Political favouritism in Guyana – commentary

Political favouritism in Guyana


It is no secret that residents of some communities are denied certain basic facilities through low level functionaries implementing a deliberate unspoken policy of marginalization.

Roads are constructed in areas and last no more than four weeks before they deteriorate. One technique that is constantly observed is the practice of carrying out ad hoc cosmetic works in communities peopled by dedicated non-supporters of the ruling party.

These deliberate acts seem intended to humiliate because at the same time more structured, solid in-depth works are being carried out in neighbouring villages that are identified as built-in constituencies of the party that forms the national
government that supposedly works in the interest of all the people.

It is necessary that a paradox which has been the subject of a popular columnist’s viewpoint should be discussed briefly at this point. For the last twenty years most of the persons living on the coastlands have been exposed to drinking water of a highly suspect quality by a government whose responsibility includes providing potable drinking water to homes.

What has in fact been the reality is that this role has been foisted on the consumer public who must provide this basic amenity for themselves at personal great cost. The principal beneficiaries in what surely should be seen as a profiteering scam are the suppliers of this natural need regardless of the racial or political affinity of the consumer.

The appointment of Justices of Peace and Commissioners to Oaths and Affidavits is another area that seems to be the sole preserve of a particular group of citizens. For the last five years or more, the Office of the President has not seen it fitting to appoint any new members to this exclusive fraternity.

Some communities are being denied such service with residents having to travel to neighbouring villages to have a simple matter concluded. This lapse also creates a marked lack of opportunity for service from citizens of quality who are desirous of serving in those capacities.

Maybe it is simply a case of not having any suitable candidates around with the level of integrity required for such an appointment. The reason proffered for the non-selection of certain types for overseas diplomatic postings comes readily to mind for those of us who can still recall the pronouncements of a certain top public functionary.

What seems likely is that Government officials tasked with certain functions such as ensuring that all qualified individuals and collectives are duly considered for a share of the national employment pie take it upon themselves to deny same based upon unspoken considerations and criteria for appointment.

In a sense what such actions reveal is the unapologetic linking of political patronage in these areas to voter support. When qualified deserving persons of different political hue are confronted with discriminatory practices which may not be overtly countenanced by a party in power the bottled frustrations will have to find some release.

Anecdotally suicide, substance abuse, domestic violence, and other forms of anti-social behavior have their root cause in discriminatory practices and other unacceptable public policy deformities.

Every citizen is entitled to share in the allocation of resources of their country, and to enjoy its many benefits whether they are jobs, development aid, subsidies, roads, health clinics, food, and schools. No one should be subjected to the vagaries of political gamesmanship and be made pawns when it comes to the transfer of relatively scarce but highly desired indicators of a good quality of life for voters’ political support.

Perhaps more damaging to the collective psyche is the predilection to increasingly frame our experiences in ethnic terms where neighbours assume that the main reason that resources are being channeled to them is directly related to ethnic considerations. An unintended consequence is the pitting of communities against each other with disastrous results.

Unscrupulous politicians in the interest of party survival will milk the ethnic issue for all its worth just to hold on to, or to achieve power. The stalling of local government elections buttressed by vested interests who desire to maintain political connections with the ruling party, is but another means to deny the people the type of governance that leads to greater social and economic efficiency in communities.

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  • HUBERT WILLIAMS  On 09/07/2014 at 11:40 am


  • guyaneseonline  On 09/07/2014 at 6:04 pm

    The PNC has to confront this horror show

    On Thursday morning after dropping off my wife to work, I encountered a horror show at the junction where Lamaha Street adjoins… more

  • gigi  On 09/09/2014 at 8:36 pm

    This article could have been written during PNC’s reign and reposted today to play the party/race card. Oh, silly me, there was no freedom of the press under the PNC.

    However, I can relate. I was never one of the “fortunate” ones to secure a govt job during my years living in Guyana. There were never any vacancies even when vacancies were posted. Lucky for me I had no problem finding jobs at GTM and DDL. I did not realize those were actually among THE prestigious companies to work for in Guyana. Particularly DDL. I had naively thought that govt jobs were the prestigious jobs, and I was always ambitious. I did not know they were actually based on connections and ethnicity and not on academic qualifications. What a blessing in disguise that turned out to be.

  • compton de castro  On 09/16/2014 at 8:09 am

    What I admire about FK report is his actions more than his words……he walked the talk ! How many decent law abiding
    citizens would do so ! The underdogs in society are the
    future …..they are in the majority…..The overlords will hide and cower when challenged…..their rule by ‘fear and intimidation’
    is shortsighted…..the rich and famous needs the poor more
    than the other way around…..Guyana needs a revolution of change in attitudes…hopefully bloodless !
    In absolute admiration for your action Freddie k
    well done !
    Kamtan 13.095916092014uk

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