BY now it should be clear that the Attorney General’s office in any national Guyanese government is occupied with predominantly the legislative and constitutional arguments that develop in parliament in relation to mainly the political protection and sanctity between government and opposition. While most of the disruptive conflicts that are part of the daily woes that have the potential to be life-changing and also with fatal consequences do not reach parliament, or even arouse debates as to the determined possibilities for its frequencies. With this said, the case study for the observation that we have become accustomed to, though we should not, with this article, is the frequency of ‘arsons’ directed it would appear, as a tool to liquidate business competition and disruptions between businesses and as a conclusion to domestic conflicts, we dare not deny that arson is a national affliction.
Some time ago without reaching too far out, I enquired about a fire that was publicly deemed arson in a ward of Georgetown. Some friends of the accused decided to tell me the cause, it seemed that the couple came together as normal but her family mainly females and self-appointed guardians whispered certain things to her that resulted in his name being left out of the title of the property/land. Upon discovering this, a dispute emerged that led to the conclusion to ‘bun de #*+ house down’ many elder children mostly male are taken out of school early to become surrogate providers, leaving them almost illiterate. As it is with humans we tend to postpone the seriousness of events, however close to us as exaggerated and with the creole placebo-”It ent suh bad, ‘e’ jus mekking it sound suh” well here’re some reflections; 1-Woman jailed for 13 years for husband’s fiery death -Stab. March 5, 2010: 2- Three die in arson attack-Stab. May 10, 2006: 3- Jilted man charged with arson murders-GNNL May 13, 2006: 4- Miner set afire by wife-doused with gasoline while melting gold-Stab. June 27, 2011: 5- Raging fire, chilling bones found-Corentyne murder-GNNL July 17, 2004: 6- Former boxer burnt to death in suspected arson-Stab. March 23, 2012: 7- Charlestown fire claims four lives-including three children- Stab. Sept.30, 2012-[this incident I have knowledge of] 8- Property dispute eyed in Regent Street fire-Kaieteur April 3, 2012: 9- Region 5 farmer suspects arson-Kaiet. Sept. 14, 2017: 10- Suspected Lombard St. arson leaves two dozen homeless -Stab. March 3, 2019: 11- One man carried out arson attack on human rights centre-witness-Stab, July 29, 2020: 12- Mother, six children homeless after suspected arson at Charity-Stab. May 7, 2019.
These 12 incidents are taken from literary dozens, into hundreds, over the years indicated, they represent individuals trying to steal properties from unrepresented citizens with legitimate prescriptive rights positions, domestic disputes, as with number seven, a man’s house was sold by a Bank, (this matter was brought before the ERC) while he was paying a loan his mother had taken. The buyer decided to evict residents and the rest is tragic history. If arson in Guyana does not require very special attention, then what does? Then there is the less tragic but an infliction of mental torment. Whether you own a house or is in some form of family dispute, and need to ‘Move’ may have to be dealt with, and as there are no registered association of movers, so you take a guy with a truck, and after the moving is done you commence the unpacking and realise that the box with the new reserved curtains is gone, along with it, an electric iron still in its original box, when did it happen? Well, in the confusion with not too much tabulating as to what went in which trip, anything is possible, and a very fluid space to shuffle possibilities and create doubts about what went wrong, even if you need to make an accusation, so afterwards you explore, ask persons who had moved here and there, and similar stories arise, with too many similarities, but the anxieties of the process involved with a moving family will create the right-vulnerable mood if you’re unsuspecting, with predatory recruited movers. However there’s a wide section of families who’ve punished to what seems to be a clandestine criminal code of extracting incentives from families, the only group exempted from this would be the youthful and older resolved ‘Bachelor boys’ and girls’ who travel with hands-on trappings, regularising these services are important. In closing, every home should also have a contracts book [I’ve thought of designing this] the contracts would have to be legalised to facilitate the numerous repairmen and solitary contractors that now traverse our townships, professing this or that competence, without a professional directory as I had discussed with the late Mel Sankies so many years ago.
Such a legal facility will resemble the ‘Legal Aid’ but with the thoroughness of the ‘Drug Court’ with its own research and enabling authority, but with the former two in existence and a significant plus to our vulnerable humanity, there is indeed evidence cited in this article that a Public Legal Affairs Centre –P.L.A.C should be constituted, collaborated across the political ‘no man’s land’ to serve areas that for too long have remained unattended, because of the weight of its social contentions, so to find for such contentions, at last, a functional place of resolve.