Investigating the violent conspiracies of the Jagdeo era
In a recent police arrest in an alleged armed robbery, one of the accused jolted my memory. This man was part of a centralized conspiracy that planned and executed the attack on me, whereby a very offensive, miasmic substance was thrown on me after I left a supermarket. When I read his name, memories came tumbling down of the violence that characterized the reign of President Bharrat Jagdeo. This accused robber was employed by the Office of the President and had a media pass. Mr. Glenn Lall was able to obtain strong evidence of the people behind the attack. We know where it was planned
It needs to be mentioned that Donald Ramotar’s presidency, too, was punctuated with conspiracies of political evil. During the 2011 election, a well know hit-man was charged for a vicious robbery. Suddenly, the charges were dropped, he became an employee of the Ministry of Public Works, was photographed tearing down a large banner of the Alliance For Change at Ogle and attended the swearing-in ceremony of Donald Ramotar. I have seen a photograph that confirms the man’s presence. I would like to think that the individual who took that photograph knows the value of that clip and would not have erased it.
Two dimensions of the violent act against me need to be remembered by the people of Guyana. First, NCN broadcast the attack minutes before it occurred. That is because they were informed by the perpetrators as they were about to perform. When NCN transmitted the news, I got a call from Kaieteur News enquiring about what had happened to me. I was walking toward my car when KN called, so my response was that nothing had happened. As I opened the car door, sat in the driver’s seat, rolled down the driver’s window, it happened.
The second dimension was the police attitude. I went to the Alberttown Police Station to ascertain the status of the investigation. The detective told me, my KN colleague Dale Andrews, and Mark Benschop that it was useless to interview the people at NCN, because he wouldn’t know who to talk with because NCN is a big place and there are lots of people working there.
This is what Mr. Jagdeo’s reign had reduced Guyana to. A university lecturer and newspaper columnist was violently abused on the roadway and the police couldn’t question the state television station hierarchy that relayed the criminality before it actually occurred
The second attack took place at midnight outside Parliament Building during the time of the vigil of the human rights protest group, “People’s Parliament.” As in the first act, my life was endangered. The plain clothes security detail of Saint Stanislaus College, among others including Michael Carrington and Dennis Atwell of the Alliance For Change, chased down the perpetrator. The security rank almost caught up with the criminal when a dark-tinted Black SUV drove up and he jumped in. The licence plate was registered to a very senior police officer. He told the Stabroek News that someone stole his car to commit the criminal act. Shortly after, the security detail was found dead at his work place late one night at the Saint Stanislaus College. This was what the hegemony of Jagdeo reduced this country to.
I am still alive. Others were not so fortunate. Courtney Crum-Ewing lost his life. Carol–Ann Munroe and her husband were arrested for treason and remanded for three years, at a time that Mrs. Munroe had two small children. The Munroes’ attorney, Nigel Hughes wrote the then head of the army, Commodore Gary Best, asking for an investigation into claims that the Munroes and their co-accused Leonard Wharton were set up.
It has become one of the most macabre jokes anywhere in the world, that a former president whose government perpetrated these brutalities against his critics is now perambulating the streets and pathways of Guyana advocating democracy. When I heard Mr. Jagdeo called for massive salary increases for public servants and a decrease in VAT, I was sick in my stomach.
The simple, unsophisticated request of mine is that I would like an urgent inquiry into the conspiracies of violence during the tenure of Bharrat Jagdeo’s presidency. Mr. Jagdeo is allowed to parade on the world stage as a democrat because there is no national, judicial probe into his exercise of domestic terror against his critics. Today, PPP supporters from Wales right down to Berbice who are turning out to listen to Jagdeo and Ramotar need to understand that these two presidents were leaders whose actions in office were in violation of the Laws of Guyana. History can never or will never be complete unless society is given answers to the tragedies that those tyrants created.