It is the belief of many that the present formation of the Cabinet, which has been in existence since the government took office three years ago, has not produced the desired results. In fact, the administration has been plagued with scandals, poor management, misuse of public funds and the continued perception of corruption.
It has signed an inexplicable oil contract with ExxonMobil, and is unsettlingly indecisive and confused on the future of GuySuCo. Like musical chairs, the Cabinet goes around in a circle doing the same dance without any substantial results or improvements in the economy, crime or poverty.
It appears that several ministers have become complacent in their respective portfolios, which suggests that a reshuffling of the Cabinet is long overdue to bring much needed fresh thoughts and perspectives to governance. Reshuffling of the Cabinet has not been a frequent exercise in Guyana, because for some reason the leaders have not seen it fit or proper to do so.
The current President’s decision not to reshuffle his Cabinet after three years in office is, in part, motivated by his desire to consolidate power and by appointing Ministers whom he trusts. While there may be other strategic reasons for his decision, he should not totally discount the public cry for changes to the Cabinet. It is unwise for elected officials to ignore the public.
To start, there are 18 senior ministers, inclusive of the Prime Minister, and eight junior ministers in the Cabinet, all of whom are members of the six coalition parties. There must be thoughts of meaningful change.
For instance, one could sense the displeasure of a populace that is tired of the crime situation.
Dating back to the mid-1960s, just about every Minister of Home Affairs (now Public Security) has failed against one simple measure. Each has left a higher homicide rate on their departure from office than that which had greeted them on their appointment to Cabinet. Granted, the Public Security Ministry is perhaps the most difficult, but clearly, the problem is the strategies being employed to fight crime.
If any Minister fails to produce results that none before him/her could, then why he/she should not be given a different portfolio? No rational person would be against reshuffling the Cabinet to energize our systems.
It is apparent that some in the Cabinet have not been gifted with the administrative acumen to perform their ministerial tasks successfully. It is clear that upon assuming office, some did not possess the necessary relevant experience for matters of governance.
In considering all options available at this juncture, the President may not feel that he has a satisfactory pool to choose from. He obviously has not spent a lifetime in politics, and this appears to be fuelling his uncertainty. There are many talented people in academia, industry and the wider society who would be willing to serve and effect change. But surprisingly, those who are apolitical do not seem to attract the attention of the President. The belief among many citizens is that only trustworthy members of the ruling party or friends are likely to be considered as viable.
Given that the State agencies are under the responsibility of the Ministers, the President will want to widen the talent pool from which he recruits members of the Cabinet or he runs the risk of burdening the nation with poor performance in a number of areas – something a developing nation with a lot at stake can ill-afford. A reshuffle of the Cabinet is desperately needed to reinvigorate Guyana; we cannot continue to have so many individuals sleeping at the wheel.
Jan 16, 2019The Nand Persaud Group of Companies and its Sky Plus Incorporated Promotion Group once again is extending gratitude to all those who contributed in one way or the other to making their one day...
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