September 29, 2016

Family members still to receive report – Mrs Rodney

Dr Patricia Rodney

Dr Patricia Rodney

Rodney CoI

…“I am disappointed at President’s response” – David Hinds

Some two weeks after the final report of the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into the death of Dr Walter Anthony Rodney was handed over to President David Granger, family members of the slain historian are still to receive a copy.

Dr Walter Rodney

Dr Walter Rodney

Dr Rodney’s wife, Patricia, made this disclosure when contacted by this publication on Sunday for a comment on the findings of the three-member panel.

“I have not seen the report. I do not have a copy of the report. I have been hearing and reading, but I have no comment to make until I see a copy of the report,” Mrs Rodney told Guyana Times.

President Granger is yet to officially release the findings of the CoI, which was established by former President Donald Ramotar in February 2014. However, leaked copies of the report have already made their way into the public domain. None of the other parties involved has yet received a copy of the report.

President David Granger

President David Granger

The 17-month Inquiry saw representatives of the Rodney family; the People’s National Congress (PNC); the Guyana Trades Union Congress (GTUC); the Working People’s Alliance (WPA) and the Commission’s legal team. None of them has yet received a copy of the report.

WPA executive “disappointed”

David Hinds

David Hinds

Meanwhile, WPA Executive Member David Hinds reacted with great disappointment over President Granger’s comments on the explosive findings of the report into the death of Dr Rodney, which implicated the PNC.

On February 24, Granger finally broke his silence on the report’s findings and declared that it was “badly flawed” and “was based on hearsay evidence”. He consequently expressed his intentions to challenge it.

Commenting on this new development, Hinds opined that the Head of State ought not to be making partisan pronouncements on matters of such national importance.

“The President, in his capacity of Head of State and Government of Guyana, has taken a clear partisan stance on a matter of high national importance and one that has continually divided the country,” he wrote in his weekly online blog, noting that he disagreed with the President’s interpretation.

He further articulated that the President must maintain a balance between speaking on behalf of the Government and speaking on behalf of the PNC.

“Had the President told the reporters that he was speaking as leader of the PNC, I would not have been disappointed. The PNC has a right to be aggrieved by the findings of the Commission; after all, the PNC Government of that time and its leaders are indicted by the report,” the political commentator penned.

In fact, Hinds expressed that the President should refrain from making any statements on matters that were highly charged.

“He could have commented on the matter without taking a partisan stance,” he stated.

Moreover, Hinds pondered whether the President was speaking on behalf of the entire coalition, inclusive of the WPA, when he rubbished the report.

Additionally, he questioned how exactly the President planned on challenging the report.

“By whom — the Office of the President, the Government or the PNC?”

Hinds conceded that it was a difficult task of balancing party leadership and national leadership, but as the Head of State, he should try harder.

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