November 28, 2020

The Editor Speaks: It is the season for mystery, accusations and threats. Where is the good will?

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Information Commissioner, Jennifer Dilbert, has again flexed her muscles and ruled against the Cayman Islands Government. Her decision means the Port Authority must reveal a financial analysis done on various proposals for the construction of a cruise ship berthing facility in George Town and publish the minutes of the meetings their board of directors had between April and June 2011.

“I find that there is an overriding public interest in disclosing these sections of the minutes. I fail to see how disclosure would interfere with the board’s or the country’s productivity,” said Mrs. Dilbert.

I applaud Mrs. Dilbert but we have to wait and see if Government will appeal this decision. They have 45 days to do so and I expect any disclosure by them will be left to the last possible minute.

Justice was done last Tuesday (13) when Justice Alexander Henderson gave custodial sentences ranging from 16 months to Sanjay Andre Burrell, and 12 months to both Joseph Lloyd Suberan and O’Brian Emmanuel Wright. Burrell was a trusted employee of Reggae Money Express who staged the theft of approx. CI$82,000 comprising of both US and CI dollars last January to make it look like an armed robbery. The fact that Burrell was studying to become an accountant, described as a model student, a husband and father, is all the more incredulous he would steal from his employer.

Just beginning a career (he is only 22) now ruined, which would have reaped many more monetary rewards than ever he could have hoped to gain from this robbery. How stupid can one be?

North Side MLA, Ezzard Miller, has filed a private member motion that calls for the governor to appoint five people, one of whom would be a judge, magistrate or JP and one a retired lawyer, to the Anti-Corruption Committee (ACC). This would remove the automatic membership of the police commissioner, the complaints commissioner and the auditor general.
The first ever annual report of the ACC was tabled in the L.A. last Thursday (15) but strangely, even though now a public document, at press time it has not been posted on the ACC website.

Government has altered the wording on Mr. Ezzard’s motion and has stated they want time to consider it before putting it to the vote. They have not stated how much time they need. I am sure Mr. Miller will not allow it to remain timeless. The ACC cannot possibly be independent if a member holds any other public office. I hope the UK is putting pressure on the government to improve the ACC.

Nineteen Cuban migrants were repatriated last Tuesday (13) by the Department of Immigration. They arrived on Cayman Brac two months ago and the Cayman Government has an agreement with the Cuban Government to send back any refugee or migrant who lands on our shores. The policy has drawn widely differing opinions from the public. Most churches have been silent on the matter. Most of these refugees do not want to stay here but move on to another country (Honduras is where nearly all are trying to get to). Has any study been done on what has happened to the Cubans who have been sent back to their own country?

I am astonished the RCIPS did not send out any release to say the Esterley Tibbetts highway was closed to traffic last Friday (16) morning between the Butterfield roundabout and Camana roundabout when people were trying to get to work. The police only confirmed there had been an accident when we asked them ourselves. The accident actually occurred at 1:10am!! There was almost gridlock in the traffic, which continued right up to 2pm even after the road had been opened. Perhaps the RCIPS can explain why they did not think it necessary to inform the media in advance so we could put it on our websites? Normally their Public Relations department does an excellent job but they only do it when some high-ranking officer informs them. This was a huge oversight and some of the congestion might have been avoided if drivers had known in advance. It was thoughtless and another opportunity for the public to have a grouse at the RCIPS. And this time, whoever was in charge of traffic, deserves it!!

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