Comprehensive forensic audit of ministry fire scene was needed -WPA
The Working People’s Alliance (WPA) said on Wednesday that if the government was really serious about getting to the truth of the Health Ministry fire it would have moved to ensure a comprehensive forensic audit of the scene. In a statement, the party said while it does not dismiss the view that the recent fire at the Ministry of Health on Brickdam may have been “politically conceived”, the Police Commissioner ought not to exclude the possibility that persons who hold high or low political office in government could be involved.
“The Commissioner of Police would be well advised to . . . launch a serious investigation into the cause of the fire which should not exclude the possible involvement of any person who occupies high or low political office in the government,” the WPA stated.
The opposition party, which does not now hold any seat in parliament, said that it came as no surprise that Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee, as reported in the July 28 issue of Kaieteur News, had deemed the fire “politically conceived”, adding that citizens across the board share his sentiments although they “differ with him on the location of the conceivers.”
According to the WPA, persons are of the view that if Rohee had the evidence he claims to have, he would have moved on the perpetrators, but short of that they see his utterances as just another worn out political ploy.
The party also said that Guyanese are all too aware that every time a ministry or minister comes under focus, fire results and the people suffer tremendous losses of resources and on each occasion political opponents of the government are blamed for the disaster.
“This latest fire is no exception. It is to be noted that in keeping with its normal approach in these matters government began its finger pointing even before the fire had been put out,” the WPA remarked.
The WPA then posited that if government was really concerned at arriving at the truth of what took place it should have taken steps to ensure that a most comprehensive forensic audit of the crime scene was initiated at the outset. However, government spokesmen appear to have been more concerned with launching a witch hunt for alleged suspects than with ensuring an untainted investigation that would have looked into all aspects of the circumstances surrounding the fire, sparing no one in the process.
Such an investigation would have first ensured that the crime scene would not have been compromised and in such a situation all buildings in the compound would have been sealed until the investigation was completed but instead the crime scene has been cleared with unprecedented haste and great efficiency, the WPA contended.
According to the party, Guyanese today are faced with the ridiculous situation in which government and its security arms even before the availability of a credible report on what took place are hell bent on selecting a number of persons and activists of organizations and by use of torture and other questionable methods are working to get them to incriminate themselves and others.
“Troy Small and others are the most recent victims of this medieval crime fighting policy,” the party observed.
The WPA said further that it had long ago warned about the danger of the security forces using torture as a weapon in their so-called ‘crime fighting’ arsenal against citizens and in condemning that strategy the party had sought to remind the government that it was in violation of all of the international treaties and conventions which it had signed on to. In addition, the party had called on all Guyanese including key elements in civil society to break their silence on this matter.
However, to all appearances these warnings have fallen on deaf ears and “the lack of vigorous condemnation by important sections of civil society has emboldened the security apparatus to widen its use in the current so called ‘investigations’.”
“Today it’s the turn of the poor and the powerless. Tomorrow, who knows?”
In concluding, the WPA said that the government and the security forces need to be reminded that the brutalities of the 2002-2004 period were spawned by the violence meted out to citizens and particularly to African Guyanese young men.