Problems of Governance in Guyana


By Sase Singh

Some fifteen years ago false intelligence reports and a compliant American News Media helped to sell the idea that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction that created the reason for the invasion of Iraq. Today we are finding out it was just a strategy to recapitalize and create new sales opportunities for the military-industrial complex.

The New York Times did an excellent job exposing that part of the media sales pitch to the unsuspecting public was scripted by the Pentagon itself by way of a slew of well-trained Generals who were given special training to deliver talking points. Many of these military pundits were presented as military experts but the evidence reveals that the majority of the times, their futuristic recommendations were dead wrong. Further their high-salaried sales consultancies to the private sector companies that dominate the military-industrial complex were not disclosed. Every now and then the public catches on to this scam and they rebelled – the outcome – Donald Trump.

Similarly, in 2015, a platoon of former Generals, and Colonels were presented to the Guyanese public as the team to deliver the economic, political and social transformation needed. Well, the transformation never happened. What is becoming absolutely clear today is that these former officers have a casual relationship with what needs to be done and are at sea when it comes to delivering on the promises made? It is all a big scam. But what is most discerning is that the Guyanese media has failed to expose this scam.

With three years gone, one would have wanted to evaluate the change in service at the Georgetown Hospital, the CHPA and the many other places that this elitist group has invaded. The evidence reveals that these people have gotten worst in their performance every day and continue to arrogantly pass themselves off as the only group that can get things done.

Their strategy is extremely simple. With military precision, they hide from the media, continue to draw heavy-duty salaries, under deliver and under develop the nation in step with their Commander in Chief. But this entire operation is nothing but an old fashion money-grab by a small elite for services not rendered over the last three years. There is one exception to this rule and he is Major General (Rtd) Joseph Govinda Singh, who has literally retired himself from the public service after he was found to be unfit and improper by the President to serve as the Chairman of GECOM.

These former military men present themselves as the responsible resistance to the people who are clamoring for good governance. They claim that their game plan is to clean up the corruption. But when their records are analyzed, they sit on top of even greater levels of kleptomania compare to what the nation experience before May 2015. When caught all they do is pass the buck and make excuses, knowing their Commander in Chief will give them an automatic free pass from his man cave on Main Street.

If one reflects on the CHPA as an example of this abuse, this organization has delivered less than 300 houses in 3 years since President Granger arrived on the scene. To bolster this mega-level of incompetence, a former GDF Colonel was appointed and he promised to deliver 8,000 houses in 3 years? But we all are fully aware this is just another gimmick at fooling the people in this money-grabbing scheme for this small elite.

That is why I, like many other Guyanese, are extremely concerned of this doggedness on the part of President Granger at wanting his ex-GDF man at the top of the Judiciary. No regard is being paid to the fact that under the current leadership of Justice Cummings, the judiciary has been at its most efficient in decades. Why would you want to destroy what works?

When you allow the former military brass numbering less than 25 men to influence the political, economic and social spheres of Guyanese life so extensively especially in areas in which they have no expertise, it normalizes incompetence, underperformance, and underdevelopment. But they all serve at the pleasure of the President and therefore this is where the buck stops.

Burnham was always careful to keep these military types as far as possible away from the PNC and he had valid reasons for doing this. The empirical evidence proves that military men struggle at leadership in civilian life. At the PNC upcoming Congress, a military man may be appointed its Chairman. If such a possibility does occurs that man will become the candidate in 2020 for that party. We have enough evidence that the current model does not work because of the poor performance of the current President David Granger, so why would the PNC want to pursue such failed model again?


Sase Singh, M.Sc. – Finance, ACCA is an independent contributor. The views expressed in this column are solely those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of the THE WEST INDIAN.