The Working Peoples Alliance Overseas Associates have viewed with much discomfort the video recording of the incident involving Minister Simona Broomes and her driver in the parking lot of the New Thriving Restaurant. There has been substantial public comment on the incident and we would like to offer our concerns. It seems that the more things change the more they remain the same. The behaviour of this Minister is no different to what obtained under the previous PPP administration. Under that administration the actions of Minister Kellawan Lall come to mind. In spite of several complaints and reports in the press, Lall’s behaviour was swept under the carpet at the time. Today there seems to be a similar tendency to ignore misbehaviour and corruption.
Article 19 of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption reads “Each State Party shall consider adopting such legislative and other measures as may be necessary to establish as a criminal offence, when committed intentionally, the abuse of functions or position, that is, the performance of or failure to perform an act, in violation of laws, by a public official …., for the purpose of obtaining an undue advantage for himself or herself or for another person or entity”. Under this definition the Minister has engaged in a form of official corruption, especially because she called the police and gave an apparently false report implicating the security guards as aggressors and indicating they pointed a firearm at her. In this instance she would have committed a crime under the laws of Guyana. To date Minister Broomes has not apologized but this incident has attained a status that should not be washed away by an apology.
If this incident was not serious enough, Crime Chief Mr. Paul Williams, in an attempt to cover up the Minister’s disruptive behaviour, sought to define the duties of a security guard, including giving deference to new shiny vehicles with tinted windows. No law enforcement official should step outside the bounds of impartiality.
The Working Peoples Alliance Overseas Associates believes that President Granger to whom Minister Broomes owes her stewardship has a Kellawan Lall problem. How he resolves this matter would determine whether he is a change agent as he promised in 2015 or whether he is incapable of taking decisive action as this situation requires, internal party politics notwithstanding.