Self-praise is no recommendation. It is one thing for someone outside of the government to praise the government but it is of no credit to the government when it praises itself.
Recently, one former Minister is reported in the media as saying that the President has a good team around him. But coming from someone who was once a central part of that team, really, is akin to praising oneself.
There is another view which states that far from the President having a good team that many members of that team have been embarrassments to the President. Instead of making the Presidency look good, the actions of some of the President’s team have brought the government into disrepute.
In fact, one of the most strident criticisms of the President is that he had not been forceful enough and has failed to discipline some of the errant members of his team. Despite his government being besieged by scandals and controversies – some of them bordering on corruption and some consistent with devilry – the President has so far not fired anyone and is not ever likely to do so.
The President has been provided with more than just cause for multiple shake-ups of his administration. He has been provided with more than reasonable grounds to fire Ministers. He has not done so and is not likely ever to do so.
But the President’s weakness of softness does not absolve many of the mistakes and missteps of his government. If anything, the actions of his Ministers have embarrassed the President and made his government look mediocre and ordinary.
No one needs to provide the examples. The PPPC had done a good job at providing a list of more than fifty scandals allegedly committed by the incumbent APNU+AFC government. And there is likely to be many more which have not yet been exposed.
There was undoubtedly some level of unpreparedness for high office by the APNU+AFC administration. Their victory in May 2015 took them by surprise. On the Saturday before the May 11 elections, some of the campaign members of the APNU+AFC went on a collection spree in the business community.
These members went around collecting electrical and electronic items on the pretext and it was clear that many of them felt that the coalition would lose the elections and therefore they were helping themselves.
The lack of preparation was obvious from day one of the administration. And this continued into the early months when Boards which were dissolved and an imbalanced list of replacements named.
The second problem was the lack of experience within the coalition. It was only one person who had prior Ministerial experience. There was also a woeful inadequacy when it came to experience in working within the public administrative system.
And this was not helped by the mad rush to treat some public servants and political apparatchiks when in fact these persons were simply public officials working within the public service and willing and ready to serve the government of the day.
But these shortcomings – the shock at actually winning the election and the lack of Ministerial and administrative experience – does not excuse some of the deplorable conduct of the members of the government. Some of them have been a handicap to the President and many of them are fortunate not to have been given the boot.
After four years in office, lack of preparedness and lack of experience can no longer excuse some of the scandalous conduct of some members of the conduct. The dubious associations of some persons must have given the President headaches.
Crime has gotten worse, education has not shown any dramatic improvements; the health sector is in a mess; the public service is being politicized and bloated; the army has its own internal problems judging from a recent letter to the media and the business, minus the impact of Cubans, has declined.
Self-praise is therefore no recommendation. The government can pay itself on the back all it wants, the opinions polls would not support those who say that the government deserves an A grade.
The results of the local government elections which the APNU and the AFC lost overwhelmingly are a good indicator that people have become apathetic about the government and are grossly disappointed by its performance.
It takes team work to win in government. And the President has been let down by his team.
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