Eyewitness: Looking back with anger…

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana

…at EXXON audit

The PPP’s being hauled over the coals- that’s been set alight, even! – for not auditing the US$9billion Exxon claims it spent on developing the Stabroek block up to now. Now, of course, this should never have happened. Which Guyanese would accept his carpenter’s figures on how much it cost him to buy materials to build their house?? And when it comes to padding bills, Guyanese carpenters – no slouches at this game – could learn more than a thing or a hundred from all companies that extract resources from third world countries!! The “extracted resources” don’t all come out of the ground!!

But we gotta be fair in this finger pointing. Exxon and it’s partners – remember Hess and CNOOC? – have been piling up those expenses since 2015. Not so coincidentally, that’s the exact point in time when the PNC-coalition slid into office! Don’t we remember that the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) saying that they’ll be building its capacity to conduct just such an audit?? Didn’t the PNC government – through the now very loquacious Winston Jordan – also say they’d be facilitating such capacity building? Might’ve been locking the stable door after the horse had bolted through the efforts of the now invisible Raphael Trotman! – but what the heck?? A principle is a principle, no?

No! At least not to TIGI – in the form of its head Fred Collins – who came out swinging after he returned from COP26. Must’ve been miffed at how the developing world was steamrolled by the big and bad (and rich) “developed world”! But why take it out on the PPP when he knew fully well that the PNC sat on its haunches for five years on developing our auditing capacity! Shouldn’t they )and their lapse) have at least been mentioned?
Why doubt VP Jagdeo’s answer that – being in office for less than a year and a half – the job just couldn’t be done!! Did Collins hear about the folk wisdom, “Wha’ rain na full dew cyaan full”? Or “Yuh cyaan buil’ latrine when you gat fuh sh*t”? Well, Collins had an answer for that! How come the PPP didn’t ask some local accounting types hook up with some furriners to do the job!? Sounds reasonable. But does he remember the last time the PPP tried that to fulfill their campaign promise to “review” the Trotman oil contract? Not having the capacity, the government went for a Canadian who’d been involved with contract negotiation in oil rich Alberta.

And does he remember the furor that was caused by this move? The woman’s past was dredged up and she was pretty much accused of being a fake and a thief!
The PPP just can’t win!!

…at Burnham and 303 Committee

Other daily ran a piece on how the PNC plotted to rig the elections back in 1968 and 1973 – while being aided and abetted by the Americans via their omnipresent CIA! The Cold War was very hot!! The funding was provided by a “303 Committee” that kept careful notes of who got the money – US$5000 – and when. While US$5000 might now seem small – Burnham had asked for US$10,000 – it went a long way back in the day. And then again, Guyanese always came cheap!!

But all this is old hat, isn’t it? Apart from a few hard liners in the APNU – like David Granger – few would demur. But why would the daily reveal this just when the PNC’s insisting they’re the most democratic Party around – by publicly electing their new leader? Is it because Burnham never did build a proper party structure and just ferreted away the money?
So the new guard will have to start all over again? Like poor Sisyphus!!?

…at COP 26

How much can we poor natives take? Our erstwhile colonial masters expect us to keep fetching them on our shoulders , even though the water’s up to our necks from their profligacy?
Enough! Let’s drown together!!