Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo continues to deny allegations that he has been accepting bribes from Chinese businessmen in order for them to land big contracts in Guyana.
The allegations first surfaced in an interview with the US-based Vice News Agency.
A video recording of the Vice News interview was released by the Vice President’s Office on Monday afternoon.
It was during that interview that the reporter related the allegations which she said had been made by a Chinese businessman and lobbyist who is a close friend of the Vice President and who rents one of his properties.
Stunned by the allegations, Mr. Jagdeo admitted to knowing the Chinese businessman but repeatedly denied the allegations of bribe-taking.
Last night, the Vice President called a press conference to again deny the allegations.
“My source of income, my earnings are accounted for whether it comes from my government pension or income from rental, the contracts are with the bank so that they can see the source of my earnings. Similarly, all the assets I have acquired, they have been done through the banking system,” the Vice President noted.
The Vice President also clarified that he has no foreign bank accounts.
He has accused the US media entity of attempting to drag Guyana into the economic spat currently taking place between the US and China and therefore is attempting to portray Guyana and its leaders as pro-China and corrupt.
But in the interview with the US journalist, details of the allegations were put to Vice President.
The journalist claimed that the news agency was informed by the Chinese businessman, Mr. Su Jerome, that the only way to get business done in Guyana was to pay a bribe and that the Vice President was among those who accepted bribes from Chinese investors.
But the Vice President said even Mr. Su has told him that he never made such claims.
“So I am not putting my head on the block for no Su and what he says to somebody if it’s a lie, he claims it’s a lie he never said anything of the sort but I am not putting my head because if he says that someone that’s his business but if I discover that he is doing that, then even if he asked me to somebody then I will never see them again,” Jagdeo assured.
The Vice President said he has an open-door policy but it is never about bribes for him, but to help people.
He said if the Opposition wishes, it can take the allegations to the police for an investigation to be done.
“But as far as I am concerned it is a wild allegation and I am not paying too much heed to it because it has no substance whatsoever,” Jagdeo said.
The Vice President continues to push back and deny the allegations, saying that his assets match his earnings and have been filed with the Integrity Commission. The Integrity Commission has not been reconstituted since the PPP came back to office in 2020.
The Leader of the People’s National Congress, Aubrey Norton has called for a full probe of the allegations.
He said while he does not believe any such probe will take place, he is not surprised by the allegations leveled against the Vice President and is also not surprised by his denial.