Ex­ec­u­tive dik­tat over the po­lice force

Weekend Mirror - - EDITORIAL -

Dear Ed­i­tor,

Of

late the na­tion has heard a lot of noise about "se­ri­ous de­fi­cien­cies" in the Guyana Po­lice Force.

The noise is com­ing from State House and a few im­promptu stand-up press in­ter­views when­ever the me­dia man­ages to but­ton­hole the prin­ci­pal source of the noises - Pres­i­dent Granger.

A few oth­ers who were once in the GPF and who pre­tended to be sup­port­ive of suc­ces­sive PPP/C ad­min­is­tra­tions but have since been put out to pas­ture at 55 are now act­ing up in an ef­fort to be­come the 'Come Back Kids'. They write in glow­ing terms about the Granger ad­min­is­tra­tion's han­dling of the Guyana Po­lice Force.

Mr. Granger is un­happy with some in the GPF be­cause he was ad­vised that those who were in charge of in­ves­ti­gat­ing a plot to as­sas­si­nate him did not do so to his per­sonal sat­is­fac­tion. So he is now go­ing af­ter them.

He has opted to is­sue the 'strong' rec­om­men­da­tions in the Slowe Re­port em­a­nat­ing from the Pres­i­den­tial Com­mis­sion of In­quiry as the ca­sus beli. The en­tire af­fair reeks of a per­sonal vendetta and has noth­ing to do with Po­lice re­form as we shall see.

From all in­di­ca­tions, it ap­pears that the in­ten­tion is to cam­ou­flage ex­ec­u­tive dik­tat as po­lice re­form in an ef­fort to dupe the Guyanese peo­ple as well as the diplo­matic and donor com­mu­nity.

The govern­ment should pub­lish both the Slowe and the Combe Re­ports for the na­tion to see for it­self and to de­ter­mine whether the ac­tions con­tem­plated by the Pres­i­dent are re­flec­tive of gen­uine ef­forts at po­lice re­form or whether the ac­tions are per­sonal and vin­dic­tive be­cause of his per­sonal dis­sat­is­fac­tion with the way some se­nior ranks dealt with a con­coc­tion about as­sas­si­nat­ing him.

Criss-cross­ing Guyana no one has taken se­ri­ously the chat­ter about an at­tempted as­sas­si­na­tion on Mr Granger's life. In fact, many claim it is ei­ther a dis­trac­tion or a desk top fab­ri­ca­tion as a means of get­ting at some se­nior ranks who re­gret­tably, be­came vic­tims of a hos­tile whis­per­ing cam­paign by the vic­tims own col­leagues who are known to be sup­port­ive of ei­ther the APNU or AFC and be­gan act­ing dif­fer­ently since the change in govern­ment.

At the end of the day, the real ques­tion is do we want a GPF or a GPF? Mean­ing, a Guyana Po­lice Force or a Granger Po­lice Force.

In the case of the for­mer, it is the peo­ple through their con­sti­tu­tional ar­range­ments who must de­cide. Any in­sti­tu­tion that is na­tional in char­ac­ter and bears the name GUYANA must be de­cided by the Guyanese peo­ple. Guyana be­longs to the Guyanese peo­ple not to any sin­gle in­di­vid­ual.

In the case of the lat­ter, the im­pli­ca­tion of mov­ing in that di­rec­tion is that we will bear wit­ness to the re­mod­el­ing of the Guyana Po­lice Force in Mr. Granger's own im­age and to the lik­ing of his party.

Loy­alty to the Con­sti­tu­tion will no longer be a ba­sic pre­req­ui­site. On the con­trary, it will be loy­alty to the Pres­i­dent and his party which will take us back to the days when the head of the army swore loy­alty to Forbes Burn­ham, Leader of the PNC at a party congress.

What kind of po­lice force do the Guyanese peo­ple want and who de­cides?

In 20014, the PPP/C laid a Bill in the Na­tional Assem­bly call­ing for the Guyana Po­lice Force to be re­named the Guyana Po­lice Ser­vice. The call was made as part and par­cel of a raft of re­forms for the Guyana Po­lice Force ini­ti­ated un­der the PPP/C ad­min­is­tra­tion in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the GPF.

The APNU+ AFC re­jected the Bill on the ground that they would not sup­port any Bill brought to the House in the name of the then Min­is­ter of Home Af­fairs, it was clear there­fore that re­jec­tion of the Bill was po­lit­i­cal and not based on any tech­ni­cal or ma­te­rial con­sid­er­a­tion.

It was ob­vi­ous to many since that time, that Mr. Granger had con­ceived his own plans for the GPF.

How­ever, his plans were par­tially and tem­po­rar­ily thwarted as a re­sult of the horse trad­ing be­tween the APNU+AFC with re­spect to the al­lo­ca­tion of min­istries be­tween the par­ties in the coali­tion re­sult­ing in the Min­istry of Home Af­fairs go­ing to the AFC.

Grad­u­ally how­ever, the PNC via the APNU and the Min­istry of the Pres­i­dency has, in a cal­cu­lated man­ner, inched its way into Min­istry of Pub­lic Se­cu­rity (MOPS) pol­icy mak­ing arena and Force head­quar­ters op­er­a­tional mat­ters.

Now with war de­clared on the GPF's hi­er­ar­chy, the die is cast with re­spect to the ex­pected 'shakeup' at the GPF's se­nior man­age­ment level .

The AFC has lost out once again to the whims and fan­cies of the APNU work­ing qthrough the Min­istry of the Pres­i­dency. Ram­jat­tan's le­gal au­thor­ity over the GPF has been eroded once again.

The ex­pected "shake up" within the GPF will strengthen the APNU's po­lit­i­cal hand within the Min­istry of Pub­lic Se­cu­rity and by ex­ten­sion the Guyana Po­lice Force.

All the chat­ter about po­lice re­form there­fore will re­main mere chat­ter.

Yours faith­fully, Clement J. Ro­hee

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