People’s Progressive Party’s (PPP) General Secretary Clement Rohee has again rebuffed President David Granger, claiming that the things said by the Head of State are not true and that there was a plan to address issues at the Georgetown Prisons.
Rohee, who was also the Home Affairs Minister under the former PPP/C Government said that he had a strategic plan for the Guyana Prison Service along with the other three agencies that were under his watch.
Camp Street Prison after the deadly riot
“I have noticed he said that all that I have said is not true. I am saying that all that he is saying is not true,” Rohee, speaking about the President, told journalists last Thursday. He continued, “What I have here is the strategic plan for the Guyana Prison Service and it has all the measures that are to be implemented on the Guyana Prison Service”.
Rohee said the measures which are available on the former Home Affairs website, are what he was referring to as the “blue print” for reforms of the Prison Service.
He said there was a strategic management department headed by civilians set up to implement the strategic plan. According to the former Home Affairs Minister, the Police Force, Fire Service, and Prison Service each has one.
“So you have four strategic plans being implemented concurrently, being led by in each one of those agencies, civilian-led strategic management”. He said the ongoing Commission of Inquiry (CoI) should also be looking at the measures to get a clear understanding of what took place on March 3.
President David Granger last Tuesday had lashed back at the former minister, who had called for the immediate dismissal of Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan, insisting that he will not let go of his Minister.
Rohee had insisted that Ramjattan was to be blamed for the deadly prison riot, and had called for his immediate dismissal or resignation.
“Lying at the feet of Ramjattan and indeed the Granger Administration are 17, not three dead bodies,” Rohee told a news conference on Monday, referring to when a No-Confidence Motion was passed against him, following the deaths of three individuals in the Linden unrest in 2012.
He said the current Administration came to power fooling the Guyanese electorate that it was most knowledgeable and best prepared to handle public safety and security in Guyana.
On that note, Rohee said the Camp Street Prison unrest shattered the myth that the current Administration was best equipped to manage the country’s security sector.
The former Minister also took the opportunity to admit that his Administration failed to leave behind a perfect system, but he indicated that the present Government now has to pick up from where the PPP/C left off.
In comparing the track records of the two Administrations, Rohee contended that his Government never presided over a riot of such magnitude as the one that recently took place which claimed the lives of 17 prisoners, with more than a dozen injured.
“The Granger Administration stands condemned. Heads must roll for this unforgiveable and unforgettable episode in the hierarchy of the security sector in general and the prison service in particular,” Rohee declared.
But the Head of State said what Rohee is calling for is nothing more than “absurd”, adding that the former Minister, who had been holding the same portfolio for almost a decade, did absolutely nothing to remedy the situation.
“Ramjattan is trying to clean up the mess we inherited nine months ago and the former Minister was the Minister of Home Affairs for nine years and he never did the things he is talking about now, so I don’t know how he can expect us in nine months to clean up the mess he encouraged for nine years,” the Presdient said, lashing out at the previous Administration.