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Greenidge lashes out at former petroleum advisor; international anti-corruption organisation

FLASHBACK: President David Granger and then petroleum advisor, Dr. Jan Mangal

Former Foreign Affairs Minister, Carl Greenidge has slammed former presidential advisor on petroleum, Dr Jan Mangal and an international anti-corruption organisation, Global Witness, for plotting against the incumbent coalition ahead of the March 2, 2020, general elections.

Greenidge sought to discredit Mangal before thousands of supporters at an election campaign rally held Monday night at Esplanade, New Amsterdam. “The claim that we have not been transparent is false and more importantly the idea that members of that team that work out of the Cabinet, for example, are improper in their management of government’s business should be rejected,” he said.

Rejecting claims that government has not been managing affairs in a transparent manner, the APNU+AFC candidate cautioned supporters against peddlers of false news and depression as part of a dirty-tricks campaign to “turn you away from your party”. Greenidge charged that Mangal had been silent about corruption under the then People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPPC)-led administration and the award of the ExxonMobil offshore concession in 1999. “The man Mr Jan Mangal who has been making those claims…We are told that the previous government was worse but this man was silent when the previous government was in office. He said not a word. Even when the Exxon contract was awarded in 1999 but when Exxon found oil, you suddenly discover that they are the worst company in the world and that the government somehow is corrupt so what I am saying to you comrades that we are not a thiefin’ government and I can name one that was a thiefin’ government,” Greenidge charged.

Carl Greenidge addressing a campaign rally in New Amsterdam on Tuesday, 27th January, 2020.

He urged Guyanese to be careful about “self-styled experts” as well as the United Kingdom-headquartered international non-governmental organisation, Global Witness, that he said would release a report on the eve of elections to show that the David Granger-led administration has mismanaged the country’s oil sector.

“I believe that we will see a major challenge in the next few days just before the election. Some set of Guyanese have sought to bring a very controversial NGO to present a report which report will claim that this government and others have been managing its business improperly, corruptly, inefficiently and billions of dollars have been lost to the poor,” he said. Greenidge, now Foreign Secretary, questioned where was Global Witness when international lawyer, Sir Shridath Ramphal, former Foreign Affairs Minister Rashleigh Jackson and President David Granger were “struggling with Venezuela to ensure that our lands and our seas were protected.”

“When that was going on, this NGO called Global Witness was nowhere to be found. They had nothing to say on our behalf when another country was trying to steal our resources. If our resources are stolen, they are lost to our poor but now that oil has been discovered, this NGO has suddenly got a feeling for the poor,” said Greenidge.

Greenidge said APNU+AFC supporters would have to decide whether they would be “fooled a couple off days before the elections by some set of jokers who come with allegations from self-styled (a) expert” who is bitter because his contract was not renewed and speaks about conflict of interest although the largest contract by ExxonMobil has been awarded to his brother and others.

Global Witness says it protects human rights and the environment by fearlessly confronting corruption and challenging the systems that enable it and by establishing the link between natural resources, conflict and corruption.