Gov’t to decide fate of Top Cop, new PSC to be announced in December
Head of State, President David Granger has made it clear that Commissioner of Police, Seelall Persaud was not sent on administrative leave but was instructed to continue “enjoy” the leave he has accumulated.
Speaking on the sidelines of an event today at State House, the President said that a decision will be made about the Top Cop when he returns to work, noting that there is nothing “abnormal” about his case.
“So in this case, all we did, we insisted that the leave that was due to Mr Seelall Persaud be enjoyed; rather than having it piecemeal, we said let him take his leave and at the end of that leave, we will decide how we go forward but right now there is nothing abnormal or irregular about Mr Persaud going on leave. The leave is due to him, he is not being sent on administrative leave, he is enjoying vacation leave to which he is entitled,” President Granger told reporters.
The Commissioner of Police was slated to return to work on November 24th after four months of vacation leave but he never reached Eve Leary, instead, he was asked to visit the Ministry of Public Security to collect a letter from Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan.
That letter instructed Persaud to proceed on “special leave” until further notice in the interest of the public so as to allow for the continuation of initiatives and innovations being pursued by the Guyana Police Force’s “Temporary administration.”
The President reiterated that the APNU+AFC administration is not in favour of persons being paid in lieu of their leave.
“From the time the Coalition assumed office, we made it clear that we did not support the practice which existed in the past for public officers to accumulate huge amounts of leave and then sometimes, request payment in lieu of leave and in the case of the Acting Police Commissioner, Mr Seelall Persaud, and in the case of every other public servant, we said that public servants must enjoy their leave when it is due and this encourages the development of a good career system in which the subordinates are allowed to act,” the President said.
POLICE SERVICE COMMISSION
As it relates to the ruling by Chief Justice (ag) Roxane George-Wiltshire that the government acted unconstitutionally in blocking the Police Service Commission (PSC) from promoting officers within the Guyana Police Force (GPF), the Head of State said that the administration remains respectful of High Court rulings.
“We always wait for the written ruling, not that we distrust the press, but sometimes you know people may get things wrong, when we get the written ruling, there will be a formal response.”
He justified government’s action by noting that State security was at risk.
“The government of Guyana is deeply concerned about State security and we would have been failing in our duty if we ignored the warnings which came to us in a very direct manner that State security was being imperiled, it was being jeopardized by certain actions, so there was a question of necessity on the part of the government of Guyana and as I said, I’d like to iterate that we are respectful of the Honourable Chief Justice’s rulings and that we will examine carefully, the written ruling when it comes to us,” the President said.
The life of the PSC has since expired and according to the President, an announcement will be made in December as government is serious about filling its constitutional offices.