Motion to be moved to adopt recommendations

Rodney CoI Report

By Devina Samaroo

A motion will be moved in the National Assembly by the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Chief Whip Gail Teixeira for the recommendations made in the Walter Rodney Commission of Inquiry (CoI) Report to be adopted.

During a news conference on Thursday, Teixeira said it is imperative that the National Assembly have a debate on the report with the aim of arriving at a consensus to take the necessary steps, based on the recommendations, to ensure that such events do not happen ever again in Guyana’s history.

The Rodney Report was handed over to the Speaker of the House, Dr Barton Scotland on May 11, 2016 – some months after it was submitted to the government, after close to two years of public hearings on the matter.

The report compiled the findings of the CoI, which was established by former President Donald Ramotar to probe the circumstances surrounding the death of renowned Guyanese Historian and Leader of the Working People’s Alliance (WPA), Dr Walter Rodney who died when a bomb exploded in his lap in his car on June 13, 1980, during a time of intense political activism in the country.

Government officials, including President David Granger and Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister Basil Williams have both discredited the findings of the report, indicating that there was some agenda to target the People’s National Congress (PNC).

A great debate has since erupted on what purpose these revelations really serve, with many contending that millions of taxpayers’ dollars were wasted to uncovered a truth all Guyanese already knew.

Others, however, argued that the contents of the reports equates to justice finally being served.

Meanwhile, the Rodney Report had recommended that every effort be made to have a well-trained and highly professional Police Force and Army, loyal only to the interests of the country.

Consequently, the report recommended there be considerable investments in training at every level of the Force on an ongoing basis, with particular focus on the importance of values and etiquettes.

“It was conceded by the Police in the course of the Inquiry that a thorough investigation was not done into Rodney’s death. In fact, the evidence is that the Police did not act with professionalism, thoroughness or speed. The recommendation is that the department in the Police Force tasked with the responsibility to investigate crimes like murder, should, at all times, strive to do so with thoroughness and urgency…” a section of the report stated.

Additionally, given that important documents could not have been found to be presented during the Inquiry, a recommendation was made for there to be a thorough review of the systems in place to store records of the Guyana Police Force and the Guyana Defence Force.

Other recommendations were based on the need for ethnic harmony and for the Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) to be an individual of integrity.