Just when I thought there would be little to grab my attention other than the weather down in the countryside, and concentrate on gathering the family for some good wine and food for the Christmas season, there comes an unfamiliar taste and more troubling news from the island of St Lucia.
The Government Information Service (GIS) headlines read “New Investigation Unit for RSLPF”. But guess what? That was only the precursor. The real news was yet to come.
Reading the GIS bulletin left me with very little room but to redirect my farm duties to dissect what was written.
The GIS bulletin began with the line “The RSLPF can expect some changes to its institution. The Police Complaints (Amendment) Bill was passed in the House of Assembly on Tuesday, November 19, 2013, which allows for a new unit to investigate complaints against police officers”. Whatever that meant sounded to me more like a code for more vagaries in the Bill and perhaps added to the constitution of St Lucia for skilful lawyers to poke at later?
What followed I was not prepared for. What is being proposed in this Bill under Clause 3 with the new subsections is that the Commissioner of Police, after consulting the minister, creates a special unit within the police force charged with the responsibility of investigating complaints coming to them, initially of course from the Police Complaints Commission.
Seriously, this action is a carbon copy in a more glorified format of what it intends to replace.
Now here comes the probable unsoundness of this decision: “The Government has also enlisted the help of the Jamaican police to investigate the RSLPF. This comes on the heels of the United States withdrawal of resources to the RSLPF after claims of human rights violations”.
The question many are asking is why the Jamaican police?
Is St Lucia perhaps preparing for a “Dudus Coke” episode? And how will such a move favour the US government’s return to normalcy with the RSFLP and the international community?
What stunned me most was giving details of the latest news to my Saint Lucian wife. She looked at me with bulging eye and remarked, “More corruption”. It was a rare moment where I had no counter to offer!
My lips were sealed! But just enough to mumble, “Wee, mama.” Will the prime minister hire Mexican police next? They may even be cheaper than the Jamaican police.
The bulletin concluded with a stunning line that read, “The Prime Minister says the key to the success of the new investigation unit will be fearless and independent leadership. Meanwhile the Production Orders Bill was also passed which now requires the police to seek a search order from a magistrate before entering private or commercial property.”
Honestly, this is further semantics that compound the extremities of legislative, enforcement capabilities and leadership. These developments worry me to the point that, after reading this news item, I had to comfort myself that the prime minister’s decisions deserves a lot of prayers and the Holy Ghost’s blessings.
Because it continues to amaze me the level to which the Saint Lucian prime minister, with his intelligent legal capabilities continues to flirt with the intelligence of a people; the indulgence of their tax revenue and unfounded resolve to decision making.