Guyana Politics: Belladrum residents block West Berbice road in solidarity with Clairmont Mingo

Left to right: Attorney-at-Law Darren Wade, Alliance For Change executive member David Patterson, incoming Opposition Leader Joseph Harmon and Attorney-at-Law Roysdale Forde outside the Sparendaam Police Station where Mr. Clairmont Mingo is being held.

A number of residents of Belladrum, West Coast Berbice on Sunday blocked the public road to vent their anger at the continued detention ad subsequent charging of Region Four Returning Officer Clairmont Mingo.   

Divisional Police Commander for  Mahaica-West Berbice, Edmond Cooper said he and a team of policemen were trying to clear the road without causing the situation to escalate.     

“We are working on it,” he told News-Talk Radio Guyana 103.1 FM/ Demerara Waves Online News.

Vehicular traffic was prohibited from passing along that section of the east-west corridor, as news broke Sunday morning that Mr.  Mingo was charged by police with four counts of misconduct in public office. If the lower court finds that there is sufficient evidence for him to face trial by a High Court judge and jury and he is convicted, the law states that he can be sentenced to life imprisonment.

Incoming Opposition Leader, Joseph Harmon stopped short of endorsing protest action by residents even as he railed against police presence in the village after a bout of protests last week when Mr. Mingo was arrested. “We are fully supporting them (Mr. Mingo’s wife and brothers) , we are supporting the village and we will not allow our supporters and for that matter any Guyanese people to be abused, their rights violated under the direction by this fraudulent government,” he said.

The now incumbent People’s Progressive Party (PPP) has claimed that Mr. Mingo was at the centre of the bloating of tabulated results for A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC). Eventually, a national vote recount showed that the PPP won the elections in line with that party’s statements of poll.

Opposition supporters at Paradise, East Coast Demerara also protested on Saturday against the continued detention of another GECOM official who resides in that area.

APNU+AFC said Mr. Harmon on Sunday visited Mingo at the Sparendaam Police Station.  Mr. Harmon was accompanied by former Minister of Public Infrastructure David Patterson and attorneys-at-law Roysdale Forde SC and Darren Wade.

Police Force will use “all lawful means” to clear Belladrum public road

The Guyana Police Force on Sunday night called on protestors at Belladrum, West Coast Berbice to cease blocking the public road.

The force warned that it would use all legal means to clear the road of the protesters who are also violating the COVID-19 guidelines.

“The Police wish to inform that it will use all lawful means necessary to clear the public roadway at Belladrum of all unlawful obstructions in order to make it safe for use by the citizens of Guyana,” the force said.

The Police Force maintained that the protesters have no basis for arguing that Region Four Returning Officer Clairmont Mingo was lawfully arrested and detained since last week Tuesday.         

He is expected to be arraigned on Monday in four charges of misconduct in public office.

Following is the full text of the police force’s statement.

The Guyana Police Force (GPF) views with grave concern the unlawful protests at Belladrum, West Coast Berbice.

These protests have been taking place against the detention of Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) Returning Officer for Region 4 Mr. Clairmont Mingo as part of ongoing investigations into electoral fraud following the elections on March

The Guyana Police Force categorically states that these protests are not only illegal, but they also represent a threat to public safety due to the riotous behaviour of those involved in the illegal protests.

Such behaviour can only cause harm to the well being of innocent citizens.

Additionally, it constitutes a denial of the rights and freedoms of tens of thousands of citizens who need to use the public roadway in the exercise of their constitutional freedom of movement.

Moreover, the gathering of protestors and the miles-long build-up of traffic on both sides of the road at Belladrum are a clear violation of the Covid-19 guidelines which are are currently in place as part of Government’s efforts to mitigate the effects and spread of the global pandemic in Guyana, thereby endangering the lives of tens of thousands of Guyanese. 

The Guyana Police Force is therefore encouraging those who have been engaging in these illegal protests to immediately desist from continuing in these activities that will only serve to disrupt the normal lives of the residents of the village of Belladrum in particular and the entire country in general.

The Police Force maintains that the detention of Mr. Mingo in custody is lawful as ruled upon by the High Court in an Application filed by Mr. Mingo’s Attorney Darren Wade for Habeas Corpus Ad Subjiciendum.

The Police wish to inform that it will use all lawful means necessary to clear the public roadway at Belladrum of all unlawful obstructions in order to make it safe for use by the citizens of Guyana.

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  • kamtanblog  On 08/31/2020 at 3:35 am

    Poo poo v public standoff !

    Politricks !

    Let the courts decide …

    Guilty or not Guilty !

    No ifs or buts !


  • CSD Maraj  On 09/04/2020 at 11:56 am

    To all my fellow Guyanese Protesters.
    You should be lucky you are not living in Russia.
    You are very lucky to be Protesting in Guyana a democracy.
    Protesting legally is welcome but when protesters illegally block main roadways where it causes traffic jams for miles and creates unsafe conditions for emergency situation and where protesters burn and destroy state and personal property it is not a protest anymore.
    This is viewed as a bunch of Hooligans destroying public and private property
    What happens to the rights of the Peaceful Guyanese people sitting in their vehicle and cannot go about their daily business just because a bunch hooligans calling themselves Protesters who decide to block the main roadway indefinitely.
    This is where the police needs to act swiftly and arrest all the violent hooligans
    and lock them up indefinitely until a court trial is set.
    Let the courts decide their fate.That is called democracy.
    We Guyanese live in a civilised society.
    If you are not happy with a decision the Government made, then by all means Protest Peacefully and let your views be heard.
    Do not use your right to Protest as a cover to Block, Destroy State and Private Property that is an infringement on the rights of all peace loving Guyanese people.
    Remember All Lives Matter in a democracy.

    • kamtanblog  On 09/04/2020 at 12:11 pm

      Most peaceful protests are successful
      in bringing about change !
      However some are “hijacked” by holigans
      and become a “riot” ….
      Respect for the uniformed poo poo is essential
      in civilised societies. Prior permission should
      also be obtained from poo poo before protest
      is allowed. This info helps poo poo in deploying
      the manpower neccessary for keeping the peace.
      That is why sometimes the “riot squad”
      has to be deployed to deal with certain
      Poo poo are peace keepers not “soldiers”

      Subtle difference

      My two cents

      Kamtan uk

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