Several times this blogmaster has listened to Commissioner of Police Tyrone Griffith share with the public his perspective that corruption at our ports of entry is a big reason illegal guns enter the island. Every time Griffith makes the statement, trade unionists feel compelled to defend the public workers fingered. Griffith has been targeted in his criticism by naming the Bridgetown Port and Grantley Adams Airport.
It boggles the mind why Customs Officers and the Police appear not to have a close working relationship given a common national security mandate. To quote Commissioner Griffith :-
The reality is that where there is corruption, there will always be problems. And so, if the system is corrupt, then we are not going to get the information and support. You have to work together to break the back of those crimes. And so, even though the intelligence says that, you are not going to get that tip that breaks it…There is corruption. There must be some form…there must be corruption if you are going to have the number of firearms that are coming onto our shores illegally…then there has to be corruption
One has to give credit to Commissioner Griffith that his public criticism is based on credible intelligence. After all, it is what he does. There comes a point when country must come first and those in charge must demonstrate the leadership required to get the job done.
Against the foregoing a recent court martial case against David Harewood of the Barbados Coast Guard amplified the concern shared by Commissioner Griffith. Without rehashing the transcript of cellphone conversations between Harewood, a senior Coast Guard official had with some unsavoury characters- this blogmaster is satisfied those responsible for guarding national security interest have been compromised.
The BU household has been cautioning Barbados authorities for many years we are in a bad place and must change the way we have been managing our affairs. The same lack of leadership that has seen the growth of a sub culture in the transportation sector has propagated to every facet how we do business on the island.
The World Bank chronicled the “corrosive” impact corruption has on the ability to exercise good governance.
Most importantly, corruption breaks the trust between the citizens and the state that is critical for development to work. Fighting corruption: the importance is crystal clear
The government and much of civil society seem to be consumed with confronting the unprecedented economic challenges of the times. We should not lose sight of the fact that a society is more than an economy.
The country waits on the operationalizing of anti corruption and freedom of information legislation promised top the electorate 50 years ago by a Tom Adams government.