Agriculture Minister Clarence Rambharat’s family visit to the shooting range of the Police Academy once more unveils the obsession of government ministers with personal security while the rest of the society remains unprotected from rampaging criminals.
While law-abiding citizens of Trinidad and Tobago are living in fear of the horrendous gun culture that has overtaken the country, Government Ministers are recklessly abusing their respective offices.
The gun training of Mr. Rambharat and his wife is a perpetration of the culture of “Armygate”, in which Attorney General Faris Al Rawi took his adolescent children to the Army’s private shooting range at Camp Cumuto for a carefree expedition with high-powered weapons.
The administration of the Police Service must heed the recommendation of the Social and Welfare Association for an urgent and independent investigation into the shooting practice by the Rambharat family.
The enquiry must reveal who granted permission for the activity by the Minister and his wife at a sensitive and private site, to which civilians are not usually allowed.
This probe must not be fettered by the interference of Government officials and attempts to compromise senior officers, as was done with respect to “Armygate.”
With Mr. Rambharat’s revelation that he visits the shooting range “from time to time”, the country must be provided with full disclosure of all Government Ministers and family members who access this facility.
Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley must indicate whether there is an official policy that permits such shooting practice and the Army’s Chief of Defence Staff Captain Hayden Pritchard must reveal pertinent details of this service to Government Ministers.
I am shocked that someone who is a Minister does not know that he is a civilian. What he wanted to say is that as a Minister he has more authority than civilians. This is a frightening revelation by a Cabinet Minister.