President ‘concerned’ about Broomes’ actions, says she can be dealt with politically
Admitting that there has been a delay in addressing the matter, President David Granger says Junior Minister of Natural Resources, Simona Broomes will be dealt with “politically within the party to which she belongs” following what is now popularised as the “parking lot scandal.”
Minister Broomes came under fire after she allegedly misrepresented the facts in a situation at the Amazonia Mall, Providence, East Bank Demerara (EBD) which led to two security guards being arrested and detained for 16 hours after she claimed 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.
But the Head-of-State told reporters that the minister committed no crime, as found by a police investigation into the matter.
When asked whether he believes Minister Broomes’ actions were a breach of the Code of Conduct for Officials in Public Life, the President stated: “whether there was a breach of the code, that is another matter and that could be dealt with politically within the party to which she belongs”.
When further pressed on the matter, President Granger said: “yes, I was concerned with the reports of the alleged behaviour of Minister Simona Broomes and as I said … it will be handled within the party to which she belongs.”
The Code of Conduct, which was gazetted under the signature of Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo in 2017, 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”.
Chairman of the PNC/R, Volda Lawrence had apologized to one of the security guards.
When in Opposition, the PNC/R had strongly advocated for public officials to conduct themselves in accordance to certain principles. In fact, the Party was in the forefront calling for former Minister of Health Dr Bheri Ramsarran to be sanctioned for inappropriate behaviour.
Dr Ramsarran was eventually fired for threatening to “slap and strip” a female activist in an altercation caught on video outside a Magistrate’s court.