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 Hayde’s 4th Goal – To be Top Cop of T&T

Wayne “Watchman” Hayde

Hayde’s 4th Goal – To be Top Cop of T&T

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By Prior Beharry

HE has achieved the three goals he had set himself in life – to become a policeman, be admitted as a lawyer and live in posh Lange Park in Central Trinidad.

Now Wayne “Watchman” Hayde wants a fourth – to become the next commissioner of police of Trinidad and Tobago.

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The last time he applied in 2017, he claimed that although he was third after evaluations behind Stephen Williams and Gary Griffith, he was disqualified due to him being 60 years old. He said the Police Service Commission had received wrong legal advice. He is now 65.

Hayde said he is much older now and feels his chances are much better given his experience and qualifications.

He currently resides in Kampala in Uganda where he runs a non-government organisation Health for Prosperity Project which goes to areas with facilitating and implementing organisations such as the Red Cross to do screening, testing and referrals for cervical cancer, HIV and Hepatitis B.

But he is willing to take the first plane out and return to the country of his birth once he is given the opportunity to be top cop. This is after he has received many calls and text messages telling him that based on his career he is well suited to become police commissioner of T&T and that was why he has once again applied for the job.

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Hayde said he could be described as incorruptible and will hand praise on both sides depending on what was necessary. “I will swing the axe on both sides,” he said.

He has accepted the system of appointing the police commissioner saying that all over the world it was the Parliament or the head of state or government that is required to sign off for police commissioner.

Hayde has received an acknowledgement of his application.

Cargo baby

His life is one of grit and determination. His mother came to Trinidad from St Vincent when she was two months pregnant with him. All his relatives were St Vincent migrants.

“You can describe me as what you describe in America as a cargo baby. My mother came to Trinidad when she was pregnant with me about two months. So I was born in Trinidad,” he said.

He grew up in Central Trinidad in places like Edinburgh, Longdenville, Enterprise and Chase Village with his relatives and never went to secondary school.

“I only had three ambitions as a young man, from more or less a poor family growing up in Central.

“One was to become a policeman. One was to become a lawyer because I like to argue a lot and people would tell me ‘you should study law when you get big’.

“And three, was to live in Lange Park in Chaguanas… that was where people upwardly mobile ended up living,” Hayde said.

Holding on to his ambition to become a policeman, he attained his School Leaving Certificate and applied on the same day with current Minister of National Security Fitzgerald Hinds. The minister was to become a policeman a year after him, he said.

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While doing a course in the police service, he was encouraged to attain his O’Levels by psychologist Dorrel Charles Phillip and in 1982 he and his fellow officer Dinanath Ramkissoon signed up for classes.

Having attained A’Levels, Hayde went on to matriculate for a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from the St Augustine campus of The University of the West Indies.

There, his feel for activism kicked in and he became the President of the Guild of Undergraduates advocating against such issues as the payment of cess – a tax imposed on university students. He said they also staged a demonstration over apartheid in South Africa when Queen Elizabeth II visited Trinidad in 1985.

He was president for three terms with current Oropouche East MP Dr Roodal Moonilal his secretary and then vice president.

While still at UWI and completing the final year of his History degree, Hayde started his first year LLB externally with the University of London. “My exams were five days apart,” he said.

Hayde won the Caribbean Studies Prize in 1988 for his thesis – Jury System in the Caribbean – Problems and Prospects.

Calypsonian Watchman

Hayde did a lot of extra duty and was sometimes assigned to the calypso tent at the National Union of Government and Federated (NUGFW) Hall on Henry Street in Port of Spain. In private he would learn the songs and perform them.

This was after he won the Calypso competition at UWI singing under the sobriquet Calypso Fresh signalling him being a Freshman – a first-year student.

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He was signing up to enter the Independence Calypso Competition of 1988 and toying with a few names including Rebel Wayne and Chronicle. He was looking at Gayelle when Ras Shorty I and the Family Circle was performing The Watchman on the Walls of Jerusalem and he thought to himself what does a watchman do, “he see everything and watches over everything” and hence he had his name for the calypso arena. He sang Boots and Brains.

The Watchman was a no-nonsense social commentary calypsonian hitting all no matter the political divide.

Hayde did not think that his signing in the Calypso arena had affected his position in the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS).

He said, “Whenever you sing a calypso there was a requirement that you applied for permission to sing and I did and I even submitted my lyrics and my lawyer at the time was Theodore Guerra and he would have gone through the lyrics to make sure there was no libel and nothing that will be against the law. The commissioner of police at the time gave me permission.”

Working for the United Nations

Hayde’s advocacy allowed him to establish along with Christopher Holder the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service Social Welfare Division back in 1991. He became its first president. A year later it became the recognised bargaining unit for police officers.

He said a lady approached the association with a problem that involved the understanding of police issues and she liked his approach and asked him to join the UN since she was working there.

She brought him a form which he filled out and two years later became a Witness Support Office for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in 1998.

He was responsible for protecting witnesses of the 1994 genocide Rwanda genocide when about 800,000 of the mainly Tutsi minority were murdered by the Hutu ethnic majority.

The experience made him love his country even more.

Hayde said, “It made me appreciate more being a Trinbagonian, for the simple reason that Rwanda was relatively a small country in terms of size in Africa but they had three tribes – the Hutus, the Tutsis and the Twas.”

He said, “Because of colonial interference by the Belgians, they created a toxic environment between the Hutus and the Tutsis.”

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Hayde said that led to internal conflict between the two tribes that caused a series of slaughters of the Tutsis over the years that culminated in 1994.

He said, “I am coming from Trinidad and Tobago where we have different races living next to each other and you will find a mandir or a temple not far from a church, not far from a mosque and you will find people who look like me name ‘Seemungal’ or people who look like you name ‘Joseph’ and it made me appreciate the fact that we’ve found a way to live together in harmony.

“We have conflict but the conflict… is mainly political and only until election is done (then not again) until the next election cycle.”

In Rwanda, he visited prisons and realised that if given a second chance some prisoners will continue the slaughter. He said, “They never forgive, they never forgot. They will still do it today.”

Hayde said, “There were places where you saw thousands of people buried together with members of the church even allowing the slaughter.”

He eventually took early retirement after “receiving excellent promotions” up to the Director I level. But not before working in various positions in places including Cyprus, Israel, Italy, Lebanon, Syria, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan and Timor.

Hayde has thrown his hat in the ring once again for the top cop and had been sending out a number of voice notes to speak on issues and clarify other matters.

His latest voice note dealt with a photo that was published in the Express in the mid-1990s that showed him hugging then-government minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar which has started circulating on social media. He said it was not a long embrace but just took a spilt second.  He said Persad-Bissessar had wished him all the best after a performance at a clash of calypsonians at the Queen’s Park Savannah.

He said, “I can’t understand the message they were trying to send, that I am cosy with the Opposition, or they were trying to embarrass her in their internal elections or someone decided to do a two-for-one to try to embarrass both of us or it may also be a distraction.”

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