PPP/C to investigate corrupt practices of APNU/AFC Govt once re-elected – Jagdeo
Remembrance of Enmore MartyrsEvery corrupt act committed by the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Administration will be investigated once there is a change in Government following the upcoming elections and every Government official who is found guilty will be jailed.Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo addressing the large crowd at Enmore, ECD, during the commemoration ceremony in observance of Enmore Martyrs’ Day 2019Those were the sentiments of Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo, who told those gathered at a commemoration ceremony for the Enmore Martyrs on Friday in Enmore, East Coast Demerara (ECD), that the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) would not let the numerous instances of corruption go unnoticed once elected.“They used to talk about putting PPP people in jail. When the Government changes, it will investigate every single one of those acts and then you’ll see who goes to jail. Then you will see,” he promised.Jagdeo further explained that the commemoration ceremony must be remembered for what it was created for, to remember the sacrifice that sugar workers made in the face of harsh and unbearable conditions in the sugar industry, for the rights of others.“And why is it so fitting that we remember this occasion? It is because today the industry that so many people sacrificed to build together, people of all races, but predominantly indo-Guyanese across Guyana, that that industry is facing its worst time and it is not facing its worst time ,because nothing better could have been done. It is facing its worst time in our post-colonial history largely because we have a vindictive government and they decided to bring sugar to its knees,” Jagdeo said.He lamented that the PPP/C, on several occasions, pointed out to the APNU/AFC coalition Government what it could have done to address the sugar industry, because it was experiencing problems prior to the 2015 national elections.The Opposition Party had urged that a feasibility study be conducted as well as a social impact assessment and a diversification study be pursued and only upon securing the results of those studies, should the Government take any action.“But what happened: the Government decided to ignore that course of action and decided to close the estates because they believed that somehow it would assist them … they probably hoped that the sugar workers would become disillusioned, they would flee this country and that they would change the electoral demographics of this country. But what went down effectively is to put 11,000 people – 7000 directly and another 4000 who depend on sugar for a living – out of a job; that is over 50,000 Guyanese in a population of about 800,000 people without knowing where their next meal would come from, how they are going to earn enough to send their children to school; in fact, we have seen a massive increase in poverty in the sugar belt.”He noted that concerns should not only be raised about the closing of the sugar industry, but also the “wanton corruption” involving the assets of the failing industry.“Stripping assets, moving the operable assets to inoperable lists and putting them as scrap and then selling them off to [People’s National Congress] PNC officials for a pittance. It is happening every single part of the industry and the people in National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL) and [Guyana Sugar Corporation] GuySuCo are all guilty.”CCJ ruling on TuesdayMeanwhile, according to the Opposition Leader, a large section of the country’s population is awaiting the decision to be handed down by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) in relation to the electoral process and timeframe for Guyana to hold its next national and regional elections.He emphasised that there were several major issues that were affecting various industries and sections of the country and that the CCJ’s decision was the determining factors as to how these issues could be resolved.“That decision will be a defining decision as to how quickly we will fix this problem. And what’s happening in sugar and all other areas … (they) can only be fixed by a change in Government … so the only way we can remedy the situation is changing the Government. Many people across Guyana want that,” he declared.Jagdeo further stated that the PPP/C would continue to work hard to ensure that elections were held and there was a change in Government.This is inevitable largely because of the PPP/C’s plans for the country’s future, its track record while it was in governance especially in the face of adversities and more, the Opposition Leader said.“The decision on Tuesday, they (CCJ) will decide on the pace that change will take, and if the decision goes in our favour, trust me, all of us will have to keep pressuring the Granger Government to hold early elections. We will have to go back on the streets, we will have to get the international community to put pressure on them, we will have to do every single thing to ensure that they hold early elections and that they don’t use GECOM as an excuse, because they are scared of elections. If that outcome comes our way on Tuesday – on Wednesday, get your boots … and get ready to walk the streets, we are going to put the pressure on them,” Jagdeo stated.However, he added, if the decision made by the CCJ is not what his Party was expecting, this would not pose a problem either.“Because as a seasoned political party, we have to be ready for anything, it just means that elections will be delayed a few months more, but we will still be campaigning, we will still be working, and one thing has to be inevitable. Every single Guyanese must play a role in getting rid of these people. So it is between a few months or one year, that is the choice on Tuesday we will face, one year or a few months, but one thing is clear, we have to get rid of them,” the Opposition Leader concluded.