Minister Broomes’ behaviour at the parking lot was despicable

Dear Editor,

After viewing the CCTV video of the parking-lot incident involving Minister Simona Broomes and two security guards, I expect Acting Commissioner of Police, David Ramnarine having seen the video himself, to now instruct that all pending charges against those two security guards be dropped with an apology. The Minister’s driver should have his firearm licence taken away and charged with assault with a deadly weapon (a moving vehicle), and Minister Broomes should be charged for making a false statement to the police. Had it not been for CCTV footage that clearly shows the despicable behaviour of a sitting government minister, two innocent persons would be sent to jail for a very long time.

On several of my visits to the Guyana Revenue Authority, when I could not find a suitable parking space for my vehicle, I would drive to the front of the GRA building where traffic cones are strategically placed on both sides of the road to restrict parking in front of the GRA building. I would then pull up parallel to the cones and wait for the traffic cop who is always there, to approach my vehicle.

I would then clearly identify myself as a Member of Parliament, and ask politely if he could allow me to leave my vehicle in the restricted area for a few minutes. At all times, the police officer would remove the cones and allow me to park.

Being polite and courteous have always open doors for me. And I have never disrespected anyone in the performance of their duties, especially those persons in uniform.

What Minister Broomes did is associated with bullies.

A Kaieteur News article on Tuesday, July 10 gave a report of what transpired in the parking lot: “The Minister’s vehicle drove up to an area that had “no parking” signs. The vehicle stopped and the driver disembarked. He then removed the “no parking” sign and returned to the vehicle.

At the same time, the security guard who the Minister claimed pointed a gun at her could be seen making a gesture to her driver. The security guard was armed with a shotgun that was hanging from his right shoulder by a gun strap.

He walked up to the vehicle and replaced the sign. This caused the vehicle that was just about to move off to come to a halt again. The Minister’s driver exited the vehicle once again and there was some exchange of words between the security guard and the driver.

The driver moved the sign again… While this is going on, another security guard came up. The Minister exits the rear left door of a Black SUV, and proceeded to throw two “no parking” signs to the ground.

The armed security guard proceeded to pick up the signs. He later explained that he was telling the person who exited the vehicle and threw the signs away that she cannot do that. The security guard could be seen picking up the signs again, and then the vehicle started to move forward and hit one of the security guards who was standing in front of the vehicle at this time. The vehicle stopped once again and the driver exited yet again. This time, the security guard claims that the driver pulled out a gun and threatened to shoot. The Minister can be seen going around to the driver side of the vehicle where the driver was standing at the time. The security guard said the lady told the driver, “No, no, no put the gun away, put the gun away.” The security guard said after he realized that things were escalating, he decided to move aside and let them through.”

Simona Bromes is a woman who is ‘rough around the edges’. She has been a miner in the interior for many years, and learned to survive the lawlessness which is part of life there. 

In Parliament, Simona Broomes hardly contributes anything of substance to our debates. She is best known for her constant disruptive heckling of PPP Parliamentarians, and is fondly referred to as one of the ‘empty barrels’ on the government side.

Broomes is not without controversy. On August 27, 2013, Stabroek News reported, “President of the Guyana Women Miners Organisation (GWMO) Simona Broomes, who has been hailed for her work in combatting human trafficking, was arrested yesterday after she was accused of pulling a gun on an alleged human trafficker who was days ago charged with assaulting her.

After being detained for more than five hours, read her rights and the allegation read to her, Broomes, who expressed shock at the arrest, was released on $10,000 station bail.” Broomes denied this allegation.

One year ago, Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr Barton Scotland cautioned Member of Parliament Simona Broomes for bringing the House in disrepute after she videoed herself in the Chambers of Parliament mocking the Leader of the Opposition, while imitating a woman who made several tawdry short films, using phrases such as “bing bam boom out.”

Simona Broomes is now a Junior Minister of Government. She is expected to act with the utmost decorum at all times. The two security guards in the private parking lot were merely following instructions. She disrespected them.

I am sure that had she identified herself to the guards and asked politely to park her vehicle there, they would have acceded to her request. Instead, like a bully, she threw the no parking signs to the ground to give her driver access to the restricted area as if she was on government property. Then to victimize the heroic security guards, falsely accused them of threatening her with a gun.

Now that we’ve all seen evidence of the abuse of her ministerial powers, will President Granger do something about it? Only time will tell.

Yours faithfully,

Harry Gill

PPP Member of Parliament

Member of the

Parliamentary

Oversight Committee

of the Security Sector 

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