Jun 28, 2012 News
– says Rohee is going through a political nightmare
If one were to judge from the recent comment by Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee, the government may be contemplating a situation of national emergency.
This is the view of Executive Member of the Alliance For Change, Moses Nagamootoo, in response to the Minister’s explanation for the slashing of the Annual Vacation Leave of senior police officers.
“The administration is behaving like it’s in a barrack room where it appears as if its back is against the wall and so it is imagining a constitutional crisis that may result in the dissolution of parliament or may result in extra-parliamentary activities,” Nagamootoo said.
The Home Affairs Minister, in trying to defend the slashing of the senior police officers’ annual leave, gave several explanations.
He pointed to the fact that Guyana is currently in some potentially delicate period of national security, since “we have just come out of the elections”.
He also alluded, “The country is in a mood where certain things are not settled in the parliament” and “there is a lot of talk of snap elections”.
These factors, he said, necessitated the officers deferring some of their annual leave to a later period in case they are needed in the near future.
“I think that what Rohee is trying to allude to is that you might have a situation where a stalemate could probably lead to no confidence in the government,” Nagamootoo said.
In a telephone interview on Monday, Nagamootoo said that apart from the annual leave issue, recent actions by the Ministry of Home Affairs suggest that the security forces are being prepared for a crisis situation.
Only last week the Ministry along with the Guyana Police Force carried out a demonstration on the use of a $37M water cannon which was acquired last year as part of measures to deal with non violent confrontations.
According to the former PPP member, recently, the government has been faced with several criticisms and exposures of corruption which have put a halt in the way things were previously done.
Nagamootoo said that the new postures of the administration betray the fact that the government is preparing for some kind of offensive against the people.
“They are behaving like typical regime acting out of fear and insecurity and are tilting in the direction of authoritarianism and the creation of a police state,” Nagamootoo told this newspaper.
He said that the PPP/C’s non-acceptance of the new political dispensation and “their resort to the courts to degrade the parliament form part and parcel of their descent into unreality in that they refuse to accept the will of the people.”
He said that the administration is attempting to whip up panic among the people over the recent budget cuts by bringing them on to the streets under the guise that they may lose their jobs.
This, he explained, is all part of the government’s creation of an atmosphere of instability in which it would capitalise on the fear of the people to seize control of the local democratic bodies.
“It’s all part of a self deceptive thinking that the government would fall. Rohee is going through a political nightmare,” Nagamootoo said.
He said that instead of creating fear, the government should engage the opposition and civil society on how to bring about calm and not try to steer the state on the edge of panic.
Meanwhile, the Home Affairs Minister had claimed that the senior police officers would not actually lose their leave. In fact he explained that the leave would be deferred to another convenient time.
“Because of the extant circumstances, it was considered prudent to facilitate the Annual Leave of the Officers in tranches during the year in order to ensure that an adequate number of senior management is available at short notice to address any unforeseen or unplanned event,” a statement from the Ministry of Home affairs yesterday stated.
However, the memorandum to Commissioner of Police (ag) Leroy Brumell, which was signed by Human Resource Manager of the Ministry of Home Affairs bore no reference to the deferred leave issue.
It stated, ‘’… I wish to inform you that a decision has been taken that only 21 days annualized vacation leave will be granted to senior officers within the Guyana Police Force. In light of the above, I shall be grateful if you can advise all senior officers within the Force accordingly.”
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