Water cannon to be handed over to police today
Days after telling the public that the water cannon, which was procured by the Ministry of Home Affairs will arrive “in a few weeks”, subject Minister Clement Rohee will present the piece of equipment to the Guyana Police Force today.
Rohee had on November 8th told media operatives that the Ministry is still going ahead with the purchase of the water cannon and it should arrive in a few weeks time.
The water cannon arrived at the Guyana National Industrial Corporation Wharf in Charlestown a few short hours after Rohee made the statement.
When the 2011 Capital and Current Expenditures were unveiled during this year’s budget presentation, it had outlined a $37M allocation for the procurement of a water cannon.
Sources among the opposition have welcomed the move by the Home Affairs Ministry to employ the use of non-lethal force against demonstrators.
However A Partnership for National Unity’s Lance Carberry, following the arrival of the piece of equipment, said that the issue of the water cannon that has been brought in by the administration is, “simply an effort by the PPP/C to terrorize the Guyanese Public.”
Carberry was at the time speaking at one of his party’s weekly press briefings when he said that “if you look at the behaviour of the PPP/C on the platforms so far, they are obviously seeking to incite a response by the public…I think so far they have been very disappointed.”
When asked why the Home Affairs Ministry was purchasing such a piece of equipment and for what purpose it would be used, Rohee told the then Shadow Minister Deborah Backer that it would be used to “manage public order and would be used against large demonstrations”.
From the time it was pointed out that the Home Affairs Ministry was looking to purchase a water cannon, some had suggested that it was earmarked to be used for the 2011 Election should the need arise.
A water cannon is a device that shoots a high-pressure stream of water. Typically, water cannons can deliver a large volume of water, often over dozens of metres/hundreds of feet. They are used in firefighting and riot control.