See full release from the Office of the Leader of the Opposition regarding President Dr Irfaan Ali’s announcement of a CoI into the devastating Mahdia fire:

We welcome the government’s positive response to the call for the establishment of a Commission of Inquiry to investigate the tragic incident that occurred last Sunday night, resulting in the heartbreaking loss of 18 schoolgirls and one boy in the Mahdia Secondary School dormitory fire. Such a commission must be independent and comprise persons who have the respect of all stakeholders so that the findings are credible and acceptable to all.

We firmly advocate for the establishment of a commission that has reputable national and international members. We firmly assert that the establishment of such an Inquiry, with agreed terms of reference put together by the Government, Opposition, and other relevant stakeholders, is essential in the aftermath of the tragic fire at the Mahdia Secondary School dormitory. This collaborative effort will ensure a fair and comprehensive investigation.

The Commission of Inquiry must be tasked not only with investigating the specific incident at the Mahdia dormitory but also with examining all school dormitories across Guyana. The aim is to assess whether proper safety standards are in place to guarantee the safety and well-being of our children. It is imperative that the Commission evaluates the structural integrity, fire safety measures, emergency exits, and overall compliance with relevant regulations in these facilities and to recommend changes where necessary, inter alia. We have prepared some draft terms of reference that we are prepared to discuss with all stakeholders.

The aim is to foster a transparent, inclusive, and thorough inquiry that upholds the principles of transparency, accountability, justice, prevention, and adequate compensation. It is crucial that all stakeholders work together in constructing the terms of reference to ensure a truly impartial and comprehensive investigation by the Commission of Inquiry.


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