Govt visit to home of woman shot dead on Robb St met with hostility
Relatives cry out for justice

Stabroek News
April 18, 2001

Government functionaries were met with hostility and taunts yesterday when they visited the home of Donna McKinnon who was shot dead on April 9 near Freedom House on Robb Street. The officials eventually left to shouts of "out de place" and "political gimmick."

McKinnon's body was discovered with bullet wounds after a crowd had gathered outside of Freedom House in the wake of the fire which was raging at the time on Regent and Robb streets.

Prime minister-designate Sam Hinds led the way into the yard of the dead woman and was closely followed by ministers of Culture, Youth and Sport and Human Services and Labour, Gail Teixeira and Dr Dale Bisnauth respectively, and Commissioner of Police, Laurie Lewis.

"Why only now? We want justice," were the words that greeted the ears of the arriving government officials from a weeping daughter of McKinnon's, who will be laid to rest today.

The visitors were met on the veranda of the woman's house and the house was surrounding by neighbours and known PNC REFORM members, who all joined in heckling the officials as they attempted to converse with the family members.

Prior to the arrival of the prime minister-designate and others, President of the Guyana Council of Churches, Bishop Juan Edghill arrived at the home and tried to console the grieving family members.

He told them that the Lord would take care of the person who murdered their mother as everyone would have to pay for the sins they committed. He also told them about the death of his father, who, he said, was murdered by an unknown assailant.

"You father death was a mystery, our mother own is not a mystery, they know who kill she," a daughter of the woman said in response.

She told the bishop that she saw the tardiness of the visit by government officials to their home as an insult.

By the time the government officials arrived at 5:30 pm the hostility was palpable and the children and other relatives of the woman were questioning why members of the government were visiting them eight days after her death.

Upon entering the veranda, Teixeira moved forward and was about to say something to the woman's family, but a loud, "we want justice!" from one of the daughters saw the minister pulling back behind her colleagues.