The Crime Starts From the Top and Goes Down

It is late July and as I sit down to write, the media is reporting that ten of Guyana’s deadliest inmates are still on the loose. These men have been accused or convicted for robbing and killing people. The workers in the public sector are being asked to produce more, while the avenues for supplementing their incomes are being daily reduced.
With this as the backdrop, the Government Ministers have doubled their salaries (retroactively to two weeks after they took office) and are finding all kinds of additional ways to increase their avenues of supplementing their own incomes. Yet the news out of the Guyana Public Service Union is that the Government has ditched the 2015/16 wage negations for the average citizens and wants to begin new discussions, only from 2017.
And this is despite the fact that no less than David Granger, the President himself, promised the Union reps. that he would make sure that their concerns are heard. The United Republican Party (URP) is highlighting this in context. We have seen the complete lack of respect for the President among those who surround him. He says one thing and his subordinates do the opposite or something different.
One wonders if it is that Mr. Granger is getting old and tired, or is it that he is not really in charge of the governance of this country? The citizens of Guyana are crying out. They see the financial injustices and the economic inequalities that continue to be practiced in Guyana, even with a change of government. They know that the persons making life difficult for them are not themselves subject to the hardship that they are executing on the hurting public. All Guyanese know that the friends and family members of those in power are already experiencing the Good Life that the President so often speaks about. We all know that while they are enjoying the good life, we will have to fight for ours.
May I venture to say that it might well be that many of the criminal activities being foisted on the vulnerable citizens, are as a result of the policies our governments enact? You cannot continue to roll out policies that weaken the financial stability of the people; policies that hamper their growth; and then not expect a backlash.
With all the crime we hear about in Guyana, we are still being daily subjected to police shake-downs. One police officer told my son who is visiting from the USA, that he borrows the traffic sleeves from his friend and goes out and shakes-down drivers, as a form of supplementing his income. Also, we are hearing that the prison officers are accepting monies from the prisoners to smuggle in cell phones, drugs, weapons and other contrabands, into the prisons. (It is still not clear if the gun used to shoot that prison officer, was a smuggled into the prison.) Everybody is trying to supplement their income.
All these facts are known by the authorities but they continue to turn a blind eye because they are fully aware that the salaries of the law men and women are not anywhere close to being sufficient. Until the government decides that they will treat the citizens of this country the way they are treating themselves, their families and their friends, the crime situation will not get any better in this country.
It is not that folks don’t know who the criminals are, or that they are supportive of criminal behaviors. In talking to the people, this is what I have found out: I have been told that people believe that a great many of the leaders of this country are just as guilty, corrupt and heartless as they so-called criminals. In other words, the crime situation in Guyana, is not bottom-up, it’s coming from the top-down.