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Outgoing deputy Public Defender says Jamaicans 'too chummy', heads back to England but shall return

Published:Friday | June 5, 2015 | 6:14 PMDamion Mitchell, Editor - Radio & Online
Mukulu: The issue of 'because I know you and you and I went to school together' sort of diminishes our ability as a small country to be objective in the performance of our abilities.

FROM THE ARCHIVES

Almost two years after returning to Jamaica from England to join the Office of the Public Defender, Matondo Mukulu, has resigned and is going back a dissatisfied man.

"I like to change things and sometimes if I don't feel that there is enough change, I seek for that opportunity to change," he told Cliff Hughes Online on Power 106FM.

 

Deputy Public Defender Matondo Mukulu

Among Mukulu's dissatisfaction is the level of nepotism and favoritism in Jamaica.

"It's too chummy," he charged. "The issue of 'because I know you and you and I went to school together' sort of diminishes our ability as a small country to be objective in the performance of our abilities."

Mukulu, who is married with two daughters will spend his last day in office on July 2, before he departs for Britain to re-establish his private practice.

 

Deputy Public Defender, Matondo Mukulu speaking with Cliff Hughes

However, he says his family will remain in Jamaica and he will visit them every two months.

The outgoing deputy Public Defender has also lamented the culture of an "establishment" in certain sections of society that seeks to restrict new ideas and individuals.

"We still have persons in our country who think that, for whatever reason, they alone should decide what happens in our country," he said.

He has cited, for example, the responses to certain recommendations following investigations by his Office.

According to Mukulu, in one instance he had recommended human rights training for a particular group which comprises several lawyers, but they rejected his recommendation, questioning his authority to do so.

However, he said he is encouraged that some young people in leadership positions in Jamaica continue to press for change.

Meanwhile, Mukulu said although his immediate focus will be to re-establish his private practice in England, he will be coming back to Jamaica.

"My parents never raised me to run away," he said.

Mukulu's decision to quit comes six months after he was overlooked for the post of Public Defender and attorney-at-law, Arlene Harrison Henry appointed successor to Earl Witter.

READ: Arlene Harrison Henry appointed new Public Defender

But Mukulu said he has had a good relationship with Henry.

"We get on like a house on fire," he said.

During his eight-month stint as acting public defender, Mukulu received kudos from several sections of society.

However, he was harshly criticised by Witter.

READ: Witter says Mukulu’s appointment null and void

The former Public Defender also said Mukulu's appointment was regretted.