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Rohee ridicules government’s approach to crime, says 2 am curfew “not Guyanese”

Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan

by Zena Henry

Former Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee has basically failed the new government in their manner of addressing the current spike in crime. Rohee also told reporters Tuesday July 7 at Freedom House that he does not support the 2 am ‘party done’ curfew by Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan as it will not help the curb the crime situation.

Rohee’s criticism of the almost two-month old coalition government came even as President Granger, top security chiefs and government officials were meeting to hammer out a security strategy in the wake of rising crime. Earlier Tuesday, police reported that a businesswoman on the Corentyne at Palymra, East Berbice was shot to her head by bandits

The former Security Minister was also critical of the bashing he got as a “failed” Home Affairs Minister while insinuating that Ramjattan has no idea on how to handle the situation.

“I don’t support it,” Rohee said to the curfew, “I never did it when I was there… and I have never noticed during my tenure as minister of home affairs that bars and clubs remaining open after 2:00am led to any spike.”

Rohee continued, “There is no scientific data that anyone can provide” to suggest that the late parties contributed to spikes in crime. Even when it was suggested that some Caribbean countries observe curfews he said, every country could do as they please as it relates to laws. He noted, however, that in all Caribbean meetings and forums for national security ministers he attended, never have the issues of curfew come up.

Rohee believed however that Ramjattan is being sheltered from public bashing, insinuating a poor response by the minister to the crime matter. Rohee said “I remember as minister of home affairs, less than two months ago, I was deemed a failure…” “Everybody went to town…Rohee is a failure; he must be removed,” identifying prominent media houses that carried screaming headlines.

He asked then, why is Ramjattan being spared the same criticisms. Even when he was asked whether it was too early; less than two months into the job, Rohee responded that, “it has nothing to do with early; once you take on the responsibility, the moment you are sworn in that’s it.”

He continued, “Ramjattan was one of the most vocal men in Parliament who had the solutions, so did Mr. Granger, they all had the solutions. So I anticipated when those guys walked into their offices… and their respective ministers; they all had their blue print in their hand and they knew what they were going to do.” “They don’t even have an anti—crime plan,” he criticized.

Now, he said, he is reading that the minister is calling the job “very overwhelming” and that, “he does not know what to do.”

Rohee suggested that the various forms of violent crimes must be addressed by a multi agency approach to deal with the ongoing spike.

The Guyana Police Force earlier Monday reported that at about 7 PM Monday July 06, 2015, businesswoman Angela Hussain, 39 years, of Palmyra, Canje, Berbice, was in her shop when five men, armed with firearms and cutlasses, entered and held her up, along with her family.

Police said the men took away jewellery and an undisclosed sum of cash and escaped. During the incident Angela Hussain was shot to her head and has been admitted to the New Amsterdam Hospital.

The Guyana government was due to update the nation on the outcome of a security strategy meeting that was held under the chairmanship of President Granger. Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo, Minister of Public Security Khemraj Ramjattan, Police Commissioner Seelall Persaud, and Chief of Staff of the Guyana Defence Force Brigadier Mark Phillips were due to attend the meeting.