PNCR should not accept blame for Rodney’s death


APNU leader David Granger does not agree that the PNCR, a party that he now leads, should acknowledge culpability in the death of former WPA Leader Dr Walter Rodney based on the issues that have been raised in the ongoing Com-mission of Inquiry (COI) about the party’s role and other matters.

“A year has passed and Guyanese are millions of dollars poorer and we don’t know yet how Walter Rodney met his death,” Granger told Stabroek News in a recent interview. According to him, the evidence from the sole eyewitness to the incident -Donald Rodney- suggests that Dr Rodney was involved in some matter which probably went wrong and resulted in his death.

“I have not seen or heard of any evidence indicating that the People’s National Congress had anything to do with Dr Rodney’s death,” Granger maintained. He said that whatever Dr Rodney was “up to he was fully aware of what he was doing and did not indicate any involvement of the PNC regardless of what was taking place in the rest of the country.

David Granger
David Granger

“He went to a certain place, he made an arrangement with a certain man, collected a certain item which didn’t work the way he expected it to work. Whatever way it worked resulted in his death, the PNC had nothing to do that,” Granger asserted.

Sir Richard Cheltenham (Chairman), Jamaican Queen’s Counsel (QC) Jacqueline Samuels-Brown and Trinidad and Tobago Senior Counsel (SC) Seenath Jairam took the Oath of Office before President Donald Ramotar on February 25 last year and now preside in the COI. Government took a decision to establish the commission after decades of calls for closure.

Rodney, a renowned academic and political activist, was killed in a bomb explosion on June 13, 1980 after a walkie-talkie had earlier been handed to him.

According to the Terms of Reference (TOR) for the COI, the commissioners are to examine the facts and circumstances immediately prior, at the time of and subsequent to the death of Rodney in order to determine as far as possible who or what was responsible for the explosion resulting in his death.

The commissioners are to enquire into the cause of the explosion in which Rodney died, including whether it was an act of terrorism and if so, who were the perpetrators.

However, Granger described the COI as a purely political exercise and added that he is willing to investigate everything should he become president on May 11th and this would include the killing of former Agriculture Minister Satyadeow Sawh and his relatives. “Why the PPP don’t want to investigate that?” he questioned, referring to the former government minister’s death.

Meanwhile, Granger said he has committed to the nation that he would investigate the unnatural deaths which occurred during the troubles and which some refer to as the era of convicted drug lord Roger Khan. He said inquests must be held in those deaths.

“That was (a) serious period when many persons were killed and we would certainly investigate it,” Granger said.

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