Broomes parking lot fiasco for Cabinet discussion today – Harmon

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Approximately one month after Minister within the Ministry of Natural Resources, Simona Broomes and her driver were engaged in a confrontation with two security guards, the Government is yet to say whether the public official will be reprimanded for her actions.

The junior Minister came under fire after she misrepresented the facts in a situation at the Amazonia Mall, Providence, East Bank Demerara (EBD) which led to the guards being arrested and detained for 16 hours after she claimed that they pointed a gun in her direction.

Video footage later showed that the Minister and her driver attempted to park in a “no parking zone”, aggressively removed a “no parking sign” and were hostile towards the security officers.

The Government was supposed to discuss the matter at Cabinet last week but Minister of State, Joseph Harmon said the issue did not come up.

“There was some additional information that surfaced after the last time we spoke and that information the police will be analyzing,” Minister Harmon told reporters Monday at a post-cabinet press briefing.

Minister Harmon presumed that the matter will be discussed at today’s Cabinet meeting.

Nonetheless, he suspected that the Minister was already engaged by the Government on the incident. He told reporters “all ministers that have been engaged in any matter, there is interviews and consultations done.”

Asked whether the matter will be discussed on the basis of the Code of Conduct, Minister Harmon posited “based on what I have seen it might be well outside of the contemplation of that document”.

The Code of Conduct, which was gazetted under the signature of Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo last year, states that “a person in public life shall, in the execution of his or her official functions, conduct themselves in a manner which engenders the respect of their peers and the public.”

It also states that “a person in public life owes a duty to the public and shall consider themselves servants of the people.”

Observers are of the view that Minister Broomes violated the Code of Conduct. When the security guards were initially arrested, the Minister was very vocal on the matter and claimed that her life was threatened.

However, after video footage surfaced showing otherwise, the Minister went mum and when pressed on the matter, she simply stated: “I don’t know what you’re talking about”.

Other Government Ministers have been cautious in expressing their views on the matter.

A police investigation conducted into the incident recommended that no criminal charges be laid against any of the individuals involved in the altercation.

However, there are reports that the security guards had their firearm licenses revoked.

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