By Fareeza Haniff
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Home Affairs Minister, Clement Rohee says the decision to implement a six month timeline, followed by a two year timeline for the issuance of birth certificates before being granted a passport, was well thought out.
Rohee admitted that the public was not consulted prior to the decision; however his Ministry consulted with the police and other ‘stakeholders’.
“When we moved to six months to two years, it was an effort to appease the general population and those who feel that the timelines were unhelpful,” Rohee said.
He added, “before we arrived at the six months, we sat with the Police, we sat with many other stakeholders and we discussed it. This is not a decision where Clement Rohee wakes up one morning and at breakfast decides on something.”
When asked if the Ministry never thought about the challenges it would impose, before implementing the timelines, he responded: “What do you mean if we’ve thought about it before? We’re not dumb dumbs as some people are trying to make out,” Rohee told reporters during a press conference of the People’s Progressive Party today, Monday August 04.
The timelines were both reversed by the Ministry following public outrage. Additionally, citizens also took the government to Court, but Rohee remains adamant that the reversal of the timeline had nothing to do with the Court action.
“It had nothing to do with the process of the Courts, nothing to do with that. We take our decisions independent of what the Courts are doing.”
Meanwhile, the Home Affairs Minister informed that there are hundreds of false birth certificates in circulation, by persons who pay outside of the regular process of the Guyana Register Office.