Letters to the Editor

A real mess hall

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

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Dear Editor,

I have to use as a reference point Prime Minister Andrew Holness's statement that all Cabinet ministers would have been given a job description and would be held accountable for their stewardship. With this police used-car importation issue it brings in sharp focus the accountability of ministers when things go awry in the various ministries.

The concern of the taxpayers of this country is whether the Minister of National Security Robert “Bobby” Montague and his ministry were above board and complete in their due diligence in awarding the contract for the importation of the vehicles, or were favouritism and cronyism the criteria in awarding the contract.

Personally, this issue is a real 'mess hall of governance' (pun intended). For too long, and this spans successive administrations, since we gained political independence the taxpayers have got the short end of the baton for their tax dollar, and those who are custodians of trust escape unscathed with their questionable actions because of the closing of ranks to protect birds of the same feather.

Why are the people of this country not getting forthright answers on the perceived scandalous mess, with this used car importation deal? Any initiative paid for by the taxpayers of this country to curb this menacing crime wave should have been done with due diligence, urgency, and with the expectation of value for money. Why must this contract be any different from other contracts that governments, then and now, have gone into?

The whole thing stinks to high heaven, and in any civilised jurisdiction heads would have rolled already.

I notice that the prime minister, who is also the minister of defence, is yet to comment on this messy affair and the responsible minister has given less than a forthright answer to Parliament, thus putting the issue under a blanket of clouds.

Since its election in 2016 the ruling Jamaica Labour Party Government has been clouded with too many questionable actions, which increases the trust deficit between them and the people they govern. We cannot grow as a country and have participatory development when there is a widening trust deficit, be it words, thoughts or actions.

This mess hall needs cleaning up immediately before more serious messy tables and chairs are brought into this Government's mess hall of governance. Cho, man, too many birds of the same feather are 'eating a food' in this mess hall while Jamaica bleeds.

Fernandez Smith


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