Hitting out…

…at the team?
The US TV Series “Law and Order” had one of the longest run – 20 years between 1990 and 2010. And as one of the staples of our viewing fare with reruns, who among us isn’t familiar with its opening theme? “In the criminal justice system, the people are represented by two separate yet equally important groups: the Police, who investigate crime; and the district attorneys, who prosecute the offenders”.
Well in Guyana, we do have the Police who’re supposed to keep “Order” but on the matter of the “Law” we have a DPP that uses Police Prosecutors to prosecute those arrested by the Police for breaking the law. Now most of us have to deal with the police when something goes really awry between us Guyanese, don’t we? They represent the “Law and Order”. So it’s not surprising when crime stalks the land and most of us are huddled behind our steel-grilled windows and doors, the pressure’s coming down on them.
But with their subject Minister of Public Security Khemraj Ramjattan refusing to stick his hand up and take responsibility (see yesterday’s fulminations by your Eyewitness) for offering some reassurances, the acting CoP David Ramnarine had to step to the crease. Rather than regurgitate the statistics that have become the reflexive retort of his Minister, Ramnarine took a pot shot at the Judiciary to which Police Prosecutors present their cases – or rather “our cases” – since we’re the victims.
He pointed to some egregious examples of individuals who were charged by the Police but when brought before the High Court or Magistrates’ Court were let out on bail – and then blithely proceeded to commit further crimes. It’s as if the judicial system works like a revolving door for criminals, in the view of the acting CoP. Now this isn’t a unique complaint – in fact it’s quite common among us ordinary law abiding citizens.
The fly in this ointment, however, is there’s this rule members of the judiciary HAVE to observe – persons charged have to be presumed innocent until they’re tried and proven guilty. For bail, all the judge/magistrate can do is weigh whether the person charged will turn up for trial and whether his background suggests he won’t do further wrong if released. If “no” the judge would order “remand”.
And this is where we end up with the “remand” situation that caused all that mayhem at the Camp Street Jail. Obviously, there are no quick answers to our criminal siege and all the members of the Justice System have to work together.
What can’t be done, is to follow the Security Minister and just spout statistics.

…at competition?
Seems like a “Chicken Feed War” may just break out between Guyana and Jamaica over some businessman here importing Chicken Feed from the land of Dancehall. The local businessman’s undercutting the price at which two of our local manufacturers of Chicken Feed – Badal of Guyana Stockfeeds and Fernandez of Bounty Farms – are selling theirs to our chicken farmers.
Now if our Chicken Feed manufacturers are willing to lodge this protest with the GRA, you know the money they’re losing isn’t Chicken Feed! Badal and Fernandez’ gripe is the Jamaican HAVE to be importing soya and corn for their feed so they’re exceeding the 5% Caricom allowance for “foreign inputs” and thus a 15% tariff should be slapped on their products.
While that may be so, your Eyewitness wants to know that since GUYANA doesn’t also produce soya and corn, how come the Jamaicans can have insurance and freight added to their Feed price and STILL come in cheaper than theirs?
Aren’t they stiffing our poor chicken farmers?

…petroleum import licence
While there were protests about GWI’s boss Van West-Charles obtaining a petroleum importing licence, folks were puzzled about how he’ll sell the stuff without any storage tanks.
Well, he wouldn’t need the latter if he “wins” the contract to supply Exxon rigs and drilling ships, would he?