Conventional wisdom seems to have it backward.
For its debilitation of social systems, its crippling costs, corruption is a symptom not the disease.
So we must look at the hosts of the disease, the institutions we have that attract and nurture this parasite.
For those of us who had a Mr. Yhap for Biology, we would remember the intriguing lesson of that Ichneumon fly that lays its egg in the caterpillar and when the larva hatches, it eats the inside of the caterpillar, carefully avoiding its vital organs to keep it alive because it’s the life of the thing whose inside its devouring that gives it, that accursed parasite, life.
And if the caterpillar is too weak to withstand the eating out of its entrails and lacks the stamina to stay alive, as the parasite sucks on the little life it has left it succumbs and the parasite would make its way out of the dead body and on to more life.
There’s something allegorical about this and Guyana’s oil.
To get rid of corruption, Guyana has to strengthen the institutions that fall prey to the disease like the caterpillar has to fortify all of its parts to survive the parasitical larva.
Recent news trumpets the selection of a new oil Advisor, Mathew Wilks, for Guyana’s oil and his resume reels off his experience with obvious intent to bedazzle.
Years past have taught us that oil and corruption are expected to be intertwined so that may explain why this New advisor to Guyana has worked for countries that make the oil corruption list and with flourish.
Angola’s Isabel Dos Santos has made the rogues gallery as Africa’s richest woman with multiple billions of dollars just by being the daughter of a President Jose Dos Santos, who made her head of the Sonangol, the country’s oil industry which he ran as his personal business.
Kazakhstan is still listed as a kleptocracy scoring 133 out of 185 on the Corruption Perception index largely because its oil revenues remain at the disposal of the autocratic government that generally wins 94% of the vote.
Kenya’s oil revenues remain a bone contention on what percentage should be dispersed nationally and municipally.
Bolivia’s oil corruption scandal exceeds $160 billion.
And these are all countries that President Granger’s recently named Advisor to oil, Mathew Wilks, has listed on his resume…a star studded array of governments that are autocratic, despotic, kleptocracies that needed the expertise of a consultant who felt comfortable enough witheir their profiles to offer them his services.
This of course does not suggest that he is corrupt…
not in the least…
but it is curious that Mr. Wilkes, having served so many corrupt governments would be Guyana’s choice as oil Advisor to replace one, Dr. Jan Mangal, whose short tenure is remembered mostly for his fight to steer the Guyana government away from corruption and towards a contract designed to get, for the people, all that could be had from the patrimony that is theirs.