National Security Minister and Talk Show Host to Face-Off in Court
A showdown is looming between Home Affairs and National Security Minister Hermangild Francis and talk show host Christopher Hunte over allegations made by Hunte that the Cabinet of Ministers instructed the Royal St. Lucia Police Force to promote certain members of the force, including a minister’s wife.
Francis is not amused by the allegations and has vowed to take Hunte to court. The minister’s wife holds the rank of Sergeant in the police force.
Hunte on his show “Politically Incorrect” Thursday asked whether Cabinet sent a memo or Cabinet conclusion to the police force seeking promotions for specific people. Hunte then went on to name certain persons in the police force the alleged memo or conclusion identified for promotions.
“…and I am asking, has a minister’s wife, who is in the police force…has the Cabinet of Ministers asked this person be promoted,” Hunte said on his show.
Said Francis this morning to reporters in response to Hunte: “I will be seeing my legal representative and we will be taking the matter to court. I do not want any apology. I will take the matter to court. Christopher Hunte has to be made to pay for the foolishness that he is doing. Play your politics but do not include me in your politics. If I am not doing my work as a Minister of Home Affairs, National Security and Justice then tear me but do not involve me in these personalities and then involve my wife.”
According to Minister Francis, Cabinet does not make that kind of suggestion, meaning writing or instructing the police force on whom to promote.
“Never has Cabinet ever made that suggestion. And if that happens I will not sit in Cabinet. That is how serious I am. The only thing I have is my name and reputation and I will defend that to the death,” Francis said.
Police Commissioner Severin Moncherry also denied receiving instructions from the Cabinet of Ministers pertaining to promotions within the ranks of the police force.
“I do not know of any promotions within the Royal St. Lucia Police Force lately. I have received no document from Cabinet. I have had no conversation with the Minister or any other Ministers as it relates to promotions. I am quite aware of the powers that are invested in me under section 94 of the Constitution and if anyone would send me any list I do not think it would worth any more than the paper it is written on. I will not at any time take instructions as it relates to promotions. I will follow the guidelines that have been set as it relates to promotions from the rank of corporal to inspector. In relation to promotions at the higher level from ASP – Commissioner that is vested in the Public service commission,” Moncherry said.