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Granger defends hiring of former, current GDF officers…“I don’t discriminate against them …”

President David Granger on Thursday defended his decision to appoint a number of  current and former Guyana Defence Force officers to top government positions and head Commissions of Inquiry.

He said when he was elected President in May 2015, there were already 10 officers who had been appointed by the then People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPPC) administration.

“These are human beings. These are people with skills. They are not a separate breed of citizens. We can’t deprive them of their right if they have the talent, the qualifications, the experience,” he said on this week’s programme, Public Interest.

Retired Brigadier, Bruce Lovell  and Retired Colonel Windee Algernon were recently appointed to conduct Commissions of Inquiry into the Customs Anti Narcotics Unit and a recent fire at the Children’s Drop-In Centre that killed two children. Serving Col Nazrul Hussain was recently appointed to head the Department of National Events of the Ministry of the Presidency.

Since those appointments, several Guyanese have questioned on social media whether there were not any competent persons other than serving and ex GDF officers.

The Guyanese leader noted that when he assumed office Retired Major General, Joseph Singh; Justice Colonel Brassington Reynolds, Accountant General, Col, Persaud and Director General of the Civil Defence Commission (CDC),  Retired Col. Chabilall Ramsarup were already holding those positions. “I don’t discriminate against them and obviously, Mr. Jagdeo and Mr. Ramotar didn’t discriminate against them because I inherited a large number of former military officers who had been appointed by the previous administration,” he said.

Granger said he saw nothing wrong with asking a retired military officer to conduct a Commission of Inquiry. “The question is: Are they competent to do it?”

The President said he could make heavy weather of a ministerial appointment  by the PPPC of someone who had been dishonourably discharged from the GDF. He questioned why no one was criticising the previous administration for appointing former military officers.

  • Investor

    The question is not whether they are competent but whether they are the best for the job. I have no issue with an army man being hired but only if they go through the application process with everyone else and the best is selected by the interview panel. Transparency is what is needed.

    • Col123

      Agree..but they should get preference point for their service to the nation… How you figure whether they used the GDF as a welfare system to survive is another issue…as far as I am concerned, Guyana has no need for an Army…it is more of a welfare system for able bodied folks…

  • Col123

    I am with the President on this. The expertise of their profession and skills should be utilized… especially those in the Officer Corp. Officers are required to have advanced degrees for their rank.. but who knows what Guyana requires ?..from what is known, if you can kiss anyone’s gluteal, you can become a general in Guyana. The issue is whether they are performing their function as civilians … and whether they are in uniform when performing their functions….To be promoted to a General in US, you must complete War College and have command over a Division.

  • rs dasai

    Big deal. The best ‘man’ for the job, especially the experienced.

  • eddie

    Mr. President, it your administration and you hired who you are comfortable with and competent but the problem here is why complain about the opposition hiring when they was the government of the day and as we are on topic of competent what happen to all these special committee that you hired to see all the wrongdoing that you were clamoring during the election,,, it either they incompetent or all your accusation was just that accusation and your party hood wink the people

  • Col123

    Hostile neighbors?.. How many hours can these “trained” folks hold a defensive position at the borders?… better question… How many minutes can the entire GDF sustain a defensive OR offensive operation to protect Guyana?… you can start with that Jaggie chap neglecting the GDF for fifty years!..

  • Col123

    That is OK to dis agree. I believe that anyone stepping forth to protect a nation deserves a level of protection of his/ her welfare for their service.

  • Col123

    Agree.. It was good that we represented ourselves when Jaggie marginalized and discriminated against us…those Indos thought that they had an advantage over us forever!..the fyah in the wyah took care of that…most of the folks I know would rather sip JW Blue.

  • Col123

    Pivoted from the question of the abilities of the GDF? Why do you think we have the UN?.. and the west neighbor is answering to them. It is clear that you have not seen the death and destruction from hostilities. You need to start seeing the good nature in humans… We should at least speak to each other and resolve our issues.We need to get rid of having the mentality of planting a spear in front of our huts! At least , you mentioned my last sentence at the end of your comments..but did not pursue the usual talking points!

  • Col123

    I cannot believe that you went off on a tangent… I will push this further.,.How long did it take for US to defeat the Panamanian army… and do you really believe that we went into Grenada to protect those us med students?… and how long did it take the USA to discard the Grenadines and Cubans there?..
    you can do better.. Let’s talk !!

  • Col123

    Patriotism I must say is honorable . I learn at age 17 that with eight O levels, I had to cut cane for a year because my parents refused to bribe anyone ,refused to get me a Christian name and a ruling party membership ..to get me a decent office job….So, we have choices…!!