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Shuman/Dharamlall trade barbs over funds for regional security

(Minister of Local Government Nigel Dharamlall and Deputy Speaker Lennox Shuman)

In defending the allocation of additional funds for security for several regions, Minister of Local Government Nigel Dharamlall told the House that among the reasons for the increase are “threats by the opposition and activists from the opposition to destablise the government.”

While the Minister did not list what threats he is referring to, the statement was objected to by APNU/AFC Coalition Chief Whip Christopher Jones. However, Speaker Manzoor Nadir allowed the statement as he said the Minister did not refer to opposition members in the house and he could be referring to anyone outside even outside of Guyana.

Minister Dharmalall told the House that there was an arson attack on some public buildings, he cited a school in Region One as one of those buildings.

Deputy Speaker and Opposition member Lennox Shuman then asked why there is a need for funds for security when Minister of Home Affairs Robeson Benn earlier this week said that crime is on the decrease, “why are we extending so much more money for security at this juncture if crime is on the decrease,” Shuman asked.

“I believe Mr Shuman is out of order,” Minister Dharamlall replied as he said he could not answer for Minister Benn and the question should have been directed to Minister Benn.

Shuman then pointed out that Minister Benn presented the crime statistics in the very House, “as a member of Cabinet sir, I would have anticipated that the Minister would have been more prepared to defend what he is asking the House for, if crime is on the descent in this country, why is the Honourable Minister asking for more money for security, simple,” Shuman posited.

But Minister Dhramalall said it is “very irresponsible” of Shuman to “grazing” on this security issue, “I think that the Honourable is fully aware that elements of the opposition, have been targeting government installation and since we signed a security contracts in May of this year, we had to ensure all of the installations are well protected.”