Dr. Kwame Nantambu

Political bacchanal in TnT
Posted: September 15, 2002
An analysis by
Dr. Kwame Nantambu

Since the UNC came into power, the floodgates of "nepotistic tendencies" have been blown wide open to all and sundry. And the primary cause for this exponential increase in flagrant, publicly condoned, unapologetic corruption, thievery, burglary, trickery, etc, is the de-regulation of the decision-making process in State-governmental Enterprises a la de-regulation of the U.S. economy under former President Ronald Reagan.

As a result of this public policy decision of the UNC government, the chairman or President of such State Enterprises as Tidco, MTS, NP, NWRHA, SWRHA, just to name a few, were allowed to operate as if he was above the law, control and checks and balances of a Permanent Secretary or a government Minister. This was by corruptive design.

These "white-colour criminals' or more specifically, "exchequer filchers" and parasitic, predatory, premeditated vultures operated with immunity and impunity under the UNC Government. Their conduct became a natural, vulgar daily lifestyle for them, 24-7-365.

And what is even more scary about this picture is that these Trinis saw absolutely nothing wrong, albeit illegal, unethical and inhumane in what they were doing. Corruption was "signed, sealed and delivered" under the UNC regime.

The corruptive UNC has totally bludgeoned any scintilla of integrity, trust, public loyalty and accountability in governance in TnT.

Indeed, the notorious, obnoxious, lascivious and spontaneous thievery of public funds by these individuals that range into hundreds or maybe billions of dollars are just ex post phenomena now being exposed by the Acting Auditor General, Jennifer Frederick in separate detailed reports.

It should be obvious to the informed/neutral Trini that while in office, UNC Ministers and State Enterprise appointees masterminded, committed and launched financial terrorism against TnT and its innocent citizens.

This public corruption and thievery represent total insanity at the highest level of governance under the corruptive UNC.

De-regulation did not work in the U.S.A.; it must be terminated and expunged from governmental decision-making process if this past situation is to be remedied.

A Permanent Secretary and the relevant Minister must be the controller of last resort in any new genre of governance in TnT.

On another critical, sensitive, thorny public issue, leader of the unLoyal Opposition and the UNC, Basdeo Panday, needs to read the book on President Alejandro Toledo of Peru, in which First Lady Eliane Karp works under contract as an adviser on agricultural policies at Peru's second-largest bank, Banco Wiese Sudameris. She earns $10,000 a month as a banking consultant.

As one leading Peruvian political columnist puts it: " The income is legal but not ethical."

This writer wonders what is "legal" and/or "not ethical" for non-titled, non-working, stay-home Mom, First Lady Oma Panday, to have not $10,000 but $10 million in her London bank account!

TnT's First Lady worked nowhere. First Lady Eliane Karp of Peru was not showered with love as some UNC financial operatives showered on Oma Panday through international wire transfers from TnT banks.

First Lady Eliane Karp earned her money legitimately; what about you, First Lady Oma Panday?

Maybe, Tina Turner is correct: " what's love got to do with it?" "Ish" a love ting between Oma Panday and UNC's money backers. Maybe, love is blind but this writer knows of no pair of glasses, contact or no contact, that costs $500,000. Maybe, Bas and Oma know something more than this writer in this regard.

Maybe, this is writer is at a Loss, but his name is not Carl and you may not call him John. Of course, you may call him Dr. Integrity because he does not conduct his professorial business career on Commission.

On the other fatalistic, chaotic and traumatic side of TnT's political coin, the nuttin Manning-PNM regime has fallen asleep at the wheel of governance once again. This time the snoring is much harder, louder and unhealthy.

Maybe, there needs to be a law regarding political-DUI in TnT. If that were the case, then the current nuttin Manning-PNM regime would be the obvious first victim to be charged, indicted, convicted and sentenced to life in political prison.

Dissed grass-roots Trinis would hold the keys so that no one escapes. Later PNM!

TnT is now bombarded with "chaos" at Tobago General Hospital; spate of wanton reported and unreported kidnappings of innocent, life-long, hard-working business people; male teenagers raping female minors in broad daylight; doctors in Trinidad have decided not to work on weekends unless they receive transportation or car allowances from the Health Ministry; and "dengue fever out of control."

TnT is in a national emergency state of social-human decadence and fatalism.

And amidst such rampant social decadence, fatalism and stench, Attorney General Glenda Morean can only feebly and non-chalantly retort that she is "deeply concerned" about the nature of criminal behaviour, kidnappings and ransom demands that is ubiquitous in TnT.

This writer regards such a response from a legal governmental entity as totally unacceptable and contemptuous. This response speaks volumes as to the stark reality that this nuttin Manning-PNM regime has done absolutely nothing to eradicate this kind of lawless and humanless behaviour from the radar screen of human existence, albeit survival, and civility in TnT.

Furthermore, this abysmal public performance is compounded by the colossal, incompetent Hazellisation disaster in the PNM government's $1,000 cheque book grant to "very irate" and disappointing parents and guardians of secondary school students.

What a shame Madam Minister! "Shame on you" and your Ministry that do not seem to be efficient, at minimum, to serve "the least of these" people. Trini parents and guardians do not deserve to be treated like this. There's got to be a better way.

Guinea pigs are one thing; decent, family-oriented, hard-working human beings are another Madam Minister. Most normal people's heart is on the left side; on which side is yours, Madam Minister?

The powerful PNM regime must realize that poor, powerless, defenceless parents and guardians are people too.

This educational fiasco, ineptitude, and calamity only prove that a dysfunctional system of governance now exists in TnT. Powerless Trini parents and guardians should not be treated as dirt by powerful politicians. That is not right. Such treatment is not civilized, humane nor righteous in anybody's eyes or manifesto.

The crucial question that now arises in this political gridlock situation is: How low can the PNM take TnT at age four-zero?

In this fortieth anniversary of TnT's attainment of political independence, the current ego-tripping powers-that-be - in the PNM need to reflect upon and internalize the original independence message of their Founding Father, the Rt. Hon. Dr. Eric Eustice Williams, when he admonishes on 31 August 1962 that:

" Democracy means the production of the weak against the strong. Democracy means the obligation of the (politically powerful) minority to recognize the right(s) of the (politically powerless) majority. Democracy means responsibility of the government to its citizens, the protection of the citizens from the exercise of arbitrary (ministerial) power and the violation of human freedoms and individual rights."

The fact of the matter is that in 1962, TnT had Democracy under the Williams-PNM; in 2002, TnT has hypocrisy under the nuttin Manning-PNM.

The upcoming general elections should signal and ring the bell that the time is now to rid TnT of revolving door, family, friend and clique politics and governance. Political recidivism must end in TnT.

The PNM and UNC are either ego-tripping/power-hungry dead-beat politicians or have-beens who have been there and done nothing for the oppressed, redundant lumpen proletariat class of people in TnT.

The time is now to introduce quality control into every aspect of politics and decision-making processes in governance in TnT.

The PNM and UNC are just square pegs in round holes in this new scheme of governance. On Election Day both Manning and Panday must be made to "hold their heads and bawl." Enough is enough.

"Ish" about time to rid TnT of corruptive-UNC and nuttin Manning-PNM.

The fact of the matter is that if any Trini wants to browse the Internet to ascertain the modus operandi of the UNC, just type in pandayunc@hotmail.corruption; then click "search."

In case of the ruling PNM, just type in manningpnm@hotmail.nuttin; then click "search."

In this vital political electronic exercise before Election Day, the key words are corruption and nuttin.

In the final analysis, this two-sided political bacchanal coin of corruption in Panday-UNC and nuttiness in Manning-PNM reminds this writer of an incident that took place decades ago in London, England, between deceased Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill and a British lady.

As is public knowledge, Sir Winston Churchill as a member of the British Parliament was known to have a few drinks (or as the British would say "cocktails") before he took his seat in Parliament.

According to the story, one day after his aquatic rendezvous, Winston Churchill was stopped on his way to Parliament by a British female who told him: "Hon. Winston Churchill, you are drunk." Instantly, Sir Winston replied, to wit: "Yes, I am drunk but you are ugly."

Shem Hotep ("I go in peace").

Dr. Nantambu is an Associate Professor, Dept. of Pan-African Studies, Kent State University, U.S.A.

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