We want the whole truth, PM!

Monday, February 18, 2019

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Dear Editor,

I'm a patriot, I'm not anti anyone; I'm just pro-Jamaica, so I try hard to always give the prime minister the benefit of the doubt. But every time he's faced with a crisis or dilemma he seems to come up short.

The current scandal at Petrojam, the State-owned oil refinery is a perfect example. His leadership of this troubled organisation since the scandal broke has left much to be desired. He seems more interested in damage control and a cover-up. He doesn't get it that it doesn't matter which Administration it occurred under, the country wants and deserves to know the truth and nothing but the truth. And the country is quite upset at what happened at the refinery and how he's handling or mishandling it.

The chairman of Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica should also be reprimanded. When he found out the many breaches committed by both the general manager and human resource manager of the refinery both should have been terminated immediately.

For them to appear in front of the Public Administration and Appropriations Committee, and behave in an arrogant manner as if they had every right to do wrong, by not wanting to answer questions forthrightly, is very disturbing.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness seems to forget that Jamaica is a very poor and impoverished country. We don't produce oil; it has to be imported, and when over 600,000 barrels of oil valued over $5.2 billion remain unaccounted for over a five-year period, it is nothing to sneeze at — it is a very serious matter. The people involved must be held accountable.

In times of a national crisis the country needs strong, decisive and effective leadership, which should have nothing to do with partisanship.

No one can defend the things that occurred at Petrojam:

1. The human resource manager position requires a master's degree, as advertised, Yolande Ramharrack had only a bachelor's degree, we are told.

2. How do you work for six weeks and get a 23 per cent raise?

3. On what grounds do you waive a probation period? Even if the candidate has a PhD, how are you going to find out his/her competence or capability for the job without a trial period?

4. Hiring a sibling always raises questions

And I imagin that these may well just be only the tip of the iceberg.

Both managers committed breaches and should have been terminated without any compensation or given an option to resign. That is my experience within the private sector. It should be no different.

In the meantime, none of these managers should be allowed to leave the island until a full and complete investigation is conducted and completed and the chips be allowed fall where they may. Anything less is unacceptable.

The entire country should come together and put a lot of pressure on the prime minister for him to do the right thing.

The most powerful Democrat in New York state is doing time in federal prison for bribery and corruption, which means no one is above the law.

Noel Mitchell

Westchester , New York, USA


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