By Gordon French
Caribbean Net News Guyana Correspondent
GEORGETOWN, Guyana: Guyana’s President, Bharrat Jagdeo has promised to come clean about his marriage to First Lady, Varshnie Jagdeo in the midst of swirling controversy that the two are on the brink of a divorce.
Jagdeo grew up in rural Guyana and on July 26, 1998, he married Varshni Singh, who grew up a few villages away. Some two years later he became President. Since that time there have been public suppositions that the relationship between the two had gone cold, since they hardly appeared in the public together.
|Guyana’s President, Bharrat Jagdeo and First Lady, Varshnie Jagdeo
Following his re-election in August of last year, the president during his inauguration speech noticeably skipped the first lady as he said “thank you” to his sisters and other family members. It was another tell-tale sign that something was amiss, since the two had only a few days before that, celebrated the party’s victory at Freedom House.
Last week, the president faced reporters for the first time since a media report suggested that he had sacked a close aide for refusing to order the first lady out of the presidential box during the staging of Cricket World Cup matches at the Guyana National Stadium. “I will deal with that within two weeks time…Obviously you heard more, something that I have said before, but within two weeks you will hear more,” President Jagdeo said responding to a question posed by a reporter.
“Jagdeo hints at divorce,” was the headline on the front page of Wednesday's edition of the Kaieteur News, a local newspaper. The fact that neither the president nor the first lady issued a response suggests that the article may hold some truth.
Jagdeo has denied firing his aide over the first lady, but related that several unauthorised persons, including friends of the first lady, were in the presidential box and his aide was tasked with ensuring security during match days.
The two sat separately during the matches while other government ministers, the opposition leader and diplomats sat with their wives. Varshni Jagdeo, who is also referred to by her close friends as “Uma”, has emerged as a passionate advocate for children. Using her organisation, Kids First Fund, she has assisted several underprivileged children access heart surgery in India and has provided humanitarian assistance to hundreds locally.