Parliament of the co-operative Republic of Guyana


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Copyright ©2014 Parliament of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana.

Death and Death by Violent Means

Hits: 4402 | Published Date: 30 Jul, 2012
| Speech delivered at: 26th Sitting- Tenth Parliament
| Speech Delivered by : Hon. Annette Ferguson, MP

Ms. Ferguson: I hear the sound of this nation crying. Oh yes, this nation is crying for their constitutional protection of fundamental rights and freedom of individuals to be respected by our nation leaders.
Mr. Speaker: Hon. Member one second please. The person in the gallery with a video camera, if he is not a journalist I will not permit that. Please put it away if you are not an accredited journalist or a recognised journalist. Continue Ms. Ferguson.
Ms. Ferguson: Mr. Speaker and Members of this honourable House I have meticulously examined the life of a failed leader from a widely used religious book that I can draw parallel with the present Minister in charge of security.
The character King Saul, a leader of the nation of Israel who failed his God and his people, I have mainly examined. Factors that contributed to Saul’s failed leadership: King Saul defied the orders of the spiritual leader his God brought council through and functioned without godly prudence. In other words, he did what was pleasing in his own sight. Saul lost control of his followers. He failed to carry out God’s instructions. Now Mr. Speaker, after tirelessly examining the failed leader of this religious book called the Bible, quote and unquote, I am eager to draw a parallel with the Hon. Minister of Home Affairs, Mr. Clement Rohee’s leadership and King Saul.
To date, since the Hon. Minister has assumed the office of Minister of Home Affairs in September 2006, to present, his track record has been saturated with question marks. I rise this evening to make an invaluable contribution to the motion before this honourable Assembly for deliberations by the Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Member Brigadier (Ret’d) David Granger. On July 18th, 2012, innocent citizens in Linden were attacked by law enforcement officers, who I deemed as callous and who do not have respect for human lives. The citizens were acting within their constitutional rights since they regard the increase in electricity tariff bestowed on them as not being given proper thought and attention by this Government. It would be remiss of me if I failed to extend my condolences to the bereaved families of Messrs Shemroy Bouyea, Ivan Lewis and Ron Somerset. Therefore on my own behalf and, by extension, the A Partnership for National Unity, I would like to extend our deepest sympathies to the families. I would also like to wish those who were suffering from shock and trauma, after witnessing such a erroneous act, a speedy recovery.
On that fatal Wednesday, I travelled to the mining town of Linden to give support, not in the capacity of a Member of Parliament, but of an ordinary citizen who feels what my brothers and sisters are experiencing in that Region. While there, comforting words were given to citizens. At no point those citizens were behaving unruly, rather they were demonstrating peacefully and they were chanting that they would like to have the presence of President Donald Romotar. Not realising what was coming before them later that day, the region was plunged into a state of chaos when innocent young Guyanese lives were taken at the hands of law enforcement officers who swore to an oath that they will serve and protect the citizens of this nation - not to take innocent lives. According to Guyana’s Constitution, article 147 (1), page 92, and I quote:
“Except with his or her own consent, no person shall be hindered in the enjoyment of his or her freedom of assembly, association and freedom to demonstrate peacefully, that to say, his or her right to assemble freely, to demonstrate peacefully and to associate with other persons and in particular to form or belong to political parties, trade unions or other association for protection of his or her interests.”
Let me remind Members, sitting in this honourable Assembly, what transpired on December 6th, 2011, when innocent and unarmed citizens of Georgetown took to the street in a civil manner to exercise their fundamental rights. On that day Hon. Members Mr. James Bond, Joan Baveghems and other citizens became victims of police shootings when they used rubber pellets. The Hon. Member, Leader of the Opposition publically denounced the police actions and asked for an inquiry to be conducted into those shootings. An ultimatum was given for the reports to be submitted on or before the ending of December, 2012. It is merely eight months and to date the Hon. Minister of Home Affairs, Mr. Clement Rohee, has failed in his capacity, as having ministerial oversight of the Guyana Police Force, to ensure that an independent inquiry was conducted and a comprehensive report was done.
I would like to endorse the remarks made by Hon. Members, Mr. David Granger, Leader of the Opposition and Mrs. Catherine Hughes, when they spoke extensively on ministerial responsibilities. It is quite distinct to this nation that the Hon. Member Mr. Clement Rohee is incompetent - and I emphasise “he is incompetent” - in having oversight of the Guyana Police Force and the implementation of policies that will aid in improving the image of the force. My reason for saying this is that during his tenure as Minister of Home Affairs we have seen the following atrocities:  Killing of a former Minister, torturing of a teenager, that is Tyrone Thomas, the Lusignan and Bartica massacres in 2006.
Hon. Members (Opposition): Under his watch.
Ms. Ferguson: Lindo Creek murders in 2008.
Hon. Members (Opposition): Under his watch.
Ms. Ferguson: Police brutality.
Hon. Members (Opposition): Under his watch.
Ms. Ferguson: Corrupt practices of senior police ranks.
Hon. Members (Opposition): Under his watch.
Ms. Ferguson: Countless exportation of illegal substances through our borders.
Hon. Members (Opposition): Under his watch.
Ms. Ferguson: High crime rates.
Hon. Members (Opposition): Under his watch.
Ms. Ferguson: Silencing of Assistant Commissioner, Mr. David Ramnarine
Hon. Members (Opposition): Under his watch.
Ms. Ferguson: And more recently the boat scam.
Hon. Members (Opposition): Under his watch.
Ms. Ferguson: We have witnessed street demonstrations globally. Even though, in some cases lives are lost, that is, due to rioting and unruly behaviour of individuals, while in other cases demonstrations are done without the use of excessive forces causing fatalities. The world is watching to see how leaders in this beautiful land will deal with this situation currently before us. Our religious and political leaders, and the ordinary man and woman, have strongly and publicly condemned the atrocities meted out to the people in Linden under this incumbent Minister of Home Affairs, the Hon. Member Mr. Clement Rohee.
In concluding, just as my previous colleagues alluded to and the factors outlined earlier, I endorse the support of the motion before this House in the name of the Hon. Member and Leader of the Opposition, Mr. David Granger, and call on you, Minister of Home Affairs, you, Hon. Member Mr. Clement Rohee, to do the decent and honourable thing, to submit your resignation in good faith.
Thank you very much. [Applause]

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Designation: Minister within the Ministry of Public Infrastructure
Profession: Health Profesional
Speeches delivered:(10) | Motions Laid:(0) | Questions asked:(12)

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Questions asked:(12)

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