The PPP’s Chamber of Secrets

The PPP wicked, stink, dutty. It’s also very secretive. With heavy emphasis here on “dutty” and “secretive”. For a regime that says it believes in transparency, accountability, the rule of law, and good governance, it is awfully opaque and shrouded in secrets. Secrets that rival the Pentagon, Kremlin, and North Korea combined. And more and more President Irfaan Ali is beginning to sound and act like the oppressive leader of the latter. Kim Jung Irfaan. 

The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) did a study and presented its findings to the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) one-seat installed government on the impact of Exxon’s activities on the fish population. Fishermen have complained that Exxon’s drilling is scaring away the fishes and though the usual pomp and ceremony accompanied the report’s handover, the contents were never revealed, suffice to say the Minister of Agriculture proclaimed that Exxon was innocent of the charges. It was a secret trial. 

The regime went to Canada to fetch Alison Redford at great expense to taxpayers to produce a report on Exxon Mobil’s projects. Redford came and left, and the Redford Report seems to have sunk to the murky depths of the Atlantic Ocean, for its contents remain a tightly kept secret. I have been advised that not even the Minister of Natural Resources knows the contents of the documents. He is deemed to be on a ‘need to know’ basis and he just does not need to know. 

On one of the rare occasions when the National Assembly met recently, the government’s own member asked Minister of Public Works Bishop Juan Edghill for a list of roads and streets that were proposed to be rehabilitated with the monies he was requesting at the time. The man dubbed the “Fish-Up Bishop” told the sometimes auspicious House that revealing the list would disturb social cohesion. The list remains in the Ministry’s vault under heavy 24-hour armed guard. 

Additionally, the Regional Security System (RSS) recently relied on to ascertain the veracity of damning allegations raised by Dion Bascom, a Sergeant of the Guyana Police Force (GPF). Bascom alleges a massive coverup in the Ricardo Fagundes murder probe involving high-ranking members of the GPF. Even though the report was promised to the public as a matter of national interest, it has not been allowed to see the light of day. Its findings are state secrets. The Minister of Home Affairs suggests that by the report the GPF has been absolved from guilt. 

Obfuscation, omissions, circumlocution, and redactions have become the order of the day as the PPP refuses to divulge critical information about its stewardship of the Oil and Gas sector. While the non-oil sector continues to fail on a scale unprecedented. Much of the Wales Gas to Shore Project remains a mystery, as does the new Harbour Bridge and the public’s pick of any national project or investment. Billions of dollars go unaccounted for as a result. 

The PPP’s democratic credentials are under serious question. A few days ago, to mark the International Day of Democracy observed on September 15, the Ambassador of the United States of America, Sarah-Ann Lynch, the British High Commissioner, Jane Miller, Canadian High Commissioner, Mark Berman, and the Ambassador of the European Union, René van Nes reaffirmed “the cornerstones of democracy, including liberty, equality, inclusivity, freedom of religion and belief, speech and assembly, the rule of law, and the right to vote.” 

The representatives of western powers stated that while “free, fair and inclusive elections are critical, democracies also help safeguard human rights and fundamental freedoms and work to strengthen political, economic, and social rights. And they do so openly, to the benefit of all. When these principles are placed at the center of foreign policy frameworks, they connect us as global citizens and help nations achieve and sustain peace and stability around the world.” Our international partners are speaking. Is the PPP listening? The answer is a secret, the regime has not responded.