By NAN Staff Writer
News Americas, BELMOPAN, Belize, Fri. June 11, 2021: Guyana scholar and founder of the Working Peoples Alliance, (WPA), party, Dr. Walter Rodney, is set to be given the credit he truly deserves in his homeland, nearly 41 years after his assassination.
The Guyana Peoples Progressive Party/Civic government and its Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall, on Thursday announced that it will honor Dr. Rodney by correcting his death certificate to read ‘Professor’ instead of “unemployed” and reinstating The Walter Rodney Chair at the University of Guyana. The government is also set to make his gravesite a national monument.
AG Nandlall said the actions follow a request by Rodney’s family, his wife, children and brother, to bring a level of closure.
Rodney was killed on June 13, 1980, by a bomb that had been placed in his car. He was 38 at the time of his death. His brother, Donald Rodney, who was injured in the explosion, said that a sergeant in the Guyana Defence Force, named Gregory Smith, had given Walter the bomb that killed him. After the killing, Smith fled to French Guiana, where he died in 2002.
In April this year, the Court of Appeal, set aside the conviction that linked the 69-year-old Donald Rodney to the assassination of his brother.
The Court of Appeal also set aside the 18-month sentence for possession of explosives against Rodney, said to have been the only eyewitness to assassination of his brother, who was the co-leader of the Working People’s Alliance (WPA).
In 2014, a Commission of Inquiry declared that Rodney’s death was not a misadventure but rather an assassination and Attorney General Nandalal also told legislators in parliament Thursday that the death certificate will be amended to delete the words ‘’misadventure’’ as the cause of death.
Nandlall told the National Assembly that one of the greatest tragedies from Rodney’s death is the loss of his scholarship to the people of Guyana. He said the books he wrote will be placed on the national syllabus by the Ministry of Education and in the hands of primary and secondary school students across Guyana.
Additionally, his other major works, including, “A History of the Guyanese Working People,” “Guyanese Sugar Plantations in the late Nineteenth Century,” and “How Europe Underdeveloped Africa,” shall be made available to the library of the University of Guyana.
The Walter Rodney Chair at the University of Guyana will also be re-established, Nandlall said, adding that every effort will be made to remove and expunge all public records that intimate any level of guilt or wrongdoing by Dr. Rodney in relation to the June 13, 1980 bombing.
“We have already begun and will continue our efforts to secure the record of the 2014 Commission of Inquiry. Those records will be digitized by our National Archives, recently renamed the Walter Rodney National Archives,” he added.