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Yesterday, Mr. Paul Slowe, Chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC) gave an interview about the present impasse in the Commission that is nothing short of revealing. Mr. Slowe was detailed and thorough in the information he presented which suggests evidence of documentation along the way.
His interview was a reminder of Mr. James Comey, former Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), who documented what former President Donald Trump told him, including seeking to influence loyalty to the president, not the laws of the United States. Mr. Slowe was apparently placed in a similar situation when according to him he was requested by President Irfaan Ali to have his (Ali) “people” in the Force promoted.
According to Mr. Slowe, promotion is determined by the rules of the Commission not him, and on his watch as Chairman those who are promoted would be consistent with the rules. He is of the belief his principled stance has irked the Ali administration. Allegedly since then, Mr. Slowe is of the opinion, there has been contrivance to sully his reputation through charges of conspiracy to defraud in order to have him removed from the PSC, thereby clearing the way for government to interfere in the commission’s independence. He has also been accused of sexual misconduct.
Something about the PSC brouhaha does not sit right. The government had since asked Mr. Slowe to present in writing justification why he should not be removed from the Commission. After the revelation President Ali came out and denied he asked Mr. Slowe to promote his “people.” The President has however not denied having any encounter with Mr. Slowe in discussing promotion, which is the crux of the matter given the constitutional independence of the commission to function.
Mr. Slowe said he has prepared a 500-page submission in response to the government’s request that he shows cause why he should not be removed from the PSC given the charge of conspiracy to defraud. Some may argue that the life of the PSC will end in August, a mere three months away and it should not matter. But what Mr. Slowe has demonstrated is the independence of the commission and his reputation matter.
On the face of Mr. Slowe’s presentation this is the level of professionalism society needs. Professionals should be unafraid to do their work consistent with the rules, and unafraid to tell the President so. These are qualities that would maintain the integrity of the public service and constitutional commissions. They augur well for building confidence in the public service and the professionals tasked to deliver.
Time will tell how this matter unfolds. Suffice to say it is refreshing to see that they are persons in society who are prepared to stand up and represent the integrity of their office. Mr. Slowe’s presentation has demonstrated that.