Rohee debunks Seelall’s claims that he hindered Police training

General Secretary (GS) of the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Clement Rohee, on Monday debunked accusations by Police Commissioner Seelall Persaud that during his tenure as Minister of Home Affairs he hindered the training process of police ranks.

Rohee during a press conference, vehemently denied the Commissioner’s claims that he hindered the processing of applications for overseas training of police ranks by ‘ducking’ the documents. According to the GS, during his tenure as Minister, a number of ranks were sent abroad to receive training; however, these were poorly publicised.

“It’s totally inaccurate and I debunked it and I said it is a falsehood because we were sending a lot of people abroad. I turned one day to the Permanent Secretary and said, ‘you know, we’re sending all these people abroad and we’re not publicising it’. And we agreed that every time a police rank or a group of Police ranks travel abroad to participate in scholarships or whatever the case might be, we would publicise it. And this is what we were doing… issuing press statement after press statement and some were appearing while some were not appearing because some media houses didn’t want the PPP to look good. They were not publishing it, they suffocated it. But if you go back, you’ll find a lot of press statements revealing police ranks going abroad for training by the Ministry,” he stated.

He said a review of publications and Police records would prove there were numerous occasions when police ranks were sent abroad for training. He urged the Commissioner to prove his allegations, saying the allegations are ‘total falsehood’. “If Mr Persaud is serious about what he is saying, he should go into the records of the force headquarters and publish all of those fully funded scholarships that were ‘ducked’ at the Ministry of Home Affairs. So it’s not true, it’s a total falsehood,” Rohee related.

The former minister also explained that on several occasions, the slothfulness of Police officials in responding to invitations for training, and sending them to the Ministry for processing resulted in the invitations being processed too late.

“Sometimes, the invitation would come late to the Police, then they have to select a person, and sometimes they would ‘sit’ on the invitation. In either of the two cases, the information would come late to the Ministry of Home Affairs. The Ministry would now have to prepare a Cabinet paper to go to Cabinet for approval…. as no public servant can leave the country without Cabinet approval. And it’s also a question of the advances that has to be given to them in order to facilitate their travel. In the case where it’s fully funded, the Cabinet still approves some money for them to leave the country, and these things take time. And if the invitation came late, it would obviously get caught up in that situation,” Rohee pointed out.

He also rubbished claims that he ducked the invitations and applications because he had a personal dislike of the ranks whose names were submitted for training.