During an interview with the US-based Vice News Agency, Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo was faced with pointed questions and allegations about accepting bribes from Chinese businessmen to award large contracts for projects locally.
In the interview posted on the Vice President’s Office on Monday afternoon, the US-based journalist grilled the Vice President and leveled allegations that she claimed were made by a Chinese businessman, who Jagdeo admitted is a close friend and tenant of his.
It was clear that the Vice President was taken aback by the series of questions but vehemently denied taking bribes. While stressing that his government has an “open-door policy”, Jagdeo said the treatment meted out to this Chinese Businessman is afforded to all.
However, in the interview, the journalist claimed that the Chinese businessman in question- Su Jerome was quoted as saying that the only way to get business done in Guyana was to pay a bribe and that the Vice President was among those who accepted bribes from the Chinese investors.
After the video was released the Vice President on Tuesday night called a press conference. The Vice President said that the Chinese business has denied ever making such claims and maintained that he has no foreign bank accounts.
He furthered posited that the reports has a “wild and.. a predetermined agenda” for the interview. Jagdeo made it clear that Guyana will not be caught in the middle of any spat between the US and China.
On Wednesday, the Spokesperson from the Chinese Embassy in Guyana released a statement in response to what they dubbed as the “Fabrication about China by a Vice News Interviewer”.
It read “Recently, when a journalist from Vice News interviewed Hon. Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo, she was found to come to Guyana with predetermined agenda and tried to smear and attack China-Guyana cooperation, as well as Chinese companies. The Chinese Embassy is strongly dissatisfied with and firmly opposed to such a violation of professional ethics.
The Chinese side highly appreciates that the Government of Guyana upholds the one-China principle and keeps developing cordial relations with China. China-Guyana friendly cooperation, featuring equality, mutual benefit, innovation, openness, and benefits for the people, is in accordance with the interests of the two countries and two peoples, not against any third party, nor should it be influenced by a third party.
Chinese companies operating in Guyana are following the local laws, international practices, and market rules, participating in big projects through open and fair competitions, which is beyond reproach.”

The Leader of the People’s National Congress, Aubrey Norton has called for a full probe of the allegations. The Vice President encouraged the Opposition to take the allegations to the police for an investigation. However, Norton believes that little to nothing would come out of it.


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