Mukeisha Maynard

Mukeisha Maynard

ACTIVIST Nazma Muller has called on Government to “put babies before buildings”, following the killing last Sunday of 8-year-old Mukeisha Maynard, by the child’s father.

In an open leter yesterday to Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, Muller called on him to “act immediately to strengthen the child protection unit of the police service and to take serious measures to ensure that the children of Trinidad and Tobago are not living in fear and poverty”.

“It cannot and will not be business as usual. The Prime Minister cannot and will not be allowed to continue spending money on buildings, like the proposed billion-dollar Tobago terminal, while children die because the system has failed them,” stated Muller, a vocal activist in the push to decrimianalise marijuana as, among other aims, a measure against social inequality.

“Mr Rowley must make the safety of the children at risk and who are being abused his most important priority right now. We will not tolerate any more abuse when the government clearly has money to fund better social services. He has not indicated how he intends to address the killings of women and children.”

Maynard, who was said to have special needs as a result of being hit on the head as a baby by her father, died following a beating with a cutlass by the man, Michael Maynard.

The older Maynard was later found hanged, by his own hand, a short distance from the family’s small Kelly Village home. Maynard’s body was discovered by Mukeisha’s ten-year-old brother.

The girl and her brother lived with Maynard, with the children’s mother later telling the media that she had left the home years before due to domestic violence.

The girl’s death prompted calls from organisations and activist concerned withe welfare of women and children for Government’s social services arms to be more proactive, particularly towards children living in rural areas and in poverty.

Muller has announced her intention to protest for better systems to support the country’s children, starting outside Whitehall at the Queen’s Park Savannah today, from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.

“I will be protesting outside his office from tomorrow and every week day until he funds shelters, social workers and support services for the most vulnerable citizens of our country - the children,” Muller stated.