President David Granger’s decision to launch a probe into the alleged corrupt practices of head of the Government Analyst Food and Drug Department (G-FDD), Marlon Cole, has been described as an act of double standards by Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo.
Jagdeo expressed this view on Monday, noting that an investigation was never launched into the Minister of Health’s alleged corrupt practices.
“Why is there such a big double standard?” Jagdeo rhetorically question.
He explained that when Public Health Minister, George Norton was accused of being involved in a corrupt transaction, President Granger merely appointed members of the Cabinet, to serve on a committee which merely asked the Minister to apologise. That committee had investigated the Minister’s doings and found that it had been inconsistent with what he has said, and requested of him to apologise publicly.
The Opposition Leader went on to state that the present issue, which is the development of D’Urban Park, is one where “all the procedures were breached,” and that government is refusing to provide answers to some of the core issues.
“Who collected the money? How much they collected? From whom they collected this money? How was the money accounted for? How was it expended? They [Government] have refused to answer these questions” Jagdeo said, adding that the President needs to provide an explanation.
On the other hand, he contended that a probe into the alleged corrupt practices of Cole is an act of double standards since the President is refusing to take the same course of action in the D’Urban Park issue.
Cole was accused of being involved in corrupt practices by individuals who subsequently staged a picketing exercise outside of his office.
“The President wants an investigation into his [Cole’s] corruption but will not, where he has tons of evidence against Ministers of his government, doesn’t take the same sort of action. But poor Marlon Cole is now the subject of an inquiry” Jagdeo told Newssource.
He offered that one of the reason for Cole being targeted could be because he has decided to take an independent position on several issues which he was expected to take a political side on.
“I suspect that one of the reasons that this is so, is because Cole objected to the sale of milk which was not fit for consumption but was being brought in by an AFC financier. Then the drug bond issue, he [Cole] came out and said his agency did not certify it. So now that he has taken an independent position on these issues, suddenly, he is subjected to the wrath of the Government” he contended.