I refer to a letter captioned, ‘What are the real curses?’ (SN, Oct 1), signed by Mr Christopher Ram.
Regarding the content, Mr Ram’s letter rambles far and wide, however, I wish to address two issues raised in the letter as they relate directly to yours truly.
First, with regard to the employment policies of the administration, Mr Ram appears to imply that such are influenced by race. My response: I have always chosen my professional associates based on considerations of character and merit; race has never been a factor. With reference to President David Granger, any suggestion that he is racially prejudiced borders on the ludicrous.
Second, Mr Ram states, “Mr Colin Croal holds an MBA and served creditably as Permanent Secretary in three ministries. He is not implicated in any wrongdoing but was effectively dismissed by the Granger administration because he was on the PPP/C list for the 2015 elections.”
True, Mr Croal was effectively dismissed, in that his contract of employment was not renewed. (Mr Croal chose to be a contracted employee with the knowledge that contracts are subject to non-renewal.) The fact is, though, that the decision to not renew his contract was mine alone. I acted based on my own deliberate judgment. After consideration, I concluded that based on the record of centralised government embraced by the regime in which Mr Croal functioned, I did not feel confident of his ability or readiness to function in this administration, one which has as core values the philosophy of strong, autonomous, and empowered local government organs (currently 72), and a decentralised system of multi-tiered government.
In closing, I must mention that Mr Croal and I have a cordial relationship. I respect him, and I have no reason to doubt that such is mutual.
Minister of Communities