Thursday, November 19, 2009

There is some level of corruption - Donald Ramotar

Kaieteur News news item, Thursday 19 November 2009 - "There is some level of corruption - Donald Ramotar" -

“If we continue to bury our heads in the muck which is now evident, we leave exposed the most vulnerable parts of our anatomy for further violation and abuse” - GAP/ROAR

While acknowledging that there is some level of corruption in Guyana, General Secretary of the People’s Progressive Party, Donald Ramotar, says that it is nowhere close to what is being reflected by Transparency International.

Ramotar was at the time responding to the recently released Global Corruption Perception Index compiled by Transparency International which scored Guyana at 126 of the 180 countries surveyed

The PPP General Secretary also questioned and challenged Transparency International to reveal its source of information in Guyana positing that it must be the work of the People’s National Congress Reform using old connections.

Ramotar is of the opinion that it is only anti-government elements that could be responsible for presenting such an image of Guyana.

Calling Transparency International’s report a “cockeyed” position, Ramotar said that he was very concerned about a position by some international organisations to demonise developing countries.

He noted that there should be greater scrutiny of the more developed countries. He pointed to the United States of America and identified the Halliburton affair coupled with the billions of dollars that are being pumped into the banks and being siphoned off by the upper echelon officials.

Ramotar said, too, that he was worried that there might ulterior motives with the reports.

Guyana Action Party Member of Parliament, Everall Franklin, recently stated that “the nation is insulted constantly by the sheer outrageousness of corrupt practices being perpetrated against us, the people of this country.”

He said that the recent exposure of a few contracts, which left many people shaking their heads in bewilderment, is but a small portion of the uncontrolled mismanagement meted out to the Guyanese population.

He added, “This is how the people’s wealth is being squandered…If we continue to bury our heads in the muck which is now evident, we leave exposed the most vulnerable parts of our anatomy for further violation and abuse…This cannot be allowed to continue, we all have to raise our voices in condemnation with the aim to stop this rape of our resources.”

When asked if the elected leaders were not scrutinizing the expenditure of taxpayer money, the politician insisted in the affirmative, but pointed out that the opposition and media could expose these glaring anomalies, but it is ultimately up to the Government to curb the practice.

Meanwhile the Alliance for Change leader, Raphael Trotman, during a press briefing held at the Sidewalk Café called on Ramotar to present their data to support his contention and compare with that of Transparency International.

According to Trotman, Transparency International was international respected with a sound reputation adding that International Financial Institutions pay attention to its reports and uses them as indicators when issuing loans or grants.

Trotman noted that it is expected Ramotar would make such a statement in that he would want to wash discredit the report adding that, “you can fool the people some times but you can’t fool the people all of the time.”

Among some of the other countries that rank close to Guyana in the 2009 report are Vietnam, Syria, Tanzania, Lebanon and Mongolia.

The CPI score indicates the perceived level of public-sector corruption in a country/territory.

Opposition politicians have time and time again sought to argue that there is a high level of corruption in Guyana.

Veteran Trade Unionist Lincoln Lewis also recently lashed out at the Government, saying that the administration was acting like vultures picking at the flesh of a dying nation, citing what he sees as the wanton abuse of the nation’s finances as a point of reference.

Lewis said there is no country that is going to create wealth if its leaders “exploit the economy to enrich themselves, or if police can be bought off by drug traffickers.”

He said too that no business would want to invest in a place where there is widespread corruption.

“No person wants to live in a society where the rule of law gives way to the rule of brutality and bribery.”

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