My September 17, 2022 letter, “Land of the Cacophonous,” was alluded to by Shamshun Mohamed in his September 19, 2022 one, “DPP getting serious with noise nuisance.”
I am glad that it elicited a response, but this produced some ambivalence in me, as it was both coincidental and ironic. Mohamed sought to offer me some hope, saying that the “DPP has asked the Police Commissioner to launch a campaign against ‘noise nuisance,’ following a signed petition by residents of an East Coast community.” Yet, on that very weekend, Saturday 17, there was the “One Guyana Festival” concert that ‘rocked’ the National Stadium. One of the dailies reported that the said “One Guyana Mega Concert” had pensioners feting like teenagers.” So, I think Mohamed understands my ambivalence; DPP versus Government – DPP asks against noise, and Government endorses it.
Let me now make some points on this ‘noise’ situation that has long since enveloped the land; but, first, a word on the DPP.
The DPP has bungled too many things and too many times. No one can repose confidence in the DPP. For one, there exudes from the DPP gross bias. Why do I say this? Late August, the headlines read: “DPP advises criminal charges against Dion Bascom.” Then, just a few days ago, I read: “DPP drops private criminal charge against Crime Chief.” For those not au fait with what I am referring to, it is about the two main and opposing principles over the one and same issue.
Then, apart from ‘clear-cut’ bias, there appears to be legal ignorance and incompetence. It is like a callow swimmer in the pool. For example, on Tuesday, 15 March 2022, the embarrassing story read that “The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) ruled that Guyana’s Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) could not unilaterally order a Magistrate to conduct another preliminary inquiry, but must instead ask the High Court to decide.” I need not go on. To Shamshun Mohamed then, I ask, how can I expect anything good from the DPP; ignorance and incompetence add to bias all make for a pallid and emasculated figure.
Now, concerning ‘edicts’ by those in positions of legal power, affluence, and influence, I have not an inkling of expectation that ‘things will change’. I go back to October 2021, when the Minister of Public Works, Juan Edghill, ‘proclaimed’ that roadside vendors along the main roadways of Georgetown “…will have to relocate or seek alternative jobs.” This was repeated just recently, and the ‘expected’ is still ongoing, that is, ‘to whom does he think he is talking?’ Roadside vending and other businesses (wash bays, tyre shops, groceries, etc.) abound adjacent to our main thoroughfares. Just look at our roadways being devoid of even a bus detour for pick-ups and drop-offs. Traffic will always be impeded to accommodate all of the just-mentioned. This has been entrenched from eternity past.
So, I ask my optimistic friend Mohamed from whence cometh his utterance that “I can take comfort and seek reprieve in the news item (that) “DPP asks Police Commissioner to launch campaign against noise nuisance?” Come on! I mean, this Minister is at the helm of the interminable prolongation of the Cheddi Jagan International Airport. Get my drift?
As for the Police, I have a few words; but, first, what I ask is the role of the Corporate Communications Unit (CCU) of the Guyana Police Force (GPF). I remind our readers that the two Police PR officers (Mark Ramotar and Stan Gouveia as its Director and Deputy Director respectively) were hired without any advertisement for the posts. Minister in Charge, Robeson Benn, back in June 2021, had to admit that the positions to head the CCU of the Guyana Police Force (GPF) were not advertised before they were filled. His non-sequitur explanation, when confronted, was that “…the unit was established as part of the Force’s strategic plans.” For me, the CCU and its two heads are encapsulated; in one word, “pipsqueak.” (On the sidelines: How much are they being paid? What are their lists of duties? What have they accomplished?)
As I stated in my first missive, “I have personally called Police stations incessantly to intervene, but the generic response is ‘We will send the patrol’.” This is the culture. I dare anyone to do some ad hoc tests on this for me. Imagine, Mon Repos was invaded, and these ‘invaders’ came from as far away as Golden Grove. In Guyana, there are Cove and John, Enmore, Vigilance, and Beterverwagting Police stations, and yet these ‘freedom fighters’ had their way before any kind of interception was forthcoming from the Force. Pathetic right?
Editor, what is the result yet again? It is that the President and his ‘gravy riders’ will continue to be more concerned about bush cook, beach cricket, dominoes, volleyball, and a host of ‘fun’ activities. Hence, ‘aspiring citizens’ must pursue their legal exit…the earlier the better.
As a caveat, those ‘good citizens’ in the Providence environs should plan for the Guyana leg of CPL turbulence… you had a foretaste last Saturday.