Character assassination and President Jagdeos antics
It is obvious that the message of the AFC, especially about the massive corruption of the Jagdeo Administration, is sinking in and biting our President deep. Instead of measuring up and dealing with these legitimate issues raised, President Jagdeo in keeping with his intractably undignified demeanour has seen fit to throw muck at our leaders and hope it will stick.
Obviously stung again by a potent paid advertisement during the recent CARICOM Heads meeting here in Guyana, the President lashed out insinuating that the AFC must answer to him concerning the characters who fund the AFC, and how we have not answered about a substantial donation from a drug dealer. We have answered already that we have no association with any drug dealer, nor got any donation – small or substantial – from any drug dealer. The funders are disgusted disgruntled Guyanese, many being former PPP supporters, inside and outside of this country. The entire country, Mr. President, knows which party and leaders deal with and have coffee with drug dealers.
An additional utterance of President Jagdeo insinuates financial wrong-doing and impropriety by me personally. This needs to be responded to. It concerns some duty free concession which he says I sold to my benefit. The innuendo here is that I am dishonest.
I am certain that if indeed there was one iota of illegality or impropriety concerning my several duty free concessions, you Mr. President would have already gotten the enforcement authorities to pounce on me. So, undoubtedly, your effort here is simply to character assassinate. My reputation, which even you use to commend prior to my expulsion from that Party you have now wholly captured, rests on surer foundations.
So what are the relevant facts? When I became a Parliamentarian in 1992 I applied for and obtained concession for a motor vehicle with which I purchased a Nissan Sentra PEE 583. Such a concession is an entitlement which comes every three years for reconditioned vehicles and five years for new vehicles. Five years later I purchased duty-free Mitsibishi Pajero PGG 590 upon another concession obtained in November, 1997.
These are the two vehicles which I sold lawfully and properly after having them for five years and more.
You Mr. President had a hand in persuading me to sell the first of these two vehicles to now Region 6 Chairman, Mr. Z. Mustapha. Remember we were all friends then in September, 2002, when at Freedom House you argued that Zulfi did great work in Berbice and Comrades who are Parliamentarians and who are selling their vehicles should sell at reasonable prices to other Comrades. Remember? I hope you don’t suffer from amnesia. But then again a President who micro-manages like you will have things so cluttered up, you may not remember. And there was everything proper and lawful about this sale to Zulfi for $550,000. I had the car for nine years when I sold it receiving payment by cheque No.100/NBAA 450024250.
The other vehicle, PGG 590, was purchased duty-free in November 1997. My driver during 2000 to 2005, Noel Martindale, can verify my use and possession of this vehicle right up to its sale in August, 2003. He is presently a member of Section K Campbellville PPP Group and was an Executive member of the Georgetown District PPP. I sold this vehicle to P&P Insurers Brokers for $5 million on 14th August, 2003 some six years after its purchase. Payment was made by cheque 100/NBAA160988797. You can get verification of this from the purchaser.
Registration remains in my name because I have had major difficulties to get the Ministerial permission for the dark tint this vehicle was bought with. This permission is needed before you can transfer registration. There was no prohibition about tint when I had bought same in 1997. This prohibition came sometime in late 2002 – early 2003. And my public criticisms of Gajraj around this time ensured that he never gave me this permission. This has remained the position up till now. This has not, however, been a bother with P&P Insurers Brokers, the owner since August 2003.
So all this talk, Mr. President, about me selling a duty-free concession for my benefit is untrue and motivated to tarnish my good name.
What is most disgraceful is that I am now reliably informed, which effectively vindicates my initial guess, that you ordered my Integrity Commission Declaration Forms to peruse these transactions which I declared therein. You then abused the information to assert that I am dishonest.
But it is Your Excellency who is dishonest; with a dishonesty which is unmatched. Remember how you gave your corporate friend, Queen’s Atlantic, duty-free concessions and tax holidays when it was illegal to do so.
You legalized it with a statutory amendment. Remember how you led us all into thinking that you were lawfully married to Varshnie. This was dishonesty to the hilt!
Remember how you told me in my face that I leak PPP information to the American Embassy and the Press, and hours after was denying ever saying so.
Thank God Moses Nagamootoo was there in that CC room to corroborate me.
Mr. President, your antics of shouting down others as dishonest will only damnify you, and assassinate whatever little character you have left.