Rohee upset over scrapping of Strategic Management Dept

– slams Top Cop for opposing Police reform


By Devina Samaroo

Government’s plan to scrap the Strategic Management Department (SDM) has clearly ruffled the feathers of former Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee who has since accused Police Commissioner Seelall Persaud of besmirching his character, denigrating the efficacy of the SMD, and disrespecting a PPP/C Cabinet decision.

Former Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee
Former Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee
Commissioner Seelall Persaud
Commissioner Seelall Persaud

The SMD was established in May 2013, based on recommendations by UK-based CapitalSymmonds Consultancy Firm, to oversee the implementation of the Guyana Police Force’s 2013-2017 Strategic Plan.
However, according to media reports, the Police Commissioner indicated that the SMD had outlived its usefulness, so moves were afoot to bring a halt to its operations.
Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan later confirmed that the employees’ contracts would not be renewed as Government would shut down the unit.
This decision did not sit well with the former Minister in charge of the security sector who took to the media to register his concerns and lambaste the Top Cop for his decision.
In a lengthy press statement on Thursday, Rohee stated that with the passing of former Police Commissioner Henry Greene and the retirement of his successor, Leroy Brumell, “certain” senior ranks who rose to the top of the Guyana Police Force became resistant and intolerant to the work of the civilian-led SMD, its oversight role and its joint responsibility to ensure implementation of the Strategic Plan.
“Principal among those who considered the SMD and the Ministry of Home Affairs as intrusive were Seelall Persaud, Balram Persaud (deceased) and David Ramnarine,” Rohee stated.
He contended that to now claim that the SMD had “outlived its usefulness” was disingenuous and duplicitous.
Rohee then argued that there were elements at the senior management level of the Police Force who were never supporters of reform in relation to the implementation of the strategic plan drafted by the Consultancy Firm, particularly where a civilian-led Unit was mandated to oversee the implementation of the plan.
Public Security Minister Ramjattan had explained that the SMD was no longer necessary, since there were adequate measures under the Citizen Security Programme to improve the performance of the Force.
He reiterated that contracts of the unit’s members would be coming to an end soon and would not be renewed; therefore, the work of the unit ceased upon the completion of the contracts.