I was horrified by what I heard from a sitting Member of Parliament, in reference to his fellow opposition Members of Parliament, some of whom are former government ministers. This, not-so-subtle reference to opposition MPs and former government ministers was, for some reason missed by the Speaker. That there was no rebuke, from the Speaker or any other MP suggests that our parliamentary standards have changed for the worse. MP Shuman – in his presentation made the point that citizens “look up” to parliamentarians. If this, therefore, is his standard for the citizenry, we are obviously in trouble.
Mr. Shuman accused the APNU+AFC government, specifically its four Indigenous ministers, of failing to take the Upper Mazaruni land case to the cabinet. This case has, for the past twenty-three years been engaging the High Court. It has not yet been determined. In 2015 Vice President Sydney Allicock offered to open a conversation on the matter of land titling with the Upper Mazaruni District Council. The leaders, as is their right, made it clear that they prefer to await the determination of their court application.
Mr. Shuman, in his address to the National Assembly of the Parliament of Guyana, openly declared a striking lack of knowledge of a very important Indigenous Rights issue. Further, he was critical of the Granger Administration for not allowing the Executive, at the level of Cabinet, to interfere with the work of the Judiciary! At minimum, one expects a Parliamentarian to understand and respect the doctrine of the separation of powers.