Thu | Jan 18, 2018

Samuda should apologise to the judiciary

Published:Thursday | October 27, 2016 | 12:00 AM


Member of Parliament for North Central St Andrew, Karl Samuda is a veteran politician who is well-liked by his constituents, hence his repeated victory in the general elections, even when he switches parties.

What transpired last week, however, showed a man who was under pressure from his supporters who demonstrated their anger by burning shirts with his images because he was missing in action to rescue them from becoming homeless.

In a bid to ease the tension and frustration, and to assure his commitment to the constituents of 85 Red Hills Road, Samuda made a most frightening statement. He said: "Any judge who declares that a person who claims to own the land, whether it is so or not, has a right to evict people [will] not be tolerated."

There is absolutely no justification for Samuda to have made such a brazen and offensive statement against any member of our judiciary.




As a Government minister, and a well-respected and influential one at that, Samuda should have known better than to even think of interfering with the judiciary.

The reason we practice a tripartite system of governance is to prevent the concentration of power and influence from politicians like Samuda, and to provide for the necessary checks and balances.

Once a property owner can prove ownership, then it means that he or she has the claim of right and can evict squatters from their land. Who is Samuda to dictate what he or she does in disposing of or developing their property?

While I commend Samuda for 'rescuing' his constituents, it should never be detrimental to or at the expense of the property owner.

The prime minister must be decisive and direct him to retract those statements and to offer a formal apology to the judiciary, the public at large and, particularly, to the property owner for his seeming oppressive stance and intimidatory tactics. It must not be tolerated.