A plague of scandals

Friday, July 13, 2018

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Dear Editor,

Over the years, Jamaicans have been made to feel like Egyptians with the number of plagues we have faced. The only difference is that our plagues have been scandals of mismanagement and public officials not taking responsibility for their actions or inaction.

The Petrojam scandal came to light when the former general manager was unable to forthrightly answer questions at a meeting of the Public Administration and Appropriations Committee meeting.

The whole encounter was reminiscent of the meltdown in the Cuban light bulb scandal which involved then junior minister in the Ministry of Industry, Technology, Energy and Commerce Kern Spencer, who I believe sweated in the eyes.

The spotlight is now turned on former Energy Minister Dr Andrew Wheatley, as the minister who had oversight responsibility. And the chorus from all quarters is for the prime minister to impress upon Dr Wheatley to do the honourable thing and tender his resignation.The prime minister has since removed the energy portfolio from Wheatley and launched an investigation into the scandal bag.

Now, while Jamaica's politics is known for a bag of scandals, taking responsibility is not one of our strong points and resignations are seemingly not a political option. The worst-case scenario seems to be a reassignment.

It is sad to say, but this is another scandal in the bag; millions of dollars will go in the pockets of some high-ranking officials and civil servants, and no one will know who. Other civil servants will have to battle the Government to get a single-digit per cent increase.

For the moment scandals are trending. #petrojam.

Terry-Ann Hibbert


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