PRIME Minister Dr Keith Rowley yesterday condemned the murder of Parliament employee Mariana Moonisar.
The 28-year-old Moonisar was murdered in Couva last Friday. Her father Roopchan “Chippy” Moonisar is a United National Congress (UNC) activist. He too was shot and injured, and was released from hospital, yesterday.
Dr Rowley declared, “This is yet another act of disgraceful behaviour on the part of the lawless criminal minority perpetuated against defenceless law abiding citizens. “
He urged all law-abiding citizens to “band together and ensure that whoever engages in this kind of outrageous activity is identified and made to feel the full brunt of the law.”
Extending his condolences to Moonisar’s family, the PM said, “I have a clear understanding of the pain and suffering being felt, especially by family and friends and the wider national community.” Rowley gave the assurance that “ the Government will continue to have state agencies work tirelessly to overcome this scourge which is plaguing our nation.
Commissioner of Police (CoP) designate Gary Griffith, responding to a call by UNC deputy leader David Lee to investigate Moonisar’s murder, said he cannot.
Contacted by Newsday, Griffith said, “I have no authority to become involved in any investigation or matter until I am actually appointed. “
Griffith, who is currently out of the country, added the only powers he now has are those of any law-abiding citizen. The House of Representatives approved Griffith’s nomination for CoP last Monday.
Acting CoP Stephen Williams is expected to go on ten days’ leave from Wednesday.
This means that his intended date of departure from the Police Service has been pushed back to September 19 when he will officially go on pre-retirement.
Last week, National Security Minister Edmund Dillon was unable to say when the negotiations will begin for Griffith’s contract as CoP.
He assured that it will be done over a reasonable period of time so that the Griffith could be in office and begin his duties. There was no update yesterday from any government officials regarding Griffith’s contract. At a news conference at the Opposition Leader’s Office, yesterday, Lee said, “Crime is right on our doorstep. It is right now in Parliament. It is touching us.”
He called on Dillon, Griffith and Williams to “solve the crime that is going on.”
Recalling the passage of anti-gang legislation recently in Parliament, Lee reiterated the Opposition’s question about “what is the result of this anti-gang legislation that we passed unanimously with the Government.” Lee claimed there was a lot of legislation to make a dent on crime but “yet we are not seeing the effort being made.” He extended the Opposition’s condolences to Moonisar’s family.