Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo has turned down an invitation from the State Asset Recovery Agency to participate in an Anti-Corruption Awareness Campaign and walk.
In response to the invitation, the Opposition Leader called on the Agency to take action against serving members of the current government.
Jagdeo and the opposition People’s Progressive Party were written to by Dr. Clive Thomas, inviting them to participate in the “Corruption is Everybody’s Business” campaign and walk on April 20th.
The Opposition’s Chief Whip Gail Teixeira acknowledged the letter but responded to inform SARA that the Opposition Leader will not participate in the symbolic walk.
“The Leader of the Opposition wishes to inform you that he is supportive of any efforts that will strengthen the state’s institutional, legal and procedural framework for fighting corruption in keeping with the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption, the UN Convention Against Corruption and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,” the letter noted.
The Opposition Leader views the walk as a “smoke screen” to detract from alleged violations of the constitutional and statutory provisions regarding financial probity, transparency and accountability ever witnessed since independence.
“Furthermore, I will not participate in such a walk while members and other public officials of successive PPPC government have been discriminated against, victimized, and targeted by a state-sponsored witch-hunt on frivolous manufactured charges,” the letter from the PPP noted.
The PPP says it sees the current government as the “most corrupt” one ever in the english speaking Caribbean.
“In three short years, it has managed to completely by-pass the public procurement process, mandated by law, and has handed to its cronies and financiers, hundreds of contracts to the value of billions of dollars”.
The PPP has also accused the government of manipulating the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and directing the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) to institute “fabricated and malicious” charges against the government’s political opponents.
The State Assets Recovery Agency (SARA), is an autonomous agency which was created through the State Assets Recovery Act of 2017, and passed in Parliament on April 13, 2017.
The Act mandated SARA to recover, through civil proceedings, State property unlawfully acquired by a public official or any other person.
SARA has embarked on launching the campaign “Corruption is Everybody’s Business” in collaboration with various Government Agencies in the fight against corrupt practices within our Nation.