Dr Prem Misir suggests that I lighten up. Okay, I will. But first, an update. Dr Misir returned the copy of the Trinidad Guardian I sent him last Monday. The banner headline had reported on the en bloc resignation of the high-powered Trinidad and Tobago Integrity Commission after a judge of the High Court criticised its conduct. Dr Misir was too busy to write the cover note himself but not too busy to instruct someone to write it on his behalf. It must feel so good to have a part in the biggest budget ever!
I note that Dr Misir considers my reference to his fellow-team member from OP Mr Kwame McKoy as “possible implied ethnic allusion.” Disowning Mr McKoy − which I am sure was not because of ethnicity – Dr Misir claims he is a batsman with consistently high “scores.”
But I guess if I say like Lara and Chanderpaul or Gayle and Sarwan, on the charge of second-rating “our” boys, I will be taken to the Ethnic Relations Commission which has been picked just as has President Jagdeo’s new and improved Integrity Commission led by Dr James Rose – no ethnic allusion, implied or otherwise. Ignorant of Dr Misir’s score, I checked Wisden and Cricinfo under Prem Misir, Dr, spinner, batsman, twelfth man or scorer, but came up with nothing.
Then I checked the Guyana Chronicle which has faithfully continued the practice honed from the days of Burnham of “making the news.” Presto – he came up, circa 1992 – All round(er), can be intellectual but prefers to score with politicians, plays for PPP, UG, GINA and Office of the President. Bats, bowls and fields wherever told. Provides refreshments, scripts and endorsements when directed.
Instead of responding to the substantive issues addressed in my letter of February 8, Dr Misir provided a CV of his self-recorded scores. I admit that I could not see the relevance of his scores to any of the issues raised in my letter and directly related to corruption − the non-appointment of an Ombudsman and Procurement Commission by the President, a proper Anti-Money Laundering Unit, freeing-up the Guyana Revenue Authority from political influence, campaign financing rules, a respected Office of the DPP and the unique situation (and I really mean it in the strictest sense of that word) where financial statements signed off by a minister are audited by an Audit Office where his wife is a top level officer. Perhaps Dr Misir will tell us that they have constructed an Indian Wall (a la the Chinese Wall concept) in the Audit Office.
Dr Misir, wanting to explain why the President failed to address the Bradford Report on the Integrity Commission, was kind enough to educate us ordinary taxpayers that the report is just that. Would he then tell us why the government of President Jagdeo commissioned such a costly study and committed to having its recommendations implemented? And please no nonsense about us not paying for the study: the fungibility of money is an elementary and universally known principle. Was it a show? Like it was when the President told a meeting in Florida in 1999 that he would have zero-tolerance with corruption in his government?
Now some rather egregious acts of corruption actually take place in the Office of the President (Dolphin, Wildlife, disappearing bank statements). As a self-professed organisational specialist as well as a batsman, Dr Misir would know the price of irrational decision-making, which goes by many less complimentary names.
Then of course the organisational specialist-in-chief President Jagdeo, after considering the report for several weeks and after ordering that it be made public, discredits the report! But then for people like Dr Misir, Mr McKoy, etc, the President is the reinvention of the old English maxim that kings are infallible, although even they never behaved as if they were omniscient.
And what is this about the law of the land and the jurisdiction of the Integrity Commission? With his consistently high scores, Dr Misir must be aware that the Constitution of Guyana is the supreme law of the land which the President has sworn to uphold.
He must know that the President has on more than one occasion violated Article 170 of the constitution regarding his powers in relation to presidential assent of bills passed by the National Assembly and continuously violates Article 216 which requires all public monies to be placed in the Consolidated Fund.
He must know as well that neither under the constitution nor under the Fiscal Management and Accountability Act does the President have any authority to spend any public monies. And that under Article 94, the President may be removed from office if he commits any violation of this constitution.
Given his consistency, Dr Misir may wish to tell us whether he played in the cane-burning, strike-breaking, election-rigging game PPP versus the PNC when the PPP declared and conceded, citing critical support for the dictatorship. He may also wish to tell us about his practice of Eleanor Roosevelt’s famous quote about ideas, events and people.
Lighten up, Doc and then respond to the issues raised.