The Opposition APNU has stepped up its calls for the Government to establish an independent Commission of Inquiry to probe the circumstances surrounding the deadly Mahdia school dorm fire.
The fire claimed the lives of 20 children.
Although the President has promised to establish a COI, no announcement has been made as to the start of the COI, already he has already identified retired Major General Joe Singh as the Chairman of the Commission.
During a press briefing today, Opposition Leader Aubrey Norton said the government’s continued delay in the establishment of the COI is making it appear that is has lots to hide, or that the President is trying to shield some Ministers who might be found wanting at the conclusion of the COI.
“I still believe that there needs to be an investigation but it should be done by people independent of the government, people who are prepared to follow the fact rather than follow the dictate of the government. And so, we want an independent inquiry, we believe that the government is contemptuous to the citizens of this country by offering $5Million (To the victims’ family)” Mr. Norton said.
Mr. Norton said failure by the President to have the inquiry will give rise to the notion that the government is trying to cover its tracks.
The Opposition Leader expressed concern about the scene of the incident not being properly protected.
“The government did what they did, clearly it is an attempt to cover up and to ensure that people never get to the bottom of this story and I do believe that it will impact negatively on the investigation,” Norton said.
Mr. Norton also condemned the government’s settlement with the families of the victims, ahead of a COI taking place.
‘If they did any basic analysis, $5M cannot last for a year so we want an investigation and we do believe that the government did everything to compromise the investigation,” the Opposition Leader said.
It has been 66 days since the Mahadia tragedy occurred.