‘I am one of the rare people to have made it full circle in the criminal justice system’
New Commissioner of Police, Kishnan Labonté, has officially sworn to uphold the Constitution of Seychelles and administer law and order without fear or favour.
The official swearing in of Commissioner Labonte took place yesterday morning at State House before the President of the Republic Danny Faure, Vice-President Vincent Meriton, Designated Minister Macsuzy Mondon, Speaker of the National Assembly Patrick Pillay, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Mathilda Twomey, Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Nicholas Prea, other leaders in the National Assembly and high officials.
Also duly present were members of the commissioners’ family, namely his wife Jeanette Labonte, his son and daughter as well as his step-daughter.
As prescribed by Article 160(1) of the Constitution, Kishnan Labonte was last week nominated as Commissioner of Police by President Danny Faure, and his nomination was subsequently approved by the National Assembly.
With the ceremony yesterday, Mr Labonte officially replaces former Commissioner Reginald Elizabeth whose resignation took effect two days prior, on October 7.
After taking the oath of allegiance to the Constitution and oath of office, Commissioner Labonte, as the newly appointed head of the police force, was decorously saluted by comrades from the force.
Speaking in an interview after the ceremony Commissioner Labonte described his swearing in as a moment of joy.
A joy which, he said, has been amplified by a long journey that has not only been difficult but also one that is rather unorthodox and rare for a police commissioner in Seychelles.
Mr Labonte joined the police force in 1976 and rose to the ranks of Assistant Commissioner of Police until he was terminated on the grounds of redundancy in 2003.
This setback only propelled him to pursue a law degree with honours at the University of London and, with such a degree in hand, went on to become state-counsel at the Attorney General’s office.
He later moved on to serve as Magistrate until March of this year when he was appointed as the chief executive of the National Drugs Enforcement Agency (NDEA).
“I started my career in law enforcement after which I went into the administrative and legislative branch of the justice system. Hence, I am one of the rare people to have made it full circle in the criminal justice system,” the commissioner explained.
With reference to the possible integration of the NDEA under the auspices of the police force, the commissioner said if this occurs, the purpose of the drug enforcement agency will remain the same.
“We might perhaps change its name and merge it with the marines. But rest assured that this revision will not in any way impact on the laws in regards to drug enforcement. This unit will still be able to enter premises without warrants if they feel it is necessary.”
As to the issue of corruption and how he plans to deal with it, the commissioner replied: “I will not tolerate anyone who decides to participate in corruption. It will be dealt with as needed.”