President’s Publicity Officer Summons Presidential Security to Monitor Reporters
The President’s publicity officer Kwame McCoy came dressed in Red and created quite a stir at this morning’s Post Cabinet Press briefing as he summoned Presidential Security to keep a watch on the members of the media after Kaieteur News and Capitol News reporter Neil Marks raised several questions about that Barbershop Computer supply contract that the administration has been trying to defend over the past couple of days.
The Press Conference was hosted by Cabinet Secretary Dr Roger Luncheon and the Education Minister Shaik Baksh on the same day that the education ministry took out ads in the Stabroek News, Guyana Times and the Guyana Chronicle to not only defend its awarding of the 300 Million dollar contract to a company that has provided false addresses for its offices but to also try to debunk the story first raised by the Kaieteur News.
At today’s briefing moderated by Kwame McCoy, Marks was seeking further clarification on several issues relating to the contract when McCoy decided he could take it no more and called for back up in the form of a presidential guard. He signaled to. When Marks tried again to raise his questions, McCoy ended the briefing.
As Dr Luncheon made his way out of the press briefing he told Neil Marks that security was called in as a Pre emptive action against the reporter since he thought his questioning was confrontational.
The Guyana Press Association in a statement today said it is appalled that the Office of the President resorted to intimidating tactics at a Press Conference hosted by State Officials. The tactics of the use of a Presidential Guard as pre-emptive action are scary and an om-in-ous sign of things to come. It is particularly disturbing the GPA said when the Government of Democratic Guyana (GOD-G) and the Ruling Party the PPP have dubbed certain section of the Guyanese media as ‘hostile media’.
The Press association added that it deplores these actions as the GOD-G officials are in fact servants of the people and custodians of the People’s trust. The statement further said it is becoming clearer that in this election year the ruling party, the PPP and the Government are both becoming hostile to the private media with their onslaught of falsehoods and accusations of imbalance. The GPA rejects this latest attack on local journalists as outlandish and despicable.
The association said the banning of the GPA president from State House and the Office of the President, the labeling of media houses, the withdrawal of ads, the pressure brought on TV and other media houses, the introduction of the Broadcast and Access to Information bills with gross limitations speak to a State apparatus that has moved from the Good to the Bad and now teetering on being Ugly.