[See below Letter by Leader of the Opposition Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil L Douglas to OECS Heads of Government.]
Over the last several weeks, Prime Minister and Minister of National Security Dr. Timothy Harris has launched an all-out assault on the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force (RSCNPF), removing senior officers, sending them on forced vacation leave and replacing them with less senior officers who are personally sworn to the Prime Minister. Sources from inside the police reveal that Harris intends to rid the force of all senior police officers who display an ability to think for themselves and who are willing to call a spade a spade. One senior officer who spoke under the condition of anonymity has expressed fear of a Mongoose Gang being in the police force and indicated further that there seem to be major plans afoot to use the police to subvert democracy and the rule of law in St. Kitts and Nevis.
As sources within the RSCNPF correctly predicted, we have now begun to see all the pieces of the puzzle falling into place. On Wednesday of this week, a young man, Leon Natta of Molineux, was locked up under the pretext of failing to renew his licensed firearm. Natta’s firearm was licensed at the time of his arrest. We have also confirmed with sources at the Stores in the Police Department that over 30 persons in St. Kitts and Nevis were late in renewing their licenses or had not renewed their license at all. However, only Mr. Leon Natta was selected for arrest. Mr. Natta is touted to be to be the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party candidate to challenge Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris in the upcoming general elections expected by year end.
See below Letter by Leader of the Opposition Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil L Douglas to OECS Heads of Government.
October 9, 2018
Dr. Hon. Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves
Chairman, OECS Authority
Subject: Rash Mobilisation of the Regional Security System (RSS)
I wish with this letter to express the Opposition’s grave concern over the rash decision of the Prime Minister and Minister of National Security of St. Kitts and Nevis, Dr. Hon. Timothy Harris, to seek to mobilise, yet again, the forces of the Regional Security System (RSS) into St. Kitts and Nevis in the manner and circumstances that he has, and with the sole purpose of pursuing his bane political objectives in the territory of St. Kitts and Nevis.
It is quite apparent from all that is taking place within the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force that the Prime Minister is seeking for political purposes by and large to dismantle the Force by discarding selected senior officers so as to install his acolytes. Since the coming to power of Dr. Timothy Harris, the country has felt a palpable shift away from our tradition of democracy towards dictatorship. The Opposition is being systematically stifled through the illegal curtailment of our right to speak in Parliament, denial of access to public spaces such as community centres, and denial of access to the state-owned radio and television.
We have learnt through our intelligence that the next phase of Dr. Harris’ campaign of dictatorship will be the imprisonment of members of the Opposition and key opposition supporters. Over the last four months, two police sergeants resident in my district (and who performed close protection services to me as a former Prime Minister) have been shot under unexplainable circumstances. Neither of the two officers was on duty or in any confrontation with anyone at the relevant time. Two of the persons who were allegedly involved in the shooting death of the police officers have themselves been executed in shoot-outs, one of which involved the Police and the other under strange circumstances.
On September 20th, a police officer who had been off duty and assisting me with driving services at the National Independence Parade the day before, was locked up overnight in his service uniform without bail. He was charged for driving with an expired driver’s licence which under our laws is a ticketable offence with a maximum penalty of a fine EC$2000. He was subsequently released on a EC$20,000 bail and sent on suspension with reduced pay. When the matter came up for trial on October 4th, it was traversed to November 29th.
As I write this letter, the Chief of Police is on a 5-week vacation and it is intended, we have been reliably informed, to have the said Chief of Police proceed on a prolonged leave amounting to about one full year. In the meantime, other senior officers such as Assistant Commissioners of Police are being sent on forced leave and replaced by officers who are personally sworn to Prime Minister Harris. A significant number of Jamaican police officers have been recruited to assist Dr. Harris in instituting his impending reign of terror.
As it stands, we firmly believe that certain substantive holders of senior positions in the Police Force, such as the Chief of Police, have not been made aware of the plan to mobilise the forces of the RSS into St. Kitts and Nevis, and that senior Ministry of National Security officials are not supportive of the Prime Minister’s directive to have the RSS deployed into the country for mere political purposes.
I am concerned that the Prime Minister is abusing his position and authority and is seeking to use the RSS to buttress the local forces which he has deliberately emasculated to assist him in his campaign of dictatorship and terror, especially at a time when he is actively contemplating calling general elections.
I believe it is my duty to raise the foregoing issues so that they could be taken into consideration in any relevant decision-making process at your level.
Thanks for your kind attention.
Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil L Douglas
Leader of the Opposition