At a time where smuggling of contraband has peaked to its highest in recent days, Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan has given his word to increase the salaries of prison officers, in an effort to stamp out corruption in the prisons.The Minister gave this applauded assurance at a recent ceremony at the heels of comments emanating from the Director of Prisons, Gladwin Samuels. According to Samuels, prison officers are being disrespected.“For too long the prison officers have not been given the respect they deserve, while the present remuneration package which can do with some improvement, honourable Minister, I thank Almighty God daily for all the good purpose-driven officers in our midst who continue to work against all odds,” he said.When Minister Ramjattan took to the podium, he said he will make sure the issue of a proper remuneration for prison officers is raised with his fellow lawmakers in Parliament.“There is a lobby, yes we can do with a little bit more salaries, that’s a big lobby and I will behave like a politician here and say ‘yes I promise that will be done’. I must say that it’s (the prison service) probably the most difficult of jobs, especially in the context of salaries that you get. It is difficult…and rest assured, I will, I as Minister am going to make the lobby at the relevant places, Office of the Presidency and especially Minister of Finance, that we have a better day,” he said.His statements come at a time where only recently, the PSC raised concerns about the low wages being received by not only prison officers, but Police Officers in Guyana.According to that body, the low income being received by these Government workers, contributes to them participating in illicit acts to earn an extra dollar.It was recently reported that some 28 prison officers were dismissed after being involved in the smuggling of contraband at the various prisons. A number of illegal weapons and substances have been discovered in recent days.
A mother and her three children are presently homeless after a tree fell and completely wrecked their wooden house at Alliance Road, Timehri, East Bank Demerara.Based on information, the tree which once stood some 50 feet from the house came crashing down during a heavy shower on Sunday at about 12:30h.The completely destroyed houseCindy (only name given), head of the household and her three minor children were all at home when the tragedy struck. Luckily, no one was seriously injured. One of the children sustained a minor cut to her nose and a younger child received lacerations to the hand.When Guyana Times visited the scene, residents were assisting to remove the tree from the fallen house. The house was completely furnished and most of the household items were damaged.The family now homeless after the incidentSpeaking briefly to the media, the confused woman said that she and her children were in the house when she heard a crashing sound and immediately felt the house falling.Up to that point she was not sure what had occurred but it was until she and her children got out of the house that she saw the tree on the house. Only the stairs remained standing.She explained that she checked that her children were safe and by that time neighbours rushed over to render assistance.Cindy could not estimate her loses but related that her house was fully furnished. With Christmas around the corner, the mother of three, who works at a poultry farm in a nearby village to sustain herself and children is uncertain what her next move will be.Villagers have come together to raise the roof of the mangled house in order for her household items can be kept dry. The woman and her children are now staying at a neighbour’s house as others assisted in other ways.