Mon | Feb 17, 2020

Letter of the Day | Tribal civil servants have sabotaged Gov't

Published:Tuesday | June 12, 2018 | 12:15 AM


I wish to respond to the letter submitted by Sanaya Brown titled 'Jobs for Labourites left, right and centre', which was published in your newspaper on Friday, June 8, 2018. Ms Brown complained that Labourites were unfairly being given jobs in the public sector.

First, I must say that our politicians are creatures of the society in which they govern, and the people will get the leader they deserve. I think it is atrocious that personnel are changed when governments are voted out, but we, the people, are partly to blame, as we are too damn tribalised.

When the government changed hands in 2007, the then prime minister, Bruce Golding, stated that he would not get rid of persons in the civil service if they were doing their job. What a colossal mistake that turned out to be!

We all know what happened. Political hacks in the service deliberately sabotaged the administration by intentionally delaying projects and withholding service in any way they could. As a civil servant, I saw this first-hand. I had never experienced anything like it before, as it was my first time witnessing a change in government while working in the public sector.

At my current workplace, our erstwhile head was clearly for the previous administration, as decisions were made that reflected that leaning. As employees, we were not surprised when the current administration came to power and did not renew the contract of this outgoing head. So fearful and untrusting the new government was of us employees, that though there were capable individuals within the organisation to take over the leadership, such persons were overlooked for someone who was not only partisan, but quite inept.




Every day I think to myself, if the public only knew what was going on in this organisation right now. It is only because of the expertise of persons under the leadership of this new head why there isn't chaos currently.

The JLP would only be foolish to keep persons, even if they are capable, who have proven to be hell-bent on sabotage. If we are going to point fingers at politicians for being tribalised, we must also take the plank out of our own eyes, especially among those who work in the civil service.

As a civil servant, I am disgusted at the behaviour of some of my fellow colleagues. Politicians behave the way they do, in large part, because we, the people, have been enablers. If Jamaicans can be so tribalised that we are willing to put party above country, self, our jobs and our children, we should not complain when we get a certain outcome.