Wed | Nov 22, 2017

Trevor Munroe | Many take Trevor Munroe seriously

Published:Friday | September 1, 2017 | 12:09 AM
Trevor Munroe

Letter writer Fabian Lewis asks the question, 'Can anyone take Trevor Munroe seriously?' (Gleaner, August 29, 2017).

I am not sure why Fabian Lewis takes Trevor Munroe seriously enough to take time off from his regular targets: Peter Bunting (Gleaner, Saturday, January 3, 2015), whom he accuses of "self-serving pronouncements"; in relation to whom he asks, 'Is Peter Bunting trying to start a race war in Jamaica?' (Sunday Gleaner, Sunday, August 13, 2017); or "public-sector workers of wilfully obstructing the Government's agenda at every chance they get". (Gleaner, Friday, August 25, 2017).

A friend told me last night that he is attacking me because "I mash his corn"; could I be mashing his corn since too many are taking Trevor Munroe seriously. Such as:

The 40-odd Jamaican organisations who have asked me to address them in the last 12 months, for example: the Office of the Governor General for the 'I Believe' Youth County Consultative Conferences, the executives of the Victoria Mutual Building Society (VMBS), the minister of justice for his Justices of the Peace Training Programme, the Independent Churches of Jamaica, The St Catherine Ministers' Fraternal in their 10,000 Men and Families March, service clubs; and other bodies..

The 269,510 who have viewed our documentary The Cost of Corruption ... Jamaica's Barrier to Prosperity on YouTube (in addition to those who watched it on CVM and TVJ)

The 82 per cent who think we are doing "a very good or somewhat good work".

The influx of new applicants for membership in the National Integrity Action. Perhaps one reason so many take me and the NIA seriously is that we put Jamaica first.

Hence, some PNP tribalists say we are Labourites when we criticise the PNP, for example: 'Azan must resign or be fired, says NIA' (Gleaner, April 12, 2013)

'NIA boss calls for police probe into PNP campaign funding scandal' (NNN , August 31, 2016)

'NIA dissatisfied with Government's response to OCG's report on 360 megawatt project' (Gleaner, September 25, 2013) Conversely, some JLP tribalists say we are PNP when we criticise JLP Government, for example:

'National Integrity Action lashes Government over debushing programme' (Observer, July 6, 2017)

'Samuda should resign over Mombassa grass' (Gleaner,

May 24, 2017) Equally, when we commend or express satisfaction with leaders on either side who act in keeping with good governance, the opponents of each say we are biased against them and in favour of the commended.

 

Living by principle

 

The truth is, I and the NIA are simply living up to our principle of non-partisanship and impartiality; as well as upholding Jamaica's interest in good governance. We also try to base our opinion on evidence and to make recommendations to strengthen Jamaica's institutions more than to attack individuals.

Anyone who bothers to read our August 3, 2017 release on the FLA would note our proposal: "The amended legislation should, in the manner of the Electoral Commissioner of Jamaica, empower the governor general to make appointments after consultation with the Prime Minister and the leader of the Opposition, with the majority of such appointees drawn from retired judges of the Supreme and/or appeal courts and independent persons of undisputed integrity, taking into account recommendations from stakeholders such as the Firearms Dealers Association."

Perhaps the Fabian Lewises of this world may be more interested in scoring 'fake' points than in researching real news. Otherwise, he might have seen and read the Gleaner article of July 27, 2010, 'Munroe cuts ties with the PNP'. Or he might have seen when Jamaicans regard civil-society groups as 'least' and political parties as 'most corrupt' among national institutions. (Global Corruption Barometer, 2013)

- Professor Trevor Munroe is executive director of National Integrity Action. Email feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com and tmunroe@niajamaica.org.