Risking arrest, activist Mark Benschop yesterday caused a stir in the Stabroek Market area after he used a music vendor’s cart to play a taped sex conversation of a government official, prompting scores to flock around him.
Benschop, who is no stranger to clashes with authority, arrived shortly after 11:00 hrs at the Ministry of Human and Social Services where he played the tape recording, ostensibly for Minister Priya Manickchand-Murli to respond in view of the fact that she had claimed that she had not heard the tape.
According to the activist, who also operates an internet radio which has been growing in popularity, explained that he has learnt that the Minister has not heard the controversial tape and as such he decided to “accommodate” her.
“Government must take action on this. Kwame (…..surname mentioned) has used his office to intimidate people. In this case, a little boy has been the victim. Kwame is not the victim…it is the little boy who is the victim. The Minister of Human Services must make a statement on this matter.”
Even though several staffers of the ministry were seen hanging over the balcony with amused looks on their faces, there were no signs of the minister and Benschop, after a 30 minutes wait, made his way pushing the cart to Brickdam Road to the Ministry of Home Affairs.
He was trailed by several persons who shouted encouragement and said “da is Kwame voice…”
According to a passerby, Benschop “look like he selling CD now…”
In front of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Benschop did not have time to settle down when two ranks came out of the compound and inquired his reason for being there.
The activist explained that he had heard that Minister Clement Rohee, who also heads the police force, had not heard the tape between “Kwame” and the little boy and therefore he is assisting by bringing the tape.
The two ranks returned to the compound and shortly after, a senior police officer came out and again inquired the reason for Benschop’s presence.
Benschop again explained. However, the officer advised him that permission is needed to conduct his exercise. At this, the activist asked the officer for ways in which he could achieve his objective, that is, to give Minister Rohee an opportunity to listen to the tape.
He was directed to the Brickdam Police Station to see Commander Leroy Brummel.
He also advised Benschop to turn the volume down on the cart.
The activist then turned his cart around and made his way back down Brickdam where police orderlies of the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts warned him to turn it down again. He headed to the Stabroek Market area, north of Demico, where crowds gathered around listening to the tape.
Since the tape became public, there has been deafening silence from the government side. However, opposition members have called for the official’s sacking.
The recording was made two weeks ago after a complaint was lodged to Benschop. A 15-year-old teenager reportedly said that the government official had made sexual invitations to him. Benschop said he made the call to the “Kwame… (surname given) and the call was answered by Kwame.
During the 15 minutes long conversation which was taped, Kwame told the teenager whose name is given as “Julius” that having sex with man is just like having sex with a woman.
The story picked up steam last week after one newscast aired snippets of the tape. Earlier this week, Press Liaison to the President, Kwame McCoy, was granted an injunction against Kaieteur News, Prime News and Enrico Woolfood of Capitol News.
McCoy, who is being represented by Attorneys-at-Law Sase Gunraj and Bibi Shadick, managed to secure a temporary injunction where the Chief Justice ordered that the named defendants refrain from further publishing words or images that have the effect of insinuating or suggesting that Kwame McCoy is involved in acts of child molestation and sexual predation on minors until the determination of a summons to continue injunction.
McCoy is also seeking damages in excess of $50M from each of the named defendants for what he calls libel. The matter is returnable on September 29.
According to McCoy, the named defendants, during the month of September, maliciously and deliberately published limited as well as inaccurate information which was intended to suggest on his part, acts of sexual predation, procurement and child molestation.
According to McCoy, on Saturday September 19 he issued a statement but notwithstanding, and in aggravation of damages, “I will contend that the said words or similar words were falsely, willfully and maliciously reported.”
In the document filed in the High Court yesterday, McCoy stated, “My character and reputation both generally and as Press and Publicity Officer attached to the Office of the President of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana and a member of the Commission on the Rights of a Child, in particular, have been seriously damaged and discredited, and I have suffered, and continue to suffer considerable distress, embarrassment and odium.”
According to McCoy, he has suffered irreparable and irreversible harm to his character and has been brought into disrepute as a result of the actions of the named defendants.
He petitioned the court saying that unless the defendants were restrained he is fearful that there is a distinct possibility that action will be taken to further accrue damage.
This newspaper has since found Julius’ mother and recorded a conversation between Julius and his mother as they spoke on the phone.
The phone was on speaker mode and the boy clearly admitted he was the person on the line with Kwame McCoy.
The mother of the 15-year-old schoolboy from whom Kwame appears to be soliciting sex during a recorded telephone conversation, has since voiced the fact that she is furious that the President has sexual predators working at Office of the President.
According to telephone records, the phone call was made on September 9, last, from 226-1832 to 223-7502, a direct line to Kwame McCoy at Office of the President.
The call started at 16:54:03 hrs and lasted for 20 minutes.
Jul 24, 2017Guyana’s Keevin Allicock claimed the Flyweight (52kg) division silver medal at the Commonwealth Youth Games Boxing Championship in the Bahamas yesterday. The Albouystown youngster lost to 16 year...
By Sir Ronald Sanders This commentary continues the discussion on the relevance and state of US-Caribbean relations against... more
Editor’s Note, If your sent letter was not published and you felt its contents were valid and devoid of libel or personal attacks, please contact us by phone or email.