Just as the Walter Rodney Commission of Inquiry is getting ready to get down to its work, the Opposition is raising some worry about the links between one of the Commissioners and the Government of Guyana.
Chairman of the Peoples National Congress and Deputy Speaker in the National Assembly Basil Williams has sounded the alarm over the appointment of Senior Counsel Seenath Jairam of Trinidad and Tobago as one of the Commissioners on the tribunal.
Mr. Williams told News Source that Senior Counsel Jairam has been involved in “partisan politics in Guyana” as an Attorney representing the Government in the budget cut case that is still ongoing. He said the Commission of Inquiry must be impartial and cannot be seen in that light if one of its members has been involved in “fighting the opposition in the courts of Guyana in a case that is still before the court”.
“If he was just coming to Guyana to sit on tribunals, there would be no problem, but he has been involved in partisan politics in Guyana by fighting against the Opposition in the courts on behalf of the Government. How can we expect that to have an impartial look”, Williams asked.
The Commission of Inquiry is expected to look into the circumstances surrounding the death of Dr. Walter Rodney, who was assassinated in Guyana in 1980. He was a historian and political activist who headed the Working People’s Alliance.
It has always been believed that his assassination had clear political motives. The governing People’s Progressive Party which was in Opposition at the time of the assassination has always pointed fingers at the People’s National Congress which was in government at the time. The PNC has always denied those charges.
With this Commission of Inquiry coming nearly 34 years after the incident, it is hoped that it will serve as a final chapter in the book that covered the Guyana political landscape at the time.
The members of the Commission of Inquiry were sworn in last week and the Commission has already issued public notices calling for persons who wish to be witnesses in the case to come forward with their statements.