My last commentary
attempted to show that notwithstanding our having a reasonably manned police
force, we do not seem to be getting the service and protection from it, as is
To examine the RUNNINGS in
our Ministry of Home Affairs we turn to the auditor General's report for the
Very early in the
investigation we discover that the Ministry of Home Affairs is no different
from any other Ministry in that it is heavily buttered with gross
The salaries book NO.
3022 reflected a balance of 59.8 million dollars as of 31 December 1999 but
there was no CASH book. As a result the exact balance of this account could not
be determined as the cash book was apparently misplaced!?.
The salaries bank account
was not reconciled since it was established in June 1996. Failure to balance
bank accounts can lead to irregularities being perpetrated without detection.
This matter was drawn to the attention of the Ministry's functionaries before!
82.7 million dollars were
spent on benefits and allowances, but of this amount 11.4 million were spent in
an unsatisfactory manner no bills, no system of quotations were followed before
the purchases were made etc. the Ministerial tender board of the Ministry of
Home affairs did not function between January to November 1999, no adequate
explanation was ever given.
The main bank account of
the Ministry of Finance 3020 [not the salaries bank account I referred to earlier,
this is their MAIN bank account] was overdrawn to the tune of 26.8 million but
the cash book balance was 38 million a discrepancy of 11 million dollars.
Our Auditor general tells
us quote "137.8 Million representing outstanding check orders for goods
supplied could not be verified, alternative audit checks were carried out on a
sample basis, it was not possible to trace the items to the goods received
books and stock records. A special investigation is recommended to determine to
what extent value was received in respect of outstanding purchases for 1999 and
previous years. I need not say again that nothing bought by the Ministry of Home
Affairs that I could find complied with tender board procedures"
The ministry of home
affairs spent 67.3 million dollars on dietary items needless to say that no
tender was available for these dietary items, clearly our minister of Home Affairs
did not benefit from the use of these dietary items.
616 of our police
officers do not have NIS numbers, ladies and gentlemen these men operate in a
high risk environment, how is it possible that they are not covered by NIS.
Having established the
delinquencies of our Ministry of Home Affairs as far as their economic
accounting to this nation is concerned, and remembering that we have
established, in my previous comment that we physically have enough police ranks
to manage our security properly. What then are the problems that prevent them
from carrying out their mandate to protect and to serve? Incompetence and Corruption
are the problems. It is generally believed that for 150 thousand dollars, in
the right hands, gun licenses are available to anyone who wants one. It is
common knowledge that vehicular transgressions are settled at the roadside,
instead of in the courts where they should be.
Our Minister of Home Affairs
was once convicted for fraud and was jailed, since two separate court martials
found him guilty, but his appeal to the Appeal
Court was upheld because of
deficiencies in the way the Judge advocate in the second court martial worded
his decision. In the normal run of things this would be OK, but we are talking
about our Minister of Home Affairs here. Our Commissioner of Police [acting] stands
charged of another serious offence which has not been discharged in a manner
which convinces me that he was innocent of the allegations leveled against him.
If either of these two gentlemen would like to challenge me on these statements,
I stand prepared to defend them. Civil matters are not as tricky or as strict
as criminal matters and I have little doubt that my statements will stand in a
Ladies and gentlemen the two
most senior functionaries in our, "protect and serve" establishment stand under
a cloud of suspicion. How then can we the people, trust them. Our Minister of Home
Affairs was at best a mediocre lawyer, how can he be living in the mansion he
This country has by far
the most unexplained extra judicial killings in the Caribbean, so
the question arises as to exactly who our police force is serving and
For the purpose of this
comment let us make a few assumptions, suppose you are an unpopular government
escalating the poverty already present in the society, suppose that all of your
citizens know that most of your public functionaries are corrupt and
incompetent, let us say that the opposition are so fed up that they are prone
to protest and marching, that they have threatened to keep up the pressure by
public protest, what would you do? What did PAPA DOC in HAITI do? Why,
you create a trigger happy group of thugs within the police force who are above
the law, to drive the fear of the lord into the population so that they would
be afraid to protest and to exercise their democratic right to condemn the
wrongdoing going on all around them.
So who are our police
force protecting? They are protecting the corrupt establishment who formed them
for the sole purpose of frightening the population into compliance and
subjugation. 13 million dollars were spent buying guns and ammunition for the
police during 1999. Soon we will know how much was spent in 2000.
What astonishes me is
that the Guyana Human Rights Association has been conspicuously silent on this
Five armed prisoners
recently escaped from our prison leaving one officer dead and one very
seriously wounded, where are our deadly police force when faced with 5 armed
desperate men? One assumes that they have gone deep underground to investigate
the matter but how deep can they go? Is it possible that they can go so deep
underground as to be invisible?