By Erasmus Williams:
Basseterre, St. Kitts, April 5, 2018 – The recent statement by Prime Minister Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris, that civil service appointments he has made since taking office are based on political patronage, has drawn fire from St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP), West Basseterre Parliamentary Representative, Hon. Konris Maynard.
Harris’ threat and politicalisation of the civil service at a Town Hall meeting in Sandy Point, have been condemned as “dictatorial” by Maynard.
“Our civil service is expected to be independent of political parties. Persons are not to be appointed or given work in exchange for political patronage. Dr. Harris in three short years has politicised the civil service,” said Maynard, who is of the view that the Dr. Harris’ revelation “is evidence that persons were appointed not as a result of their qualifications and under the statues of how persons are to be appointed, but rather as a result of their political support.”
“This is unheard of. This is wrong. These are the signs of a dictator that civil servants in Government Headquarters and around the country must feel threatened that their jobs are in jeopardy and are at stake, if they do not wear the colours of parties in the coalition or write and shout the praises of an ‘emperor with no clothes’,” said Maynard during Wednesday’s Issues radio programme on Freedom 106.5 FM.
Maynard, a first term MP also slammed Dr. Harris for publicly identifying Richards, one of his other two coalition colleagues, as the next prime minister of St. Kitts and Nevis when his perceived 10-year as head of government ends.
At the same Town Hall meeting Harris declared: “I will do all that can to ensure his successful re-election as the undisputed champion for the people of St. Christopher 5. I will do all that I can to ensure that when the time comes at the end of my 10 years as prime minister, the baton is passed to the Hon. Shawn K. Richards.”
“That has always been Dr. Harris’ thinking of an entitlement. That was one of the issues that led to the parting of ways with then Prime Minister the Right Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas,” said Maynard, who recalled that Dr. Harris, then the senior minister in the Labour Party administration, walked into Dr. Douglas’ office and demanded he hand over the prime ministership to him (Harris) immediately.
“Dr. Douglas said the prime ministership does not belong to him (Dr. Douglas). Now under Dr. Harris, the prime ministership belongs to Dr. Harris, who will decide that after his 10 years, he will give the position of prime minister to Hon. Shawn Richards. What happens to the other members in the coalition besides the political leaders? Don’t they also have the right to aspire to become prime minister? These are soundings of a dictator,” said Maynard.