Lessons To Be Learned Editorial
The new government has a daunting task ahead of it and it will take some time to sift through the rubble left by the former administration. As opposition Team Unity exposed a number of ills with the then government, from shady transactions to bad laws and misleading the public about the true state of affairs of the country. We know how those wrongdoings have affected the people and reputation of St. Kitts and Nevis. Defaulted Treasury bills, land for debt swap, almost 3 billion in debt, bringing our passports into disrepute, allowing crime to spiral out of control under a travel happy wanna-be celebrity Commissioner. The Unity alliance said it was prepared to govern and it was required to hit the ground running. We already saw how quickly things could turn into public scandal with the CARIFTA accommodation fiasco. Granted, the new Sports Minister may have met a mess, but with the government under scrutiny and that being his first event as Minister, he should have ensured everything was properly sorted by the time the athletes arrived. The Prime Minister was asked about the assignment of government positions and those on statutory boards. He was asked when parliament would convene, what will be on the agenda. Instead of giving some indication of what his administration deems most important on the legislative docket, he said ‘well Labour took long to too so’, we still have some time. Persons have been given roles such as PM Press Secretary and Permanent Secretary with no word to the public. Even what the government is doing about selecting a Police Commissioner seems to be cloaked in secrecy. This government campaigned on a platform of transparency and accountability. It said the old way of government taking certain actions and measures saying nary a word to the public was wrong. They said this would be a new paradigm of governance in the Federation; we will be a government for the people. It has been two months and the public is still waiting to hear what the true picture is with the country’s finances, its economic standing, the SIDF, who have resigned/been fired/reassigned, who have been named to important government positions, do we have a Supervisor of Elections, how much revenue will be lost to the new VAT policy and how will the government make up for the shortfall in taxes. We have seen some of their campaign promises already fulfilled, but we still await word on the $500 monthly grant to qualifying families, how much longer will almost 2000 of the nation’s high school students have to attend school half day. The people want to hear what the housing plans are, what is the status regarding land availability for locals, what is going on with the health sector. At every step of this new journey, the Unity government must not forget to include the people who elected them to be there. On February 16 the people made it clear they no longer wished to be marginalized and disregarded as the government of the day operated without care or concern for the population and the country. The people voted resoundingly for a change, and they must be made to see it, not left to wait and wonder if or when it will come.