Mon | Aug 2, 2021

Open letter to Karl Samuda

Published:Thursday | July 22, 2021 | 12:06 AM


Please allow me space to have this open letter to Mr Karl Samuda, minister of labour and social security, published.

Mr Samuda, this open letter to you comes with the respect due to you in your position of trust and authority in the government service of Jamaica.

In October of last year, 2020, I, an old age pensioner on the NIS pension scheme, found a pension cheque book that I had lost previously, which had three valid cheques in it yet to be encashed. I turned the book in to the ministry at once and got a receipt for it and an assurance that the amount on the cheques in the book would be refunded. I was not given a time in which this would take place.

After waiting a few months, I made an enquiry in January 2021 by email to the ministry, and this started a conversation which went on for five months, at the end of which, having sent to the ministry a copy of my original receipt by email, I was informed by the ministry that my cheque had been mailed to the Red Hills Post Office (where I receive all my mail and pension cheques). I will not mention names here, but I have the names of all the persons with whom I had been corresponding, and who are now no longer responding to me at all.

Up to today’s date, the post office has not received any cheque for me, and all my enquiries to the ministry have recently gone unanswered. Thus, I have been left with a feeling of frustration and despair of ever receiving the refund (a sum of approximately $18,000.00 – not exactly a fortune but much needed at this time!).

I have sent out an appeal to various entities – including the Office of the Public Defender, which happens to be the only one who has thus far responded to me at all – including your ministry. I have sent many emails and tried to call your ministry several times, to no avail.

With all our severe social problems as a small country, we might do well to at least try to give an appearance of caring within the various government ministries, by the simple act of doing what our jobs entail, and doing it as well as we can, and in good time!

I am now asking for your kind intervention in this matter, and it would be greatly appreciated.