Mar 07, 2012 News
– Commanders maintain they got no money
By Dale Andrews
The Guyana Police Force, in a belated statement, has finally accounted for the money earmarked
for their elections duties.
In an attempt to set the record straight, the Force described as “unofficial, unauthorized and misleading”, statements on the issues from a Divisional Commander, which were carried in this newspaper.
Government is seeking approval for advances from the Contingencies Fund to the tune of $90,649,200 to the Force through the Ministry of Home Affairs.
This amount was to “meet additional expenditure for the General and Regional Election 2011; for feeding Rural Constables working on Elections day; for feeding of police ranks inlyned (sic) and to meet expenditure associated with intensification of patrols in and around the city.”
According to the police, during 2011, the Force prepared a budget of proposed activities for the General and Regional Elections, which was submitted to the Ministry of Finance through the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Subsequently, supplementary provisions were received by the Force during November 2011, in the sum of $90,649,200.
The police said that of this amount, $39,641,200 were for the shortfall on voted provisions and $51,008,000 were received under the line item 6261 – local travelling and subsistence – which also caters for the feeding of police ranks during the inlying period for Elections.
“The Force wishes to clarify that the sum allotted to the police for elections duties was $51,008.000.00 and not the total $90,649,200.”
Of the money received, the police said that $8M was to facilitate the cost of travelling expenses and the remaining $43,008,000 was brought to account by the police.
A total sum of $32,491,822.00 was drawn out to Police Divisions, Police Headquarters and Special Constabulary Headquarters to meet expenditure for the feeding of ranks, according to the police.
The Force explained that Police Divisions, Police Headquarters and the Special Constabulary Headquarters were allocated “cash” and “commodities” from the Police Consumers’ Cooperative Society Limited and other outlets for the feeding of ranks.
They provided a breakdown of how the money was disbursed: Police Headquarters – $9,500,251;
“A” Division – $8,526,676; “B” Division – $3,459,851; “C” Division – $2,299,465; “D” Division- $1,199,037; “E&F” Division – $1,696,888; “G” Division – $1,136,623; TSU – $4,176,144 and Special Constabulary – $496,887.
“The remaining sum of $10,516,178 is still in the Force’s accounting system,” the police stated.
“The Guyana Police Force wishes to reiterate that monies received were allocated to the appropriate Divisions and Branches for the feeding of ranks and other policing activities during the elections and that there was nothing sinister in the handling of the monies as alluded to by the media,” the Force added.
Some police Divisional Commanders as well as Heads of Departments are still maintaining that they never received the money…in fact they were instructed to seek the assistance of the public to cover the expense of feeding the ranks.
However, the only person to officially comment on the matter was Assistant Commissioner of Police David Ramnarine, who informed that he never received a cent from the police to feed his ranks.
“What I will say is this, as I have said before, and which I had already communicated to the ranks under my command, David Ramnarine did not receive a single cent. Much less, I was asked to seek the support of the miners and businessmen, particularly from the Bartica district, to fund feeding and other issues during the elections,” Ramnarine said.
Yesterday, he stated emphatically that he would put his career on the line and insist that he never received the money that the police said was allocated to his division.
“To say that E&F division got $1.6M…for such a large division with 41 locations to cater for one week would really have been a disgrace in itself. I repeat, I never received a cent, except $1.2M in dry ration from the Police Consumers Co-op Society, a large portion of which spoilt before it reached some of the locations,” Ramnarine asserted.
The Assistant Commissioner insisted that now embattled Police Commissioner Henry Greene had always maintained that the force had not received money for the police elections programme and “it was he (Greene) who instructed me to advise my subordinate officers in the far-off locations to take certain quantities of commodities on credit from stores in their respective districts”.
Ramnarine said that it should be noted that had the Guyana Elections Commission not assisted with cash and dry ration for many of those ranks who accompanied them to some remote areas, “I really don’t know what would have happened”.
Another Divisional Commander, who spoke to this newspaper on condition of anonymity, said that although he had provided a budget in excess of five million dollars, all he received from the Police Finance Department was a cheque for just over $300,000 to pay creditors.
Commander Ramnarine said that in any event, “to cut a long story short, I am putting my career on the line when I reiterate that from the contribution of miners and businessmen, I spent over $1.5M to police the elections in my division during the one week of inlying. I was informed by all my sub-divisional officers of the assistance in cash and kind that they received from various members of the public.”
He said that if it is indeed true that the meagre sum of $1.6M was disbursed to the interior division, to cater for 600 persons for a minimum of three days morning, midday and evening, “then someone else must have been commander at the time.”
Assistant Commissioner Ramnarine was keen to dispel the assertion that his previous statements in the media on the subject were misleading.
“My integrity has been challenged…I am not the perfect person; no one can lay claim to be, but I would not be cowed. I know the difference between real courage and moral courage. Further, I am a qualified and an educated police officer,” he declared.
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