One day after a sitting Opposition Member of Parliament and former PPP Government Minister was charged with 24 counts of fraud and released on bail, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo has called on Finance Minister Winston Jordan to release the findings of all state audits conducted by the APNU+AFC government.
But even as Jagdeo, a former President himself, has issued a call for the findings to be made public, he is cautioning his party members and former PPP government officials that persons implicated in wrongdoings will have to face consequences and will not receive the protection of the party.
On Friday Last, Minister of Finance Winston Jordan told the National Assembly that preliminary analysis indicates that in a number of cases, there were acts of dishonesty and duplicity, mismanagement of resources, opaqueness of transactions and a disregard for basic internal controls, among others.
He said too that the audits have identified many instances where the laws governing state entities and their operations were violated with impunity.
Jagdeo wants the findings of all of the audits to be made public.
“Release all the audits. Give it to the news papers, the TV stations, to everyone. Put it on a website… If anyone has broken the law then you can refer them to the police,” Jagdeo said.
In the case of former Public Service Minister Jennifer Westford, Jagdeo refused to offer any comment in the fear of prejudicing the case, which is currently before the courts.
Dr. Westford and her former Personnel Officer Margaret Cummings, were on Monday afternoon granted $4.8 Million bail each after being slapped with 24 charges of stealing money from the government of Guyana.
Jagdeo said he has sought an explanation from Westford and has received one. “I cannot speak about it here. Those things are part of her defense”, Jagdeo said, but promised that the PPP MP will soon have to make a statement on the matter.
He said in general, once there is no “witch hunt” and real issues and investigations are done responsibly, the party will support the police and the court in proving their case.
Several top Public Servants have been fired over matters of mismanagement and corruption since the coalition government was elected in May 2015. The PPP has accused the government of political cleansing in some instances. (Kurt Campbell)