Last Updated on Tuesday, 10 May 2016, 6:31 by Denis Chabrol
Seeing a clipping of an accusation of corruption and crookery against me and a woman colleague has kept me from expressing any opinion on the several issues of public morality in Guyana.
I know that I am not perfect. but feel we should all aim at that and be open to scrutiny so as to qualify for public roles.
Not being a bare-faced person I can’t question the conduct of public figures at a time when for the first time in my life a newspaper maintains an accusation against me of receiving money behind the back of the public from the Rodney Commission of Inquiry. The accuser said plainly that I acted “surreptitiously” and received money from the Rodney Commission for travel and “housing.”
I learned about the accusation because Brother Tacuma Ogunseye sent me a clipping from the October 16, 2 015 issue of the newspaper . I suppose he sent it because he had heard me say that I came to the Inquiry without government or Commission money. I also said that I stayed with Andaiye who recently assured me that she made no claim on the Commission for housing me and received no money from it and that it never owed her money. Chris Ram and Tacuma Ogunseye met me at the airport and Dr Ifill took me to sessions of the public hearings and Ms Dow took me past some new layouts
The late Troy Kellam took me to Moray House and to a tomb in Sparendaam and to Buxton twice, all at their own expense. Friends in the USA subscribed my air fare and my wife gave me money for myself and a friend of hers.
I thought about the accusation and perhaps stupidly sought the help of the newspapers with a record of freedom of expression. I would on no account enter into “fending and proving” with the editor whose paper had maliciously called me “chief cook and bottle washer in the 1962 budget disturbances which were subject to a Commonwealth Commission of Inquiry and much documentation. The contending sides did not seem to need any outside help to cook or wash their bottles. Yet a reckless columnist could write that claim and get away with it, and pat himself on the back as a (mis)leading columnist and expert in stereotype.
In an email dated .October 25, 2015 I forwarded the offending clipping of October 16, 2015 to the editors of the Stabroek News and the Kaieteur News and to two other journalists, requesting them to note the accusation, to investigate it, and to publish their findings. I denied the report and said I was prepared to answer their questions
The busy editors may not have seen my letter. In any case I received no reply and got no news of an investigation. I therefore repeated my request to the editors in a second email dated February 1,2016 In each case the Subject line read : For the Editor ‘s attention.
I thought that editors would see the accusation as a chance to call on the government to give details and documents of COI expenditure which had been used as an issue.
The October 16 publication had called on Dr C Y Thomas to investigate the allegation as a case of corruption.
In this matter I would welcome legal assistance. Part of my mission in politics has been to show that public morality and fairness are possible. I have sued and have been sued. I have defended myself and have been defended I have had my salary in the National Assembly garnished. I have taken the witness stand in the High Court when four police men sued Dayclean for publishing that 3 of them raped a woman prisoner at Eve Leary as the other failed to protect her. They were represented but all failed twice to take the stand
In 2002 when Dr David Hinds and I were urging sanity when the opposite seemed attractive, a letter in the Guyana Chronicle accused us both of wishing the destruction of Indians. It was
We sued for libel assisted by Attorney at Law Mr. Alan Lancaster. The case was heard in August,2013. Dr Hinds attended in person and I appeared through Skype. As I understand it the matter reached the stage of quantity of damages to be awarded against the newspaper.
The writer of the corruption allegation of October 16 is a masked man who is well practised in the discrediting of wide cross sections of the population by targeting individuals of his choice,
I again invite the editors to consider the investigation have requested and not to treat it as my problem and that of Citizen Andaiye.
If this letter cannot qualify for publication or action I shall seek to raise the cost of publishing it as an advertisement, or organise a mass email distribution