The public believes that the present formation of the cabinet, which has been in existence since the coalition government took office three years ago, has not produced the changes as promised. In fact, the cabinet has had many scandals, blunders, misconduct and the perception of corruption. It has negotiated a horrible oil contract with ExxonMobil and seems indecisive and confused on the future of GuySuCo. The public is losing confidence in the government which like musical chairs that go around in a circle doing the same dance without achieving substantial results on improving the economy and reducing crime, corruption and poverty, among other issues.
It appears that several ministers have become arrogant, complacent and obsessed with power, which suggests that changes in the cabinet are needed to regain public confidence. It is important to mention that there have been cabinet changes in both Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago whose governments have in office for less than three years. However, changing the cabinet in Guyana has not been a frequent exercise by governments. The President’s decision to have the same personnel in his cabinet after three years is, in part, motivated by his desire to consolidate power by appointing those whom he trusts. While there may be other strategic reasons for his decision, he should not totally discount the public outcry for change, especially due to the misconduct of some ministers and others violating the procurement process and continue to indulge in the unethical practice of sole sourcing as in the case of the Ministry of Health.
Solving the nation’s problems remains a challenge to the government despite having the largest cabinet in the Caribbean with 26 ministers inclusive of the Prime Minister. Despite this, one could hear the howls, cries and anger of a population that is tired of the crime and homicide rate in the country. Since the 1960s, just about every Minister of Home Affairs (now Public Security) has failed to curb crime.
Granted, the Ministry of Public Security is perhaps the most difficult, but clearly, the problem is with the strategy employed by the Minister and the top echelons of the police force to fight the crime. If the Minister of Public Security fails to produce results, then he should be asked to resign or given a different portfolio, which would be the rational thing to do.
There are several Ministers who have not demonstrated the leadership ability to manage their portfolios effectively and thus improve the well-being of the masses. It is quite clear that upon assuming office, some did not possess the necessary skills, experience or qualifications needed to manage the affairs of the state.
The President who has not spent a lifetime in politics seems unaware of the poor performance of some members of his cabinet. Choosing members only from the political parties that make up the coalition has proved to be a colossal mistake, which is not only costing the nation, but is also stifling the development of the country. Guyana needs intellectuals from academia, industry and the wider society to govern the country. However, those who are apolitical will not come to the attention of the President who decides who gets to be a member of the cabinet. The belief among many is only trustworthy members of the ruling party or friends of the President have been appointed to the cabinet.
Given the number of scandals, blunders, poor performance and the perception of corruption by some members of the cabinet, the President should widen the talent pool from which he recruits Ministers or he runs the risk of burdening the nation with weak leadership and poor performance. In this regard, it is clear that a change in personnel in the cabinet is needed to move the country forward and provide a better life for all.
Oct 16, 2018By Sean Devers in Trinidad In association with Regal, Vnet, Noble House Seafoods & Cascadia Hotel In murky conditions and played before virtually empty stands, Guyana Jaguars, led by a 79-run...
Editor’s Note, If your sent letter was not published and you felt its contents were valid and devoid of libel or personal attacks, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]