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APNU/AFC coalition dubbed “most corrupt Govt” – PPP

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first_imgThe People’s Progressive Party (PPP) has come out swinging at the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) coalition, calling it the “most corrupt Government”, given some of the actions over the less than three years it has been in office.“After being in office for only three years, this APNU+AFC Government can easily be classified as the most corrupt Government in the post-independent English-speaking Caribbean. Indeed, its corruption is only surpassed by its incompetence,” the Opposition said in a statement on Saturday.The Party said that the ruling Administration has the audacity to accuse others of corruption, when it “manipulates the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and directs the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) to institute fabricated and malicious charges” against political opponents and highly-qualified professional Guyanese, who have served their country and their people with distinction. It named the charges instituted against former Finance Minister, Dr Ashni Singh, and former Head of the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL), Winston Brassington, as the most recent.The Opposition went on to say that corruption under this Government has reached to such alarming levels that the March 2018 US State Department Report titled, “International Narcotics Control Strategy Report – Volume II,” identifies Government corruption, for the first time in Guyana’s history, as one of the main source of money-laundering.“In short, we have a Government of money-launders,” the Party said.The PPP went on to point out several such actions by Government, which is said to be marred by corruption. According to the Party, in just three short years, the coalition managed to completely by-pass the public procurement process, mandated by law, and has handed hundreds of contracts to the value of billions of dollars to its cronies and financiers.“Whenever this Government resorts to the procurement process and it does not yield the contractor of their choice, they manufacture a reason to scrap the process and restart it until the desired contractor is awarded the contract. At the level of the Regional Tender Boards, this practice is even worse. The Regional Executive Officers are allowed to manipulate the process so that cronies and party loyalists are awarded the contracts,” the Party said.It further mentioned the fact that a sitting Minister has rented a building, which is situated in the heart of the city, for a meagre $800,000 per month to a member of the People’s National Congress (PNC) – the largest party in the APNU.“This premises is a popular liming spot for Ministers and one of the preferred places where corrupt deals are brokered,” the Opposition alleged.The Party continued by bringing up the over $2 billion in taxpayers’ dollars that was spent on the construction of the D’Urban Park facility. It said that a company comprising of a Minister and known members of the PNC was established and given the major construction works under this project.“Again, there was no resort to any form of public procurement. Despite repeated demands, they cannot produce any credible records to the office of the Auditor General, in relation to this project,” the Party said.The PPP also referred to the “surreptitiously” negotiated petroleum-sharing agreement between Government and ExxonMobil that, for over a year, it refused to make public despite thunderous public pressure. It noted that dozens of questions have been raised about this contract, but this Government has persistently refused to answer any of them.“This is a Government that surreptitiously stashed in a secret bank account, US$18 million received from ExxonMobil as a signing bonus and uttered not a word about it to the public, for over a year, until the information was leaked to the press,” the Party added.Another issue the Opposition raised is the 100 per cent retroactive salary increase that Government “secretly” give itself when it took office.“This is a Government that refuses to submit itself to the Integrity Act, which requires the submission of their assets and earnings of Ministers and public officials. This is a Government that voted against a motion, tabled by the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) in the National Assembly, which called upon all Members of Parliament (MPs) to disclose their Integrity Commission submissions as well as their income tax submissions for the past 10 years,” the Opposition noted.Against this backdrop, the PPP is asking the public to observe the deafening silence of former crusaders against corruption, in the face of the massive corruption which permeates this Government. It pointed out that these “crusaders”, and others, whenever speaking out against the corruption now taking place, duplicitously make a comparison with the PPP/Civic Administration to create a “veneer of balance”.last_img read more