Opposition Member of Parliament Amanza Walton-Desir today reiterated her party’s call for President Irfaan Ali to fire Vice-President Bharrat Jagdeo for alleged corrupt practices which were documented in a foreign media report earlier this year.
Chinese businessman, Su Zhirong, who Mr. Jagdeo acknowledged as his friend, made some damning statements implicating the Vice President. Among other things, the businessman claimed that he was a middleman for the Vice President and would collect a consultation fee which is then paid to the Vice President for him to influence deals.
In the secret recordings Mr. Jagdeo was heard saying that that Su gets all the help from the government side, but he has repeatedly denied that he is involved in any form of corruption.
Today, during a press conference, the Opposition MP said the President’s failure to act on such serious allegations leveled against the Vice President shows that he is not serious about fighting corruption in Guyana.
“That the President himself is defending Vice President Jagdeo makes it clear that he is complicit in corruption. Whatever the case, the President needs to man-up and instruct Bharrat Jagdeo to demit office with immediate effect” the Opposition MP said.
Walton-Desir, who is the Opposition Spokesperson on foreign affairs said the country’s international image will be tattered if the allegations are treated as a “by-the-way” issue. She said the issue also have far reaching implications locally.
“The bribery allegations against the VP are not only a matter of international image, they have direct and deep implications for public trust in the PPP government. Who can sensibly deny that the su-gate bribery scandal has further entrenched the public perception, that every deal involving the VP or PPP ministers require investors to pay so-called consultations or processing fee, that is corruption,” Desir said.
The Opposition also restated its calls for a credible international investigation to be done into the allegations against the Vice President declaring several times that the party does not have confidence in the Guyana Police Force to investigate the matter.
President Irfaan Ali has swept aside the matter and the Government appears to have placed the issue behind its back.