The date August 2nd, 2020 is a date to remember in Guyana, and it is ironic that after 5 long months of agony and suffering in defending our freedom and democracy, Dr Irfaan Ali was duly sworn in as the President of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, one day after Emancipation Day.
The Coalition’s Mr David Granger was sworn in on May 16, 2015, and even though, in his inaugural speech, he had said that “you don’t need 5 days to get the election results”, the 2020 Elections’ results took 5 months. The former President had spoken of unifying the Guyanese people, but he failed miserably.
At the very inception, it was evident that the tale of these two Presidents and their Governments are diametrically opposed. Both promised that they would unify Guyana and would govern for all Guyanese, but after 2 years, it is crystal clear who delivered. The Coalition fragmented the Guyanese people, as they sought wholesale neglect of those communities which are perceived as PPP/C support base. President Irfaan Ali has delivered on his ‘One Guyana’ vision by targeting socio-economic development equally across all ten Administrative Regions. Any perceived discrimination is certainly a figment of an overactive imagination.
Furthermore, that vision was again clearly manifested on Emancipation Day, when he embraced our Afro-Guyanese brothers and sisters without any pretensions. He was at one with them, and yet again his extended hand of friendship was spurned by the Opposition Leader. Mr Aubrey Norton has failed his people.
This ‘One Guyana’ vision is a great achievement. It has made tremendous progress in unifying our people. President Ali’s Government must be applauded for making such progress in a country marred by racial politics, and the people are now beholding who are truly the culprits and perpetrators of racial division.
Both Presidents had promised to deliver on the promises of a good and better life for all Guyanese, as made on their respective campaign trails, but only President Ali delivered. At the very beginning, the Granger Administration was bent on self-aggrandisement. They gave themselves humongous salary increases in order not to be tempted to steal and be corrupted, but they went to ‘work’ almost instantaneously in becoming ‘fat cats’.
The Ali Administration has ensured that each and every Guyanese benefited from all cash dispensation. Today, thousands of unemployed Guyanese are gainfully employed. Jobs are now created, not taken away from poor Guyanese.
During its term in office, the Coalition snatched away nearly thirty thousand jobs from poor Guyanese, throwing them into instant poverty.
During the Coalition’s tenure, people were struggling for house lots, and only the selected persons benefited. Today thousands of Guyanese are benefiting. In one shot, over 5,000 house lots were distributed after years of waiting at the International Building Expo.
But not only that, but these persons will also benefit from free steel and cement. This Government is on target to deliver 50,000 house lots, as promised in its Manifesto. The Coalition could only deliver 360 house lots in 5 years, and of this paltry sum, only 20 houses were built.
This Government has invested heavily in agriculture, and the massive investment will ensure that Guyana achieves food security, not only in traditional crops, but non-traditional high-value crops as well. This is the complete opposite of what the Coalition did. They trimmed the agriculture budget and mismanaged the sector. In the first 2 years, they damaged the sugar industry to such an extent that today billions have to be spent in order to get it back in a decent, operable condition. Another term in Government and GuySuCo would have been non-existent. GuySuCo was deliberately transformed into a ‘black hole’ by mismanagement and corruption by the Coalition. The squandering of the $30 billion Bond to revitalise and resuscitate GuySuCo was expended, and nothing achieved.
During its term in office, the Coalition depleted the Reserves, voraciously devoured the Contingency Fund, and displayed astronomical propensity for corruption and cronyism. The Durban Park massive corruption is well-documented. This Government has been investing billions in all the sectors, and there is transparency and accountability for every dollar spent, unlike the Coalition, whose corrupt practices were exposed repeatedly by the Public Accounts Committee and the Auditor General’s Report.
Let anyone provide documentary evidence of corruption, and not those fed by misguided perception and fake news.
Today, the health Sector is improving by leaps and bounds, and rehabilitation of existing hospitals and new ones are built in various regions. Only recently, the President turned the sod for a paediatric and maternal hospital costing $31.9 billion at Goedverwagting.
The Coalition squandered millions on storage of condoms, and siphoned off millions and later on targeted the Infectious Disease Hospital at Liliendaal. Even the health of the nation was not spared by the Coalition.
The Coalition taxed the citizenry to the hilt, by increasing taxes and introducing new ones whilst promising them the elusive ‘good life’. This Government did exactly the opposite.
The list of achievements of this Government is a long one, and space will not permit, but there is indeed a stark contrast between the Coalition and this Government. Whilst this Government delivered the good life, the Coalition provided a mirage.