Vice-President (VP) Bharrat Jagdeo has said that he will not allow businessmen involved in illegal business to tarnish the image of the government. However, according to the Opposition Leader, Aubrey Norton, the PPP/C’s image has already been tarnished by Jagdeo himself, against whom there are accusations of bribery and corruption as revealed by a Chinese businessman, Su Zhi Rong in the VICE News documentary.
“Is Jagdeo suggesting that as a politician he could tarnish the image of the PPP but businessmen cannot? This is the position of a barefaced politician who is shameless and a hypocrite,” Norton said during a press conference earlier today.
Jagdeo said last week that his government will not cover businessmen accused of being involved in illegal activities. But Norton said that the VP is attempting to shift the focus away from allegations of bribery and corruption levelled against him.
“He has no right, moral or otherwise, to comment on illegal and corrupt activities. If he is truly against illegalities he should immediately resign and agree to have international credible investigators investigate the allegations of bribery and corruption levelled against him. Barring that he needs to hang his head in shame and shut up. Jagdeo speaking about illegalities and corruption is like pot telling kettle he bottom black,” Norton said.
The VP found himself in hot water earlier this year when an undercover VICE News reporter went to his home with Su Zhi Rong to strike a deal.
Zhi Rong allegedly told VICE News that he is a middle man and Jagdeo is the “boss”. He reportedly said that Jagdeo is the official who must be financially gratified before contracts are granted.
The VP has denied these allegations and has since moved to sue Zhi Rong, who is his friend and former tenant.