Politicians not only ones playing politics

Dear Editor,

I wish to refer to the Auditor General’s report and note that there is a human cry about the lack of transparency, victimisation and generally speaking bad governance.

It would appear Cayman has taken the reference to “political interference” in a very narrow sense and I would wish to address this.

Political interference does not mean interference by the MLA’s alone. Political interference must mean, in a wider context, interference by administrators, heads of departments and others who are affiliated in the process undertaken to either grant status, promotion, etc. In that context the injustice of the system is overwhelming in this island. There are some who may be of the view that today’s problems of justice, rights and fairness have come about as a result of the peculiar political environment in which we find ourselves, but that is certainly not the case. This has gone on from time immemorial in Cayman and it has been brought to the attention of various personnel and nothing has been done about it.

Taking political interference in the wider context, heads of departments have promoted whom they wish, have appointed whom they wish and on some occasions have tried not to advertise positions and on many occasions have engineered foreigners to continue being given contracts when Caymanians were available.

Caymanians today, especially the ex-patriate elite who are now Caymanians, have a habit of blaming crime for the country’s lawlessness and blaming certain political figures alone for the deficit of justice but this is simply not the case. What must be examined is the manner in which the affairs of justice and government are conducted and why when brought to the attention of those in power nothing is done about it.

Victimisation is a reality that will not be faced by the powers that be. It has been just ignored despite being brought to their attention and I personally have itemized aspects of victimisation. Nothing is done about it. Examples of applicants asking for persons not to be on a decision making panel and yet the request being ignored the applicant. The applicant is placated by words such as “it will be addressed”. By giving certain persons, heads of departments, government organisation, directors, court administrators unlimited powers, the most arbitrary rule can be made legal and in this way a democracy may be become the most complete despotism imaginable.

Victimisation and lack of transparency are affecting Cayman. In particular, it is affecting the civil servants. Reports done on the departments in the civil service which categorically state that personnel are fearful of speaking out have been ignored. The complainants have received again, placatory letters and it has been left at that. The lack of justice is affecting all Cayman. These matters must be addressed. Is it that the person in charge of the eventual decision-making of the civil service is frightened to address the issue because nothing is actually being done to address the Auditor General’s concerns which most right thinking Caymanians have had for several years.

Victimisation was evident in some major issues recently. Matters that have been going on from 2007 until extremely recently. Victimisation resulting in certain decisions taken can be highlighted to those who are interested to stop this tragedy. Is it that one needs to cow down and bow down to those in charge in order to get somewhere on this Island. Does freedom of thought and freedom of speech mean nothing? Does the outspokenness of a person endeavouring to address the issues that concern them in society necessarily result in victimisation?

It is my view that there must now be a framework where a citizen’s movement for good governance should be formed. A civil society organisation where both the civil servants and the public are protected from this sort of behaviour. Persons must not be subjected to losing their fundamental rights or fearful of utilizing their fundamental rights because of persons who victimise, manipulate and interfere. Political interference as I said is not necessarily limited to the Government but political manipulation must be the reason why nothing is being done to address these issues.

Conflict of interest can be addressed by the public and exposure in the newspapers but one must ask oneself again have the newspapers hands been tied? Have they been warned at meetings not to speak out? I believe it may necessary for His Excellency the Governor to start not appointing a Tribunal but investigating these issues without a great deal of publicity. When investigated and the results found, then action must be taken. Albeit one wants peace and he will be anxious not to rock the boat because the image of an offshore nation being overhauled may cause political damage to the United Kingdom, but for Caymanians it is essential that one starts somewhere. I believe it is imperative that a citizen’s movement for good governance is commenced forthwith and all those interested should come forward and endeavour to commence an organisation such as this.

Ezmie Smith

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