REAL NEWS: There has been widespread public reaction to the news that two senior managers at the State Insurance Corporation have been terminated.
The firings come just days after Prime Minister Gaston Browne made a public announcement that his administration would be sending home four public servants accused of not performing.
Shortly after the news broke on Monday night, November 13, insiders confirmed the termination of accountant Andre Knight and Life manager Janice Hodge.
Media reports are suggesting that the two were dismissed because of the Administration’s lack of confidence in the accuracy of their accounting statements.
This most recent incident comes on the heels of Esworth Martin’s “early dismissal” from his position as General Manager at the Antigua and Barbuda Public Utilities Authority (APUA).
Another top official from a statutory corporation, the Antigua and Barbuda Airport Authority (ABAA), tendered her resignation on Monday, November 13. Euletta Francis called it quits after attacks on her reputation and character by PM Browne, on his affiliated radio station, last weekend.
Meanwhile, a well-known Antigua Labour Party supporter is praising the actions of the Government, claiming that members of staff are under pressure because certain statutory corporation heads have built little kingdoms and rule with an iron fist.
He is of the opinion that the entire public-service system should be shifted around.
Many persons have agreed – sarcastically – saying that if this is the way the prime minister is going, then he should consider removing the non-performing ministers in his administration, as well.
One critic says many of them need to be given their walking papers, including Minister of Works Maria Browne – for the country’s poor road infrastructure; Minister of Health Sir Molwyn Joseph – for the poor administration of healthcare; Minister of Labour and National Security Sir Steadroy “Cutie” Benjamin – for the increase in criminal activity and poor work conditions; and Minister responsible for APUA Melford Nicholas – for the continued water crisis.
Some persons add that Prime Minister Browne, himself, should be fired for the state of the country’s economy, with inflation resulting in the current high cost of living.
Weighing in, others say that the retirees who are still employed with the Government, including spokesman Lionel “Max” Hurst, should be sent packing and make room for younger people.
Meanwhile, some people are suggesting that the Port Authority and
the Customs and Excise Division should be next for cleansing.
But well-known online commentator Audley Phillip wonders if the
actions taken represent a “cleansing or a purge.”
Phillip notes that the Labour Party was “born out of the bowels of
workers and the labour union … and such firings go against the
spirit of their own movement.”