The current crisis in the country’s security sector has gripped the nation in a frenzy of fear – not irrational but justifiable fear because from corner to corner of Guyana, practically on a daily basis, there are stories emanating of violent crimes, especially armed robberies and murder in the act of the commission of such crimes. These criminals have to live. They have bodily needs that they have to fulfil, and they have a history of wresting the wherewithal of those needs by any means possible; so the average Guyanese – even the poorest of the poor; ie, the elderly pensioners and single-parent households, have been targeted to provide for those needs. Recently, there has been a proliferation of videos showing robbers – armed with knives and guns, robbing people, schoolchildren not exempted, on a daily basis. Passengers are robbed in buses and even taxis.
The tears of the nation are flowing to rival the floods decimating nations worldwide but these are rivers of blood flowing from eyes that are drenched with the pain from hearts wounded to unbearable proportions by the loss of loved ones, most often in the prime of their lives, brutally taken by the beasts in human form who, while robbing persons of their property, cash and other resources, have no qualms of robbing them of their lives also.
And in equal measure, the curses of the nation against Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan are escalating along with strident calls for his removal as head of the nation’s security services but he stands resolute, arrogant and inflexible in the flotsam of his abundant failures, unmoved by the agony of the victims and their bereft dependents.
A country’s security sector bears the most responsibility for the protection of citizens from criminal elements, thus anyone tasked with the mandate of managing this vital sector should prove, over time, meritorious in the functionality and efficiency of the various arms of Government comprising his portfolio. However, from the inception of the appointment of Khemraj Ramjattan as Security Minister, there has been one critical incident that compromised the nation’s safety after another.
The calls are escalating, even from his own party’s supporters, that he should resign or be re-assigned because he has clearly failed to deliver on his primary mandate – to protect the nation and formulate policies that would strengthen the various arms under his watch.
He defends the indefensible and excuses himself with one ridiculous postulation after another when the fact is that he is unable to perform to expectations. There may be many flaws in the system but the fact of the matter is that the buck stops at Ramjattan. His utterings, while acknowledging the facts, disclaims blame on his performance and ascribes same to departmental heads, while not naming names.
Heads should roll after all the ludicrous fiascos and the permeating fear infusing the entire nation because no one is safe from the murderous criminals who are acting with greater impunity as a result of the gross deficiencies of Guyana’s security forces under Ramjattan’s watch. Nowhere is safe anymore, not even in the sanctity of one’s own home. Without a doubt, he should be the first to go, according to popular opinion. There is absolutely no confidence in him by the public as the head of the security services.