NEW JERSEY, November 23, 2022 - I read recently that Jamaica's prime minister, Andrew Holness is planning another “cabinet reshuffle.” Or my personal take: “the musical chair game continues”! Personally, I welcome this move as I hope it will be a drastic reduction of this administration’s size, as our government based on our population/GDP, is oversized.
We have currently in “The retirement-naughty house “AKA Jamaica House,” the PM, 16 ministers and five ministers without portfolio which totals 21. (jis.gov). This reminds me of a Church where though small, all the members want to be in the choir. Unfortunately this “government choir” main key in performance is “c” aka as corruption.
The Late US President Harry S. Truman had 2 famous quotes: 1. “Show me a man that gets rich by being a politician, and I’ll show you a crook” and (2), “You can’t get rich in politics unless you’re a crook.” How many unresolved issues in Ministries concerning corruption, funds misappropriated over the past six years?
The musical chair director’s only action? relieve and send to the “Naughty House”. Many according to reports have suddenly become rich, some it is reported with oversized trucks engaged in haulage, properties abound with oversized mansions.
When investigative journalists and concerned citizens ask questions either for print or broadcasting, they are subject to lawsuits. Lately, folks who even dare to ask questions are characterised as “Badmind”.
Recently in a brief visit to Falmouth, I was appalled at the condition of the historic township. The water fountain in the square is deplorable; the roads in and around the town cratered like the surface of the moon, and as one resident said to me” look when it rain, I am literally looking for a canoe to take me out!”
Cemetery is like a jungle – a bridge between Falmouth and Rock district has been closed for years without action to repair and ease commute for the residence. The residents are insinuating that due to the location “the connected” to the government want to run the current residents out.
MPs & Mayors all around have no clue, most are just rebranding conceptualized and previously negotiated projects from the PSM Administration as new. Some, like those in Trelawny, move offices from the capital to outside, thus less interaction with constituents.
This Cabinet/musical chair will be meaningless if the size is not decreased, there are some useless ministries like Minister of Constitution (what is the justice minister for?); Tourism (I will post my reasoning on this later). Combination of many portfolios is an easy reduction method.
Finally, regarding corruption I would suggest all the “Cocktail organization AKA civil society should unite and demand that for the next election “EVERY CANDIDATE” receives clearance from government ethics group clearance that their assets are audited, with detailed publication of origin of assets, declaration of foreign assets inclusive of bank accounts. These aspirants should be open to defending questionable assets.
Jamaicans we cannot continue like this, one reason I was not a “Jamaica 60 celebrant” is I personally think we are just a “Diamond in the Rough” self-inflicted by mostly greed, selfishness and international interference aided and abetted by many of our so-called leaders past and present.
I am suggesting that we start our constitutional reform discussion before any elections are held.