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Editorial | If local government is to be relevant

Published:Monday | December 12, 2016 | 12:15 AM


I wish to express my sincere gratitude to Mark Wignall for his excellent analysis in The Sunday Gleaner ('Caricel, USA and the power of innuendo') surrounding the granting of a cellular licence to Caricel.

The telecommunications business is among the largest moneymaking business on the planet, with no end in sight. The Government's action in this matter will have long-term consequences for Jamaica.

I would like to know if the Office of the Contractor General would use the names of individuals in the context of certain official statements if the office was not protected and libel-proofed? Is the need for evidence different in this matter, considering the irreparable damage that can be done to one's reputation?

Suffice it to say, in this gargantuan David-and-Goliath struggle, we only need to check the news media in Haiti to see what is playing out there with a certain telecommunications service provider. Karl Rove, a Republican strategist, recently made serious allegations about this matter.

Is this a replica in Jamaica?

What is the true criteria for being a telecommunications service provider?

Was the same criteria used for existing incumbents? Who are the real beneficiaries in this controversy? Is Jamaica and its citizens among them? Where is the Economic Growth Council in this mess?

Let me say, a thriving local player in this business could make it 10 in four, rather than 5 in 4, with real jobs with the profits circulating in Jamaica.

We should either rid ourselves of the pantheon of national heroes or show we are worthy of the legacy bequeathed to us. Marcus Garvey must be turning over in his grave.