General Secretary of the Opposition People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C), Clement Rohee, has fired back at Police Commissioner Seelall Persaud in light of claims that he (Rohee) had allegedly hindered the training process of police ranks while serving as the Home Affairs Minister under the former PPP/C administration.
Rohee, at a press conference today, vehemently denied ‘ducking’ applications for overseas training of police ranks as claimed by the Top Cop. He is now calling on the Police Commissioner who had served under him and was promoted under his stewardship to publish all details of each rank that had been denied training.
According to the former Minister of Home Affairs, such claims being trumpeted by the Police Commissioner are “inaccurate”, as he sought to point out that there was even one point in time when his ministry had been sending police and other security ranks abroad for training but had failed to publicise this.
Rohee blamed the Guyana Police Force (GPF) for being late in its submission of information that had to be approved by his Ministry before a rank could be sent off for overseas training.
It was further explained that each and every public servant who travels abroad for training would need the approval of Cabinet before they would be allowed to do so. Hence when the GPF submits the necessary information late some ranks are not able to benefit from the foreign funded training programmes, Rohee posited.
Rohee emphasised that there was also a chain of command which had to be followed at his former Ministry and therefore any ‘ducking’ of applications would have been impossible without collusion between himself and the Permanent Secretary (P.S) at the time, Angela Johnson.
Sparks began to fly recently between the former Home Affairs Minister and the Commissioner of Police when Rohee – at a recent press conference – praised the work of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID).
The Top Cop had then responded by accusing Rohee of denying and not allowing police ranks the opportunity of receiving valuable training during his tenure as Home Affairs Minister.
Rohee praised the work of Crime Chief Wendell Blanhum for solving high profile crimes, but implied that the recent successes have put paid to the track record of a former Crime Chief, in what has been seen as a direct reference to the current Commissioner, Seelall Persaud.
But, according to a report published in the Kaieteur News, the Top Cop “spared no words in suggesting that Rohee’s comments are at best, amusing”.
“I am extremely happy that the former Minister is coming out and praising the Police Force. He stepped out from that realm of denial that he was in,” Kaieteur News quoted the Top Cop as saying.
He said that it is no secret that the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) has been performing exceptionally well since the appointment of Blanhum as Crime Chief. This he attributed to the increased high level training of ranks.
But Persaud blamed Rohee for stymieing the training process when he was Home Affairs Minister, even suggesting that Rohee might have been vindictive.
“You know how many fully-funded courses we lost because he (Rohee) didn’t like who was recommended for the course? He did not process them. We needed Cabinet approval to leave the country to attend these courses, and they were all stuck at his Ministry,” Persaud told Kaieteur News.
He said that in many cases he had to be following up requests for approval for overseas training with Rohee, but by the time the approval came, the courses would have already started.