Hire, Fire! Hire, Fire! Hire, Fire! Almost Hire, Fire!
No, it’s not the latest soca tune, but the recent pattern for Ministerial portfolios. Say “Hire, Fire” thrice and you’ll get the style for Marlene MacDonald’s multiple tenures as a Government Minister, culminating unceremoniously late on Sunday night with her ousting and her replacement as Public Administration Minister.
But lo and behold, the tune wasn’t done yet. A new level of bacchanal ensued when her replacement’s instatement was cancelled, presumably because of a criminal charge. On Monday morning, there were reports that Senator Garvin Simonette would not be the new Minister of Public Administration, in light of ‘new information’ that came to the fore.
While nothing was officially mentioned, and we are unsure if anything will, circulating on social media were alleged mug-shots of the would-be Minister, who was said to have been arrested in the United States in 2014 for Driving Under the Influence. It should be a matter of urgency for the Government to clarify what grounds Mr. Simonette’s appointment was cancelled.
With this new chapter in a comedy of errors, comes more questions than answers. How much of a background check was done before this gentleman was earmarked as the replacement for Ms McDonald? This is a Minister of Government we’re talking about, someone chosen to represent the interests of the people of Trinidad and Tobago. Was it a choice in haste, to plaster the gaping sore that is a then-Government Minister entangled in controversy prior to her arrest and now facing multiple charges?
Isn’t this the same administration that boasted about reducing the number of Ministers from the number in the last Government? What exactly constitutes the picking of a Cabinet Minister? Also, Ms McDonald remains a Member of Parliament. Is she going to be removed or continue to hold public office despite her barrage of criminal charges? Another question also looms regarding Mr Simonette’s position as a Government Senator. If he isn’t fit to hold a ministerial portfolio, should he be an appointed Government Senator? We need some answers!