By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) Member of Parliament and former Priest of the House of Israel, Joseph Hamilton has claimed that former Opposition Leader Robert Corbin had supplied the body with arms and ammunition (9mm pistols) to terrorize Opposition elements during 1978.
Hamilton, who took the stand at the ongoing Walter Rodney Commission of Inquiry (COI) said Corbin was at the time in charge of the youth arm of the then governing party – the People’s National Congress – and had coordinated violent activities between the two bodies.
Hamilton, who was at the time a Priest at the House of Israel said instructions were that the only two ‘sacred cows’, [persons who they were told not to harm] were Founding Leader of the PPP Dr. Cheddi Jagan and Co founder of the Working People’s Alliance (WPA), Eusi Kwayana.
This means that the late Dr. Walter Rodney was marked for harm, he later reasoned. Hamilton reasoned too that the PNC chose not to harm the two (Cheddi and Eusi) because to harm Jagan would spark possible ethnic conflict and Kwayana was at the time seen as a respectable black Leader.
He recalled that the House of Israel which he claimed was a religious body that used the bible as the foundation for its teachings was first approached by the then ruling party in 1978 for support to disrupt WPA activities which had become daily agitation and threat to the government.
He said after a while it was feared that the WPA would retaliate following physical attacks on its members, disruption of several public meetings by seizing equipment, terrorizing and threatening supporters.
It was at this point that Corbin gave some six 9mm pistols to members of House of Israel upon request which was rotated among its membership, Hamilton chronicled.
He said the Party made it clear that everyone else could be harmed except Jagan and Kwayana adding that the body was always in close coordination with the PNC, particularly its youth arm when carrying out orders that came from party leaders and liaised by leaders in the House of Israel including Emerson Simpson, Robert Williams and Edward Washington.
Hamilton recalled among other things how the House of Israel was self-reliant and supported and funded itself through several ventures and activities.
He will continue his testimony on Tuesday, June 03 where he will make his recollections in relation to ‘Father Dark’s’ 1979 killing and other details relevant to Walter Rodney’s death.