…venalityWell… the gig’s finally up on the Gang of Four at City Hall. The contract the Mayoress and her henchmen signed with Smart City Solutions (SCS), which they tried to “deep six” for over a year has finally surfaced. No thanks to the government officials, of course! Like most dead bodies, the putrid gases released from the rotten carcass will eventually cause these kinds of shady deals to surface. It was just a matter of time – and that time has come!In contract law, your Eyewitness was informed, there’s such a thing as an “unconscionable” contract… but it doesn’t even begin to describe the half of what this “Parking Meter” contract’s all about. Forget the “terror clause” that places the city in hock to the “Smartmen” group for two more Jubilees. Forget the eye-pass of the city getting 20 per cent of the cut, while the Smartmen walk away with everything, including the kitchen sink.What about forbidding private parking garages being built by any Guyanese on his own land?! What about death by a thousand cuts inflicted on our citizenry? Like the 50 City Constabulary being paid below the minimum wage to be the enforcers of the Smartmen?! Or City Hall committing to have all VAT and other taxes waived on the Smartmen’s revenues?!In an unconscionable contract, it’s generally someone taking advantage of a child, moron or anyone in a very weak position, so that undue influence, duress makes the hapless victims sign away their firstborn. But in this contract, the Gang of Four – PNC officials all – wilfully inflicted a “ton of flesh” penalty on the Guyanese people. And they and all those who examined the contract – including Bulkan and the Attorney General – should be charged with Criminal Conspiracy – more specifically, Criminal Conspiracy to defraud.All these officials knew from the beginning that any contract of this magnitude on behalf of the city had to be subject to a public bidding process. So, in conspiring to bypass that process – and not even having their illegal signing ratified by the full Council! – and then extracting moneys from the public for parking on what remained public property, is fraud of the most heinous complexion.The final nail in the coffin of these venal public officials is the revelation – and confirmation – of your Eyewitness’ description of both sides of the contract as “grifters” – that all the “non-slave and non-indentured” entrepreneurs and owners of Smart City Solutions from New York had been convicted at one time or another of various criminal actions – such as grand larceny and smuggling – that made them do jail time!!Was it during one of these incarcerations they met and hatched the parking conspiracy?…widening militarisationThe moment the PNC-led coalition Government was installed, the PNC announced it would be re-launching the Guyana Youth Corps (GYC). It didn’t just “announce” but plunged right into setting the stage by appointing Aubrey Norton as Presidential advisor on Youth Empowerment. He then established a “Guyana Youth Corps Inc” and began training about 50 specially selected youths to become the trainers of the organisation the President will launch in Jan 2018.What Guyanese should know is the PNC’s simply recapitulating their history – which we all know was a disaster for all Guyanese. The GYC was launched in 1968 for the same reason as is being stated today – to instil “discipline” in unemployed youths – especially those who may’ve dropped out of school. But it failed and was converted to the Guyanese National Service – which was a fully militarised outfit.But as far as its goals, THAT also failed, didn’t it? But not in its real purpose to feed the PNC enforcement machinery.…prod for childrenThe Finance Minister insists that imposing VAT on private school fees is “a fiscal tool” on education.But rather than using VAT as a prod, wouldn’t it be better to improve public schools so private schools become moot?