Investigation clears Chief Press Officer of malicious intent – Granger
Embattled Chief Press Officer, Lloyda Garrett has been cleared of “malicious intent” following an investigation that was launched into her use of racial slurs to describe employees working at the Ministry of the Presidency.
President David Granger told media operatives on Wednesday that he is satisfied that Garrett does not need to be disciplined for her actions but he called for a general purge of the local vocabulary.
“The matter is closed now, Ms Garrett has spoken and an investigation was done, we’re satisfied that there was no malice and we’ve moved on from that,” the Head of State said.
He argued that the use of these slurs is common in Guyana and that one must not separate language from context.
“I think we have to put things in context and I am satisfied with the work Ms Garrett has been doing, she’s a professional officer in the Ministry and I am convinced that the word that was actually used was not done with any malice … I believe that many people are aware of the language we speak in Guyana and you mustn’t try to separate it from the context in which it was used,” he explained.
Granger further argued that other persons have similar slurs and that the practice is quite normal.
“It was only this weekend I saw an article from Ravi Dev referring to ‘Coolie Killings’,” he said, adding that Martin Carter had also written a poem with a word that is often considered derogatory. This poem is “I come from the Nigger Yard”.
Notwithstanding, the President said, “we have to have a campaign to purge of vocabulary of those slurs.”
Screenshots of the conversation, which went viral on social media last month, show Garrett using a racial slur to describe employees at the Ministry. She had immediately deactivated her Facebook account after the screenshots went viral and had stayed away from a number of assignments where she would have normally accompanied the President.
Garrett, in the height of the controversy, had accompanied Granger to the United Nations General Assembly in the New York. She made an appearance with the President on Wednesday during the accreditation of Ambassadors of Austria & Azerbaijan.