By Fareeza Haniff
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Former Minister of Home Affairs, Clement Rohee says there is no scientific data which indicates that bars and nightclubs that remain open after 2:00 hrs leads to any spike in crime.
As such, he criticized the implementation of this law by Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan, noting that the APNU+AFC government does not have any anti – crime plan in place to effectively tackle the issue.
Rohee says he does not support this, pointing out that he never enforced the law because Guyana is a “relaxed and opened country.”
“I never did it when I was there, so why must I do it now? This country is a very relaxed and opened country. There is a certain culture which we share with the Caribbean as Caribbean people and I have never ever noticed during my tenure as Minister of Home Affairs that bars and clubs remaining open after 2’0 clock led to any spike. There is no scientific data that anyone could provide,” the former Home Affairs Minister told reporters at news conference at Freedom House on Tuesday, July 07.
He is of the view that by implementing such a decree is similar to placing a curfew on the population.
“I’ve gone to many functions, whether it’s a wedding or staff party and by the time 11’0 clock…people would start walking away and when you ask then where they’re going; they going to Galaxy [Gravity], they’re going to Palm Court, they going to 704; this is after 12’0 clock…you’re giving these people two hours to sport? Oh come on, this is not Guyanese. And that is the reason why I didn’t do it… in fact what you’re doing is imposing a curfew on the people,” Rohee explained.
According to Rohee, while in the Opposition, Ramjattan claimed to have the solution for solving Guyana’s crime situation, but now that he’s in office, it’s a different story and that the government does not have an anti crime plan in place.
Rohee pointed out that he was deemed a failure and calls were made for him to resign.
“Remember when I was Minister of Home Affairs, less than two months ago, I was deemed a failure; the Stabroek News, the Kaieteur News, the iNews, everybody went to town on that. That Rohee is a failure, he must be removed. I’m not seeing that now.”
When asked if that judgment could be passed so early on Ramjattan given the fact that he only assumed the position recently, Rohee did not agree.
“It has nothing to do with early. Once you take on the responsibility, the moment you’re sworn in, that’s it… I noticed Mr Ramjattan, who was one of the most vocal men in Parliament who had the solutions; so did Mr Granger too; they all had the solutions. But now I’m reading Ramjattan saying he don’t know what to do and I’m reading he’s saying this thing is so overwhelming. They don’t even have a [Anti] crime plan,” the former Home Affairs Minister said.
President David Granger is hosting a high level meeting with Ramjattan and others to craft a crime fighting strategy at the Ministry of the Presidency.