Wed | Aug 17, 2022

Letter of the Day | Sixty years of corruption must end

Published:Thursday | August 4, 2022 | 12:09 AM

THE EDITOR, Madam:

AUGUST 6 will not only mark 60 years of Jamaica becoming an independent country, that is, a local ruling class taking over the reins of power from Britain, our colonial master who ruled over us for 300 years. It will mark 60 years of non-stop corruption by the Jamaican successor ruling class.

Just as the people are aware of the devastation caused by slavery and colonialism – widespread poverty being the main consequence – the people are also aware that Jamaica’s political system is very corrupt and they continuously say so in poll after poll.

International agencies such as Transparency International also rank Jamaica as one of the most corrupt countries in the world. Indeed, it is also correctly pointed out that the billions of dollars pocketed each year by politicians and state officials could have been used to address endemic social issues such as health, education and deficient social services, such as garbage collection and protecting the environment.

This cannot be allowed to continue. The people must do something about it.

The People’s Anti-Corruption Movement has written to the prime minister demanding a People’s Commission of Enquiry into state corruption and a forensic audit of the public debt, which even he has stated is corrupt. We need to publicly expose the methods of corruption and to find out what portion of the public debt is corrupt. We are insisting that poor working-class people should not be forced to pay back corrupt debt. It must be cancelled.

The prime minister has chosen not to respond to our letter. Consequently, we wrote to the leader of the Opposition seeking his support and he has also chosen not to respond. So, too, have the 61 members of parliament [who have] chosen not to respond.

It could, therefore, not be more obvious that it is time for the people to act independently and do something about state corruption. Constant agitation against corruption has got to become a feature of our people’s movement.

Transparency International identifies several forms of corruption as including: misappropriation of funds; abuse of power; deceit and fraud; perversion of justice; nepotism; cronyism; tax evasion; and, we need to add mismanagement of public resources.

The People’s Anti-Corruption Movement has, therefore, decided that we the people must begin to take steps to put an end to corruption.

We will consequently be holding a public meeting/press conference on August 4 at 3 p.m. at the Girls’ Guide Association headquarters at 2 Waterloo Road, St Andrew, at 3 p.m. to highlight our plans, including our planned protest on August 6 at 1 p.m. in the Half-Way Tree Square.

Sixty years of corruption must end now!

LLOYD D’AGUILAR