Minister Rohee is a failure in the fight against crime

Dear Editor,

I note with utter disgust articles in the Chronicle and elsewhere where the PPP blames the opposition for crime.  The records will reveal that since the death of Monica Reece in 1993, Guyana has never been the same again; we are a nation at war with ourselves.  During this entire war, the hopelessly incompetent leadership from the PPP in the security sector has failed to offer any serious solutions.

Since the murder of Monica Reece, there has been an upsurge in serious crime and it all happened under an avalanche of failed PPP Ministers starting with Feroze Mohammed, Gail Teixeira, Ronald Gajraj and now the worst of them – Clement Rohee.  Judge them on their record.

How can Clement Rohee and his PPP reactionaries lecture the nation on the PPP’s failure to confront crime by trying to pin the tail on people who do not have the executive authority over the crime-fighting machinery of the state?  The crime situation is so bad under the PPP that even the family members of many PPP big-wigs are paying to become economic migrants to Canada and other countries. By their actions, are the family members of the PPP big-wigs telling the rest of the nation something?

Then there is that elementary Budget mistake that occurred in April 2013 where one of the opposition parties committed political befuddlement by claiming that the explanation given by the Minister was “sufficient” to provide them reason enough to vote $1.1 billion to fund Rohee’s ministerial secretariat.

This political befuddlement must be contextualized against a background that only nine months before that Budget vote in favour of Rohee, those same MPs of that political party raised their hands and voted for a motion of no-confidence against Minister Rohee.

This issue has bothered me for months and I continued to comfort myself that it was a political oversight even though one politician tried to bamboozle me with the excuse that “we cannot cut policemen salary” which is a deliberate attempt to confuse the facts. The truth remains the funds for the ministerial secretariat have nothing to do with the Guyana Police Force.

I trust we all will practise the politics of principle in the 2014 Budget by sticking to the principle that the majority in the opposition have lost confidence in Mr Rohee as the Minister of Home Affairs and thus his secretariat cannot be funded.

For clarity’s sake, the Office of the Minister of Home Affairs (ministerial secretariat) is distinct and separate from the budget line item for the police and other departments in the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Why are these opposition politicians prepared to prop up Mr Rohee with taxpayer funds, although he continues to fail the parents of so many of our young people, and what follows is just a small sub-set of those cut down in the prime of their lives by the criminals: Arjune Narine, who was gunned down at the corner of Drury Lane in May 2008; Luciana Bhagwandin, who was found dumped in a trench at Harlem on the West Coast; Shenese-Ann Richardson-Austin, who was murdered in her bed at the hands of bandits in West Ruimveldt; former St Stanislaus College student, Trevor Fung, who was stabbed to death by robbers one Valentine’s night; and the case that has rocked the nation, Sheema Mangar, the former bank employee who was run over because of a cell phone.

There remain many unsolved murders since the death of Monica Reece in 1993.  With such a track record, the PPP leaders have no moral authority to lecture anyone.  All of it happened under their watch but they had no time to concern themselves with the most significant developmental retardant in the nation.

Mr Rohee is an absolute failure in the fight against crime and thus he should not be the beneficiary of any taxpayer funds once he continues to sit in that chair in the ministerial secretariat at the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Yours faithfully,
Sasenarine Singh

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