Chief Constable’s dismissal a case of injustice

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Chief Constable Andrew Foo

…say Councillors Richards, Peter

THE two councillors who voted against the no-confidence motion against Chief Constable, Andrew Foo, believe that this is a clear case of ‘injustice’ meted out by Mayor Ubraj Narine and their fellow councillors who supported it.

The two, Trichria Richards and Akeem Peter, both ‘A Partnership for National Unity’ (APNU) councillors, told the Guyana Chronicle, on Tuesday, that they were not permitted to speak on the “badly worded” motion by the mayor.

It was moved last Monday when councillors met for their fortnightly statutory meeting at City Hall.

Councillor Akeem Peter

The motion, moved by Councillor Denroy Tudor and seconded by Councillor Eketa Edwards, received the support of 19 councillors, while three others abstained. In part, it said that the Chief Constable has been displaying a “lackluster, cavalier, inept and generally incompetent” attitude towards his job.

It said the Chief Constable’s inaction includes and are not limited to his failure to formulate and implement a modern security plan to guard the council’s assets, his continued failure to adhere to council’s decisions with respect to the acting appointment of the Deputy Chief Constable, his continued unwillingness to work with the council to ensure that there is order and peace both within the council and on the streets of Georgetown and his failure to effectively supervise the council’s constabulary which has been the subject of public ridicule.

The motion also contended that officers in that department are undisciplined and that their work ethics and morals have declined under Foo’s leadership.

It recommended to the Local Government Commission (LGC) that Foo be immediately dismissed. It also directed that Foo be sent on leave pending the commission’s decision.

When contacted by this publication on Tuesday, Foo informed, by means of his secretary, that he was too busy to take the call.

Councillor Trichria Richards

“When this government came into power in 2015, there was change in the entire country. I believe in that change. So when I see injustice, I feel very disheartened. If this motion is carried, then it would be a travesty of justice,” Councillor Richards expressed.

She said the motion was badly worded, and even as she repeatedly requested to speak, the mayor denied her an opportunity. “I do believe in natural justice and a man’s right to be heard.”
Richards reasoned that even if someone else is brought in to fill that position, the department still couldn’t function effectively without resources. “In the preparation of the 2019 budget discussions, the chief constable emphasised the dire need for human resources and other allied resources that are critical to the functionality of this department,” Richards recalled.

Councillor Peter offered that sufficient evidence was not put forward to support the motion. Even though the Chief Constable may have done things contrary to his duties, Peter said this did not warrant the man’s dismissal.

The four officers of the Constabulary Department who were promoted are Quacy Baveghems, Marston Mc Inroy, Virjanand Gafur, and Peter Livingstone

“It was very rash, and extreme. To blame him for the entire situation of that department is unfair,” Peter said, adding that other measures could have first been taken, such as suspending him pending an investigation, sending him on administrative leave, or conducting a system’s audit of his department.

Meanwhile, four officers of the constabulary were promoted by the mayor, which were approved by the LGC. Corporal Quacy Baveghems was promoted to Sergeant; Sergeant Marston Mc Inroy, to Inspector; Assistant Superintendent Virjanand Gafur to Deputy Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent Peter Livingstone to Superintendent.

Public Relations Officer, Debra Lewis, offered that it has been several years since officers were promoted. “Hence, these elevations were met with great approval and loud cheers for officers and councillors seated in the chambers of the City Hall,” Lewis said.