Eagle to critics…come in!


They came from all across the country. In buses, cars, vans, trucks (not the GuySuco types) and those living close by on foot, to witness the inauguration ceremony for Guyana’s new rock star; President David Granger. If there was any doubt that the retired Brigadier had star power, that was buried in the roar of more than 20,000 people packed into the Guyana National Stadium when he arrived just around 5:00pm on May 26, the same day, 49 years ago, Guyana gained independence from that empire across the pond.

That the president has a multitude of admirers cannot be debated. How much of this admiration is based on raw charisma on his part and how much on the fact that after 23 years of the same faces in office, many Guyanese were desperate for new ones is unknown.

But amid all the cheers and screams, some have gone deadly…silent.

Critics of the last administration wasted not a minute in turning the spotlight on every transgression committed by the now embattled PPP/C when they held the reins of power. Not that the vociferous objections to misconduct was wrong, in fact, it is that very militancy that caused many unsavoury secrets to be exposed. Together with the party’s own internal suicidal decisions, the voice of the people most certainly played a role in bringing the behemoth, once believed to be unsinkable (like the Titanic now resting at the bottom of the Atlantic) to its knees. So constructive criticism is very necessary.

But two weeks into the life of the APNU+AFC administration and the militants seemed to have lost their appetite for action. Yes we understand that the government is new, that initial glitches must be expected…that teething problems will occur, but the honeymoon has to be over, and real soon. Holding the new government accountable from Day 1 is not only necessary, but vital, if a healthy democracy is to be cultivated and allowed to flourish.

Even if we put the name changes aside, reasonable answers must be given as to why there is need for the multitude of government ministers that now exist. The Ministry of Communities alone has one lead minister and two junior ministers. Yes, that is three ministers to one ministry. Part of the explanation given for this is the need for there to be understudies. Unfortunately, the institutions of government are not training schools for rookies to “learn ah ting or two” but for competent officials who are tasked with effectively running a country. Of course persons must be given a chance to learn and grow but why does the understudy need the title of minister? The government must show why the public should not view this as a move to appease the many people expecting recognition in this large marriage of parties.

The Coalition ran on reducing the cost associated with running the government. They promised full accountability and transparency. We must therefore hold them to their promises and ensure that major decisions are not made in isolation of the very people who they will ultimately affect.

For now they have the benefit of the doubt, we are sure it will all come together…but we are closely watching.

Eagle to critics…come in!