by Zena Henry
Head of Strategic Management Department (SMD) Patrick Mentore says he is hopeful that his contract as head of the police reform programme initiative will be renewed as he is desirous of continuing his role in the security agency.
He told Demerara Waves Friday June 19 that “I hope that it (contract) would be renewed,” but did not say what contact was made by his superiors in this regard.
Mentore’s contract is said to be up for renewal soon, but inside sources say that the former police officer will not be getting that extension. That decision has been already communicated to the SMD head, but it is unsure if the news has been communicated in writing.
Mentore came in for criticisms by the governing coalition while they were in opposition after his name was connected to a major visa scam that occurred at the local US Embassy in early 2000. Mentore had gone on to work in the Public Affairs section of the Embassy at a time when Consular Officer Thomas Carroll had sold hundreds of US visas.
Mentore’s name was prominently featured in David Casavis’ book titled “The Thomas Carroll Affair” which brought Carroll’s actions to the fore. The book also came shortly after Mentore’s appointment to the SMD, and questions had been raised in some circles about his suitability for the job.
Then Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee had defended that, saying that Casavis’ book had sought to discredit Mentore, but noted that the then government was not prepared to “accept” that as reason why he should not be part of SMD.
It is understood that currently, Mentore is on vacation having taken his two week leave this pass Monday. Police Commissioner Seelall Persaud would only say that the Public Security Ministry “deals with contracts. I am not informed as yet.”
When contacted on the contract renewal matter, Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan indicated that the matter was being looked at but was not prepared to speak on the issue.
The Strategic Management Department is a civilian body overlooking the implementation of the Guyana Police Force’s reform process. The department is located Eve Leary in the same building as the Police Commissioner.