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(CMC) – National Security Minister Hermangild Francis has dismissed calls for his resignation as the island recorded its 43rd murder so far this year.
“If the prime minister believes I am not being as efficient as I can be, then it is his prerogative to decide to change me,” Francis reportedly said, adding “so it is up to the prime minister to decide whether I stay or go”.
The former deputy police commissioner said most of the times the critics on social media hide behind fake names, but that he has never backed down from any challenge.
“If you sit in my office for one day you will understand the vastness of my office – there are a number of things to deal with,” said Francis, who is also the minister of home affairs and justice.
“Some people just look at it as ‘You’re the minister of home affairs and you are supposed to solve crime.”
“I can’t solve crime. I can assist the police, give them the materials and ability to fight; but at the end of the day it has to be the commissioner and the hierarchy of the police force to devise polices and methods of dealing with crime,” Francis said.
The latest murder occurred on Thursday when an elderly man was shot at his home by a stray bullet after a young gunman opened fire on another young person near a supermarket in Marchand, east of Castries.
Opposition Leader Philip J. Pierre, who is the parliamentary representative for the area, condemned the shooting saying that such events lead to further stigmatisation of the area.
“I am really at a loss for words at the brazenness of such actions,” he said, adding “I can only hope, as I have said before, that we can find better ways to resolve our conflicts and that has to come from all sections of the society.”