His Excellency The Landlord – By Eusi Kwayana

His Excellency The Landlord – By Eusi Kwayana

The world knows of my publicly stated preference for a much younger Bharrat Jagdeo becoming the President of Guyana. I have said: “Give the young man a chance”. I did not know at the time that he was a landlord, or had ambitions of becoming a landlord.

When Vice President Jagdeo was questioned by the US media house VICE Media about  ”misconduct in public office”, he made public the fact that the person named – a Su Zhi Rong (Mr. Su) – who was making the allegation was his tenant. Mr. Jagdeo denied allegations of misconduct and his political rivals and concerned citizens have called for an investigation. What Mr. Jagdeo cannot deny is his recklessness in public office.             

Some information on his tenant’s business involvement is available on the Internet. His company, Rong–An Inc., established in 2006, has a number of businesses here and they include construction, fuel, large scale lumber and quarrying operations.

So Mr. Jagdeo’s tenant is therefore a wide-ranging entrepreneur with coveted concessions, Guyanese citizenship and friends in high places. Mr. Jagdeo did not divulge when Mr. Su became his tenant nor whether he was a tenant of land or building. However, Mr. Jagdeo’s oath of office and obligations under the integrity act oblige him to stay clear of conflict of interest.

Even though he may not have taken bribes, he himself must realize that relations between not him, but a person in his official position, and a tenant in Mr. Su’s position can be very porous.

A few years ago, when I questioned why my charges against Dr. Ashni Singh and Mr. Winston Brassington had been dropped, Eyewitness – the columnist in the Guyana Times, called me “An Interesting Fellow” who would soon be 96 years old and who had “Race on the brain”.

When in the early 1980’s I commented on suspicious real estate dealings by the then head of government Mr. Forbes Burnham, no one suggested that I had race on the brain. However, the High Judge asked me whether I was denying the right of the government leader to acquire property.

If a country and its citizens make the choice of shadow-boxing with conflicts of interest, old men with “race on the brain” cannot stop the favoritism, unfairness and featherbedding which will flourish, pollute the social atmosphere and in time weaken morale and breed widespread disenchantment. When that happens even persons with honesty and integrity will be greeted with suspicion.

Eusi Kwayana

https://www.frelusja.com – One of the world’s oldest bloggers, (b. 1925), now writing orally, with computer helpers.

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