Broomes’ conduct ‘outside of Ministerial code’, Cabinet yet to address matter-Harmon

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Minister of State, Joseph Harmon

State Minister, Joseph Harmon believes the behaviour of Junior Minister of Natural Resources, Simona Broomes, during an incident in the Massy parking lot in Providence, East Bank Demerara one month ago- where she, her driver, and two security guards were accused of verbally abusing each other- “might be well outside of the document described as ‘Code of Conduct’.”

This comment was made on Monday during a Post Cabinet briefing held at the Ministry of the Presidency, when he was probed as to whether Government has addressed the apparent breach of Code of Conduct on the part of the Minister.

Nevertheless, Harmon asserted that Broomes has been interviewed regarding the matter.

“All Ministers that have been engaged in any matter…there are interviews and consultations done…This has been done,” he said.

The State Minister also disclosed that the matter has not yet been formally addressed at the level of Cabinet since according to him, police have been analyzing additional information received.

Minister within the Ministry of Natural Resources, Simona Broomes

“[There has been] some additional information that surfaced since the last time we spoke…and that information, the police would be analyzing before they [Cabinet] actually bring it back [to the agenda],” he said.

It was reported that on July 9, two security officers attached to the Providence, East Bank Demerara (EBD) business were arrested after they were accused of pointing a gun at the Minister during a confrontation.

On the day in question, the Minister’s driver stopped at the entrance of the store to access a fast food outlet but was approached by the guards who informed him that he cannot park at the restricted area.

This resulted in a heated confrontation among the parties after which the Minister accused the guards of pointing a gun at her.

However, CCTV footage told a different story from that which was reported by the Minister.

The Minister’s driver was seen in the video turning into the parking lot where the incident occurred and stopped a little distance from the Supermarket.

He exited the vehicle which carried the Minister and removed a no parking sign.

One of the security guards that noticed his actions and who was armed ventured to the vehicle replacing the sign which was removed.

The Minster’s driver exited his vehicle once more and this resulted in a heated exchange between him and the security.

Broomes was then seen exiting the vehicle, and angrily pushing two of the no parking signs to the ground before being confronted by the security.

The Minister reported her version of the incidents to the police and the two security guards were later that evening arrested and later released on their own recognizance.

Just last week, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has returned the file to the police with no recommendations for charges to be instituted against the parties involved.

The police in a release stated that after reviewing the footage and statements taken, the DPP made her decision.

Broomes has since refused to issue an apology and when questioned by media operatives of the incident stated “I don’t know what you are talking about”.

Nevertheless, her Ministerial colleague Public Health Minister, Volda Lawrence issued an apology to the guards who were locked up for some 16 hours.

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