Christine Kangaloo for all her public life has been an agent of the state. This is a fact of history that cannot be changed. In all likelihood she is expected to be elected by a majority of the electoral college and thereupon sit as President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. All the attributions of an agent of the state she will now carry into the Office of President. These she will also take with her when she departs that office. Those attributions cannot be bequeathed to any other. As an agent of the state she brings neither legal prowess nor intellectual sophistication and it is for these reasons and more that she does not bring respectability to the Office of President. An agent of the state is not an impartial entity.
Public perception prevailing since late 2015 has been that she is an obedient functionary exercising no matter of conscience in any and all matters that have fallen for her consideration during periods when she has acted as Head of State.
Fearful of the admonitions of President Robinson, and the exhortation of President Carmona that there are powers he has, government waited until Carmona went on vacation, and moved with with haste, presenting Kangaloo as an acting President to do the distasteful, unsavoury and unprecedented illegal act of delivering a dismissal letter, severing the contract of a Governor of the Central Bank. In this matter she showed herself as a traitor to her conscience and her character and honour were ensnared by questionable presidential action; action later deemed unlawful by a court of law.
And so, we can expect a weaponising of the Presidency.
In an interview with Ria Taitt \Daily Express\ Monday 2 January 2023\ the Prime Minister is on record as saying that. …things like the service commissions as they exist is a big part of (the) problem.
Flashback to 1991 and Dr Keith Rowley was Minister of Agriculture. His permanent secretary in the ministry is Mr Winston Rudder. That was 32 years ago. Today, Dr Keith Rowley is prime minister and Mr Winston Rudder is Chairman of the Public Service Commission. Let that effluxion of 32 years sink in for a minute. Yet after three decades the prime minister considers the impregnability of the service commission as beyond his ken. This is an open admission of inept leadership.
On June 10, 1992 TAHAL Consulting Engineers of TEL AVIV, Israel presented a Report addressed to Mr W. Rudder, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Marine Resources. This Report deals with steps to be taken to transform the agriculture ministry as the conduit for a robust modern-day agriculture sector. But there is a fine print discernible upon careful perusal of the Report.
The Consultants write in their acknowledgements; Special thanks are due to the following persons in particular:
The Honourable Dr Brinsley Samaroo, former Minister of Food Production and Marine Exploitation, who showed constant interest in the studies and followed their progress closely.
Mr Winston Rudder, Permanent Secretary, Dr Ronald Barrow, Chief Technical Officer, Mr Vaughn Thomasos, Acting Director of Planning of MALMR, and Mr Vernon Douglas, Acting Director ETID, who worked closely with the team and assisted in numerous ways.
Six (6) other persons from the IDB are also mentioned in the acknowledgements.
This Report commissioned by the NAR government was never implemented because of political spite and vindictiveness all of which has made the country penurious over the past 32 years.
The ministry of agriculture is now without a cadre of senior scientists, junior scientists, technicians and all its laboratories are disheveled. Even with a former permanent secretary now heading the service commission and the prime minister who presided over this state of political action when he was minister of agriculture. The failure to transform agriculture in this country can be lain at the feet of these two gentlemen.
And so, we can expect the weaponising of the Office of President whereupon appointments to service commissions, the Integrity Commission, and the Equal Opportunity Commission will likely resemble appointments to Caroni Ltd when it was acquired from Tate & Lyle in 1975 and loaded with party hacks leading to inefficiency, corruption, waste and mismanagement. A company now consigned to the dustbin of history courtesy the PNM.
Commentary by Ronald BHOLA