Internet Radio

Rodney was acquiring walkie-talkies

Eddie Rodney

Guyanese politician Dr. Walter Rodney, who was killed in a bomb-in-walkie-talkie explosion 33 years ago, might have been acquiring walkie talkies to establish a communication network, one of his brothers said Friday.

Lawrence “Eddie” Rodney, however, told the three-member panel of commissioners that he was unaware that his brother had been collecting explosives at the time. “I saw no reason why Walter would have wanted to get his hand on explosives,” he said.

He believed that Walter was using his vast experience in East African countries to establish a communication network by using local expertise rather than import sets whose components could fail soon after. Eddie assumed that his brother had wanted walkie talkies to receive information such as feedback and for persons to reach him. “He had seen the value or uses of these types of equipment,” he said.

Asked by the Commission lawyer, Glenn Hanoman whether he knew who was responsible for his brother’s death, he said he did not know. However, he felt that his brother’s killing was an “act of terrorism”  by “agents of the State”.

He recalled going to identify the body and recognizing from the appearance from the torso that an explosion had been caused by a detonation of some kind. “I don’t know what it was. However, it was consistent with something called an anti-personnel device,” he said.

Rodney, who served in the military overseas as a signaler, said such devices could be thrown, planted or posted.

Rodney told the Commission that he later learnt from a book titled Assasination- Cry of a Failed Revolution by Ann Wagner and Gregory Smith that there were lithographs of devices that Smith said he had provided to Walter.

Smith was an electronics expert in the Guyana Defence Force who had left the country shortly after the incident on June 13,1980 for French Guiana where he had lived and worked until his death about 10 years ago.

Eddie Rodney said the WPA leadership was being targeted for the sale of weapons and probably other devices. At that time, he said accompanying those offers were police searches of the homes of WPA leaders.