Like most Guyanese I have followed with great interest the exchanges and pronouncements centered around Minister of Home Affairs Clement Rohee. A no confidence motion was passed against the Minister in the National Assembly, and recently, APNU has added its voice to the list of critics of the Minister’s performance.
Mr Rohee must certainly apprehend that criticism of his performance is not a trivial matter. His office is one of the most important cabinet positions in Guyana and as such deserves close attention. As a politician Mr Rohee must expect criticism; it comes with the territory. As holder of ministerial office he should endeavour to conduct himself with integrity, dignity and professionalism. This is the least that Guyanese deserve and rightly expect.
Unfortunately, the Minister has chosen to deal with criticism in a most undignified way. He has lashed out at his critics.
If it is true that the Minister is directing the tactics of the Guyana Police Force then something is amiss. If Mr Rohee is deciding who is to be charged with specific offences, then the office of the Commissioner of Police would seem to be redundant. Does the Minister really need to tell the police who should be charged for breaking noise nuisance laws?
Minister Rohee has attacked APNU Parliamentarian Ms Debra Backer in the press. He said that Ms Backer’s opinion that he should be setting policy and dealing with the bigger matters, is laughable. Is Mr Rohee serious? What exactly does Mr. Rohee think his job is about?
Mr Rohee does not stop there: he goes on to attack the Leader of the Opposition Mr David Granger, implying that Mr. Granger has an inflated ego. One is left to wonder what all of this has to do with Mr Rohee’s performance as Minister of Home Affairs.
I have followed the exchanges quite attentively but even a cursory glance reveals a glaringly obvious and disturbing fact. Not a single person, to my knowledge, has disrespected Mr Rohee. All of the criticisms have been directed at his conduct, performance and decisions. Yet Minister Rohee always responds with personal insults and ad hominem, irrational arguments against his critics. This behaviour is both unbecoming and counterproductive.
The Minister should allay concerns and respond to criticism by addressing the substantive issues raised. He should deal with the matters individually and on their merit. This is the only way that he can hope to regain the respect of Guyanese who expect our leaders to behave with discipline and decorum. Guyanese have had enough of busing, cussing, ranting politicians. We deserve better and we shall have better come the next general elections.