Local transparency watchdog, Transparency Institute Guyana Inc. has issued a call for there to be a Commission of Inquiry to examine the disclosures and allegations of bribery and corruption made against the Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo that were unveiled in a Vice News investigative report.
The Vice President has denied the allegations and the President has indicated that there should be an investigation. But, there has been no move to kickstart any such investigation.
In a statement, the Transparency Group said it does not know how such spectacular allegations could be allowed to fester for so long without action on the part of the government especially after both President Ali and Vice President Jagdeo were recorded as having agreed that an investigation was necessary.
The Transparency body noted that since the first report became public, the Vice President’s zeal to respond to the reports appeared to have withered.
“If alacrity was the hallmark of the VP’s response to the first allegations, we would have to say that foot-dragging and temporizing appear to have set in to dissipate whatever sense of urgency developed after the latest revelations.”, the statement said.
According to the Transparency group, the administration must act and have the investigations conducted especially as it pushes a new anti-corruption framework.
“We were very impressed with the new thrust although we were concerned that there were no questions entertained. We were impressed because much was made of the role of some 14 laws enacted or updated since 2003 to combat corruption including the Audit Act No. 5 of 2004, the Procurement Act, Cap 73:05, (2003), the Access to Information Act, Anti-Money Laundering and countering the Financing of Terrorism (Amendment) Act No. 1 of 2015.”
TIGI said, “every day that passes with these Vice News reports dangling in the wind is a day in tension with Government’s stated anti-corruption aims.”
In the international undercover news investigation, a number of Chinese businessmen including a close friend of the Vice President detailed various allegations of corruption in the Government and also alleged that Chinese investors would have to pay bribes to the Vice President to land Government contracts.
Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo has denied the allegations and has repeatedly said his hands are clean of corruption.