lost on us that this a massive transfer of cash to ensure these workers receive an income; can receive short- and long-term benefits from NIS; the Sugar Workers’ Pension Fund, that also saw injection of taxpayer’s money, could be viable and pay pension.
As a trade unionist it is not lost on me that keeping sugar alive also keeps GAWU alive via union dues.
On the other hand, public service, teachers and BCGI workers are being denied the constitutional right to collective bargaining. These sectors are dominated by African Guyanese, but no such contempt is meted out to sugar workers.
When bauxite workers joined with a foreign investor to purchase BERMINE, the Jagdeo regime never acknowledged the bid and thereby prevented these workers an opportunity to own a business they successfully managed on behalf of the state for years. It is the same PPP that would go the distance, to subtly and overtly present a narrative to society that some Guyanese are lazy and not industrious when every effort they make at economic self-determination and the government has to have a say, the PPP will move with alacrity to deny, deprive and destroy.
Look at the cooperative sector. A major portion of the cooperative economy is owned by African Guyanese. The Ali regime has put a compliant minister, of African ancestry, to threaten the participants of this economy that unused land will be confiscated, rather than seek to put a humane policy and programme in place to help these leasees improve their performance.
Were the cooperative sector dominated by another group the approach by the Jagdeo/Ali regime would have been different. We see this in the regime’s efforts to facilitate the private sector economy through tax incentives, government absorbing costs for agricultural products, and in the state sector the massive transfer of state wealth to party comrades and cohorts through sales of government’s assets and contracts.
Look today they are using our men and women in uniform and in state employ in some programme with an effeminate acronym to move around the country to build blue houses and clean up streets, taking them away from their posts of duty and family, in another form of exploitation.
On the matter of constitutional governance not only are financial resources denied communities the PPP does not dominate, evident again in the 2023 Budget, but Articles 13, 38 and 149C of the Constitution that stipulate the inclusion of groups in the political management and economic development of the nation are being trampled on with impunity by the Jagdeo/Ali regime.
They have decided they will cast our laws aside-the foundation of a democratic and decent society- and do as they please with the resources of this nation, including African Guyanese contribution to the coffers via taxation, to deprive a group of people and ignore their elected representatives when the political foundation of this nation is built on representation and inclusion.
Jagdeo should take a seat and be silent to any claim of discrimination for he is the architect and enforcer of this anti-human rights, anti-national unity, and anti-development policy in modern Guyana.