July 1, 2021
For Immediate Release to All Media
By Khemraj Ramjattan, M.P. Leader of the AFC
STATEMENT ON POLICE SERVICE COMMISSION
The AFC notes with increasing worry the PPP Government’s stretching of the limits of legal
constraint,the flouting of the Constitution and the undermining of the norms of democratic government in its recent collision course with the Police Service Commission (PSC).
It was for good reason why the framers of the Constitution saw it fit to have such an independent entity as the PSC determine questions of promotions, disciplining and removal of officers of the Guyana Police Force, namely Inspector to Assistant Commissioner.
It insulates the operations of that institution of law and order from political interference.
What the country has seen in the past days is flagrant attempts to instruct the Commissioners as to how to do its job and who to promote. This is disgraceful conduct and another instance of the dismantling of the guardrails of democracy.
Additionally, what was seen is the crude, unconstitutional attempt at suspending two Commissioners of the PSC when those Commissioners stoically stood up to an ill-advised President.
The AFC maintains that fabricated charges is never a basis for suspension of Commissioners. The Constitution provides a special procedure for suspension, which clearly was never adhered to as posited so articulately by the Commissioners’ Attorney, Mr Selwyn Peters.
The AFC asserts that once the way was made clear by the Chief Justice making her ruling in the Brutus et al application, the Commissioners had every right and power to proceed with the performance of their duty to promote who they thought fit and proper. Though our Attorney General, who has a penchant to hear himself, may not like it, he must appreciate that on this specific, limited issue of promotion of officers as listed on 28th June by the Police Service Commission, these Commissioners are indeed the “judge, jury and executioner” on that matter. It is certainly not the President as he outrageously submits.
The AFC wishes to congratulate those officers who were duly promoted, and exhort them to preserve professionalism in extremely challenging times. They must stand tall like Paul and ensure their promotions are not voided by the Government in any manner whatsoever, whether by coercion or fear. If needs be, they must vindicate these promotions by Court rulings. These promotions are perfectly in order, made by a PSC which was properly constituted and cannot be countermanded by anyone, inclusive of the President.
THE PERNICIOUS PATTERN OF RACIALISED PERSECUTION BY PPP
The Alliance For Change, AFC, notes the dangerously troubling development of racialised persecution by the PPP Government directed at Black people, generally; and, those perceived to be its opponents, particularly.
Since coming into Government in August 2020, a noticeably large number of Afro Guyanese have borne the brunt of terminations and dismissals from State institutions, with an immediate notification for vacancies in the said institutions. This is but a purging of a section of our community from employment. This displacement and replacement certainly will create dangerous resentment.
The baseless and hollow claim of Haitians being involved in human trafficking in Guyana as the reason for a visa conditionality, reveals a pattern of racialised persecution of human beings from a poor Caricom country.
The recent discriminatory practice of distribution of hampers and monetary relief to the exclusion of a section of our population is well recorded. Many of those excluded are Afro Guyanese.
Moreover, the shamelessly unjustified prosecution of Afro Guyanese, with the sole purpose to character assassinate, vilify and demonise, does not bode well for Guyana. This continues presently at GECOM. Already the legal consultant has suffered a forced removal as was the Chief Accountant.
The PPP should be warned that this tribal governance will jeopardise the existence of Guyana as we know it. If the PPP does not know, it should take note of a seething anger that is brewing which, aggravated by the Covid-19 and flooding, can be further exacerbated by consequential rising food prices and unemployment.