GEORGETOWN, Guyana, June 13, 2021 - Assassination will now be listed as the cause of death on Walter Rodney’s death Certificate. This is the word from Attorney General Anil Nandlall who told the National Assembly that the government has decided to amend the cause of death on Dr. Walter Rodney’s death certificate.
Nandlall told the National Assembly that forty one years ago, the cause of death listed on Dr. Walter Rodney’s death certificte was “misadventure,” and that will now be changed to “assassination”.
On 13 June 1980, Rodney, a historian and leader of the WPA party, was sitting in his car outside the Georgetown Prison, when he was killed in a bomb blast. At the time, he was 38 years old. The government of the day claimed that Rodney was making an attempt to break out prisoners when a bomb that he had in his possession detonated.
However, Rodney’s family as well as the Opposition maintained that he was assassinated by the regime and that the bomb was planted in a radio provided by a sergeant in the Guyana Defence Force.
According to the findings of the Walter Rodney Commission of Inquiry, Walter Rodney was assassinated by the Guyanese State on June 13, 1980. The conclusions reached by the three-person panel of eminent Caribbean Jurists were handed over in the final report into his murder to the Presidency of Guyana on February 9, 2016.
The Presidential Commission of Inquiry which was announced on June 13, 2013 arose in the context and background of the unanimous resolution passed by the Guyanese parliament on June 29, 2005.
According to the report, “In the end it is clear to us that the police were unprofessional, extremely inefficient in turning a blind eye to the obvious, or deliberately botched the investigation in Dr. Rodney’s killing or were complicit with others, including the GDF in hiding or shielding Gregory Smith from facing the brunt of the law for having murdered Dr. Walter Rodney” (WRCOI Report: 142).
Attorney General Nandlall told the National Assembly that the Government will be honouring Walter Rodney’s legacy and his family’s wishes to set the record straight on his death.
“For too long, Dr. Walter Rodney’s death has been the subject of an irreverent misdescription. It was not a misadventure. It was an assassination. A great stain on our Republic.