On leave Gajraj not barred from visiting ministry - Luncheon
Stabroek News
July 8, 2004

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On leave, Home Affairs Minister Ronald Gajraj is not barred from visiting his ministry, the Office of the President or Parliament to pursue issues as a citizen, or in his capacity as a Member of Parliament.

Cabinet Secretary Dr Roger Luncheon, at his weekly press briefing yesterday, said it was not his understanding that some functions of the minister are to be stayed during his period of leave.

However the PNCR, at its weekly press conference yesterday, said it was obvious to all that Gajraj's presence at the ministry on Tuesday was to conduct a heads of services meeting, despite President Bharrat Jagdeo's announcement that the minister had proceeded on leave as of Thursday last.

The party demanded an urgent explanation as to his exact role during the period of the proposed inquiry.

Luncheon said that while not being privy to matters pertaining to the minister's leave, he was sure the visit was not in performance of ministerial duties, which are currently being discharged by Prime Minister Samuel Hinds.

Gajraj proceeded on leave last week to facilitate a presidential commission of inquiry into allegations of his involvement with a death squad.

The PNCR said it was specifically for this reason that it had demanded that Gajraj demit office to ensure there is no possibility of interference in the inquiry. According to the party, the President owes the nation a full explanation of the exact nature of Gajraj's involvement at this time.