Members of the private media that turned up to cover the PPP/Civic organized Horserace meeting held on Sunday at the Kennard Memorial Turf Club at Bush Lot Farm, Corentyne were given an unpleasant reception when they turned up at the venue. The media were initially barred from entering the venue and told to leave as they were not invited and not welcome there.
Although identification cards were produced on every occasion, the gatemen scoffed at seeing the ID cards saying that people like Kaieteur News and the others are not welcome there. “This is a PPP thing and nobody invite you all wat ay you come fa,” one asked. When asked if former chancellor and president of the Turf Club Mr. Cecil Kennard was present, so that he could intervene, the men blurted that Mr. Kennard can’t tell them what to do? And stated that, “this in not Kennard thing, this is awe thing, this is PPP thing.” It took the intervention of Senior Community member Roy Hanoman, who was present outside the gate to upbraid the gatemen and escort the members of the media inside the venue.
A seemingly upset Mr. Hanoman eventually told the gatemen that they must respect the media and freedom of the press and they should not stop the press from entering the premises.
Despite Mr. Hanoman’s intervention, the gatemen were furious that the press were allowed to enter without paying.
Two particular gatemen were the chief culprits and although told that the media was in the right continued in their pungent ways, using a series of expletives along with a lot of derogatory remarks. The men also said, “…ay you lucky that Honoman sorry fu ay you and allow ay you fu come in and now ay you think ay you could show off.”
Contacted during the event, both Regional Chairman Mr Zulphikar Mustapha and Regional Vice Chairman Mr. Dennis Deroop, who coordinated the event, were very upset when told of the behavior of the gatemen.
Both men offered their sincere apologies and promised to have a word with the gatemen. However the gatemen during a later encounter continued their rant.
One official of the GHRA later stated that Kaieteur News is the foremost in coverage of Horseracing in Guyana and should be respected for that, he expressed shame and disgust in the way the gatemen behaved.
Another fan who witnessed the event stated that Kaieteur News gives the most balanced and widest coverage and is the only newspaper that covers all or most of the Region Six Administration events.
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