Chairman-Commissioner Paul, “unbribable Commissioner Paul?

Two local development challenges

His Excellency is staying on – with victorious Volda

I held Mr. Paul Slowe in high regard as a professional police officer of fair play and integrity.

Three rather anecdotal but factual situations complement my personal assessment and opinion. First, at a small social session at a Church Street Georgetown club years ago Slowe told the late top editor Cecil Griffith that he (Slowe), in his capacity as an officer of the Police Force, would “lock up” Griffith if Griff had ever committed some intended or hypothetical misdemeanour. We chuckled when a sensitive Griffith seemed offended. Second, for some reason I always have the newspaper image of Slowe – as – Traffic Chief- with a “tintometer” – testing the density of a car-window tint. Thirdly – of course, was his rather courageous and principled stand-off against Home Affairs Minister Gajraj. (I was later an invited guest to two of Paul’s high-profile social occasions, before and during his stint with the West Indies Cricket Board. So I was/am a fan.)

But the foregoing is just partial context for my firm beliefs relevant to Mr Slowe’s work on a recent Commission of Inquiry to investigate an alleged assassination attempt against His Excellency.

It’s my belief that the numerous inquiries and (forensic) audits constitute one technique to empower His Excellency to accept and implement specific “recommendations” which can be both useful to discover wrong-doers and suggest remedies, as well as to satisfy and operationalise plans His Excellency already held in his mind and breast.

I’ll apologise if I’m wrong but when I digested Slowe’s recommendations regarding the last Commissioner, the Current acting Commissioner and his findings relevant to senior officers’ procedures whilst investigating the alleged assassination plot I concluded that His Excellency was receiving “shake-up” advice he (H.E.) welcomed.

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Presidential choices, appointments…

Frankly Speaking, our Brigadier-President has a hands-on style without always showing his hands. (At army management/operations briefing, subordinates have to have solid evidence-based proposals to counter or challenge those of the GDF hierarchy. Name three Cabinet Members who override His Excellency. The lawyers?)

Useless criticism flowed from opposition and public when His Excellency chose his own personal GECOM Chairman. Now it’s his Department of Energy Chief. He’ll not budge with respect to his choice(s) for Chancellor and Chief Justice. This President is now chooser-in chief, Commander of Choices- procedures or no procedures. (Can any Jimmy make our David become a Dessie? As Oil and Jubilee Elections loom in 2020? You discuss.)

So I’m speculating that my Paul will persuade his old-time officer colleagues on his Police Service Commission to please the Commander-in-Chief. My Paul will go for the Christian Crime Chief Paul (Williams). To be the “Unbribable” Top Cop very shortly.  His Excellency will accept the recommendation. As a fit-and-proper one! Let’s see if I’m wrong. (So what if the two Pauls are from the same village?)

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Our (2018) development challenges

Even besides our obvious lack of capacities surrounding the looming Oil and Gas Sector, our deficiencies are being laid bare, sometimes in dramatic fashion, more frequently. Our skills and brains have migrated. Our training institutions strain to train in required numbers. Challenges of development abound.

Two examples struck me recently: (1) Even as our Coalition Administration promotes the North- Western Region One as the district to boast a $264 million solar farm, the Regional Chairman is publicly expressing doubts about the touted capacity of the facility. The “technical man” for the project, a CEO (Horace Williams) –of the Hinterland Electrification Programme also seemed somewhat cautious about what the solar project will ultimately produce for the district.

Then there was the news about the bottled drinking water the nation is being sold. The Government Analyst Food and Drugs Department released troubling facts about those who offer seemingly-potable water for us to use and drink. But after hinting that many are not near to health standards required, the Department merely promised to advise consumers more fully “in coming months.”

This key department to monitor our foods and drugs is woefully under-staffed and under- equipped. It’s obvious what is to be done, but… Then just this week, Minister-forever-in- the spotlight David Patterson was explaining why it is necessary for the East Coast Demerara Chinese Contractors to import stone to complete the Highway Upgrades. “Independence”? Sometimes. Development? Forever a challenge. Whichever the Government.

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PNC Comrade Leader,  PNC Chairperson

Poking my nose into “PNC business” again, I repeat some of my sentiments of more than one month ago.

When I espy the works on-going in and around His Excellency’s Vlissengen Presidency Compound- from massive Green Wall to additional offices, I know his Excellency is not planning to move out by 2020.

No Sir! His Excellency is enjoying his Presidency as he prepares for Jubilee 2020 General Elections and First Oil. He loves the naming of boats, buses and bicycles after him. With covert style he toys with an AFC component which also “enjoys” its status still bestowed. His Excellency’s Trinidadian Doctors just pronounced him fit enough to run in 2020 even after health challenges force a thankful Moses to bow out.

So His Excellency, as Comrade-Leader of the PNCR is poised to oversee his Party choose a chairperson to assist his General Secretary into 2020. Green House Spokesman, Minister Joe continues an impressive campaign – on line, on the ground from Atlanta and New York to New Amsterdam.

My old-time campaign instincts are now wary of him. Will he defeat my favourite, Volda? Will the Comrade Leader come out for the Lady?  Can a victorious Volda help guide any PNC Ship to any victory better than former army intelligence man, Minister Joe? Will the Party ladies embrace “Ladies Man” Joe?

These questions from “fast” me will all be answered by Sunday evening when the very top ranking returning officer declares the results of all the “races” for the Party’s  elections. If you’re interested, what’s your choice(s)?

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Ponder….

.1) Even if contesting a Party position a government minister can travel on “state business”.

.2) His Excellency’s GECOM Commissioner is at work!

.3) Former Curator Bissember’s July 22 letter is the longest I’ve ever seen in this ‘paper.

Til next week

(allanfenty@yahoo.com)

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