Home Ministry’s $11.8B budget approved without single opposition question

The consideration of the $11.8 billion allocation for the Ministry of Home Affairs was completed in “record” time last Thursday night and the combined opposition opted to remain silent throughout the exercise.

Both APNU and the AFC have expressed no confidence in the subject Minister Clement Rohee and have passed a motion in the National Assembly to his effect.

Throughout the consideration of the estimates by the Committee of Supply, Rohee appeared unaffected by the opposition’s stance. Not a single question was asked even though Rohee ensured the heads of several police divisions, the fire chief, the acting prison director and Chairman of the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) were sitting in the National Assembly chamber to provide him with information if necessary.

For the Ministry of Home Affairs, $1.508 billion was set aside for secretarial services, $7.447 billion for the Guyana Police Force, $1.462 billion for the Guyana Prison Service, $24.908 million for the PCA, $1.086 billion for the Guyana Fire Service, $186.055 million for the General Register Office and $92.987 million for the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU).

It took less than fifteen minutes for Committee Chairman Raphael Trotman to go through the estimates. The only sign of movement on the opposition side was whispering among Opposition leader David Granger, Shadow Home Affairs Minister Winston Felix and APNU Chief whip Amna Ally.

At one point, while the estimates for the Guyana Fire Service were being considered, Trotman jokingly remarked, “by the time you walk up it will be approved” as fire Chief Marlon Gentle made his way to his seat.

Trotman later remarked, “I must say that we have considered the estimates both current and capital for the Ministry of Home Affairs in record, record time.” He then proceeded to thank the minister, his staff, all the officers and PCA chairman Justice Cecil Kennard for their presence.

“Just know that you have the full financial support to do your job and you can’t lay a complaint that you do not have the resources,” he told them.

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