Prime Minister, the Honourable Mia Amor Mottley.
Govt to create commission for people to admit wrong-doings
Government intends to set up a committee that will allow persons who have engaged in corrupt practices to come clean.
Word of this has come from Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley. She spoke to the proposed three-person grouping, to be headed by a member of the clergy on Saturday, while addressing those attending the opening of the Barbados Workers’ Union’s 77th Annual Delegates Conference, which was held at Solidarity House.
The PM indicated that she and Attorney General Dale Marshall are seeking to “refine” the details of that entity and discussed the matter with the Cabinet just last week. Her comments came as she contended that such measures now must be taken, because Barbados has a reputation within this region for corruption, and she is adamant that it must be confronted head on.
“Tanya Stephens has a wonderful song called ‘What a Day’, listen to it; Absolutely brilliant lyrics, but there is a line in it “corruption in high and low places”, because let us not believe that our problem in this country is only corruption in high places,” she maintained.
The Prime Minister made the point as she lamented that there are too many instances of people asking “what will you do for me” when trying to get things achieved in this country. However she made it clear that her Government was not going to spend all its time trying to seek vengeance, as vengeance is the Lord’s and they would then not be able to deliver on their promises over the next five years.
“What we must do is appeal to people’s conscience and sense of wanting to make this country right and different again, and to that extent we are going to create a council, a commission, I don’t care what you call it. It is not a commission of inquiry, it is nothing so, that would cost the Government a lot of money. But it is going to be led by a priest and it is going to have two other senior members in this society who are not partisan, because there must be a group of people that persons who have known that they have fallen from the grace by engaging in things that they did not and should not have engaged, should have the opportunity to go to that group of people,” she stated.
PM Mottley added, “We must be confident that these persons can act on behalf of the nation of Barbados and the people of Barbados and give the statements to say x, y, z and to allow that group of people to help us determine, along with that person… whether that person should receive immunity, partial or full; whistleblower protection; but more importantly contrition to move forward.”
Mottley alluded that if during the period for which the commission is operational, people decide not to come forward and they then get caught, they will then face the full weight of the law.
“If the country gives you a chance to come forward and you choose not to come forward, then if things fall a different way – so be it!” she insisted. (JRT)