He said he was speaking in light of the recent portfolio changes within the Ministry of National Security.
Less than a day after not being allowed to use the state owned radio and television station, (ZIZ), for his nationwide address, the St. Kitts & Nevis Deputy Prime Minister, found a voice on at least three other local radio stations that took the decision to facilitate him and broadcast his message, on Monday 5th September, 2011.
Condor opened his presentation by explaining to listeners, that he was refused permission by the Minister of Information, Senator Nigel Carty and the Chairman of ZBC (ZIZ Broadcasting Corporation), who denied him the privilege to broadcast his message live, on Sunday night, (4th September).
Condor reported that he was told that the Deputy Prime Minister‘s speech would have to be pre-recorded and vetted prior to broadcast. Condor was at the time trying to respond to recent comments made by Prime Minister Dr. Denzil Douglas, in the National Assembly, indicating that Condor and all other Cabinet colleagues were told about the pending changes. Condor therefore was attempting to set the record straight.
“On Sunday 28th August on his return to the federation the Prime Minister informed me of his view that the country was calling on him to take the lead in National Security. My response was that, my interpretation was that the nation wanted him to demonstrate support, in terms of speaking out and providing the resources required,” said Condor in his address.
He continued, “This line of discussions continued into the following day, Monday the 29th (August, 2011), ending with the understanding that we shall meet again and further discuss the level of the Prime Minister’s involvement in the ministry.”
“However, on Wednesday 31st, August 2011, having completed the second reading in parliament of the Anti-Gang Prohibition Bill, I was invited to the Speaker’s office by the Prime Minister, and there told of a decision to take unto himself, the police, defence force, prisons and fire services, in a configuration called Homeland Security, leaving the remainder of National Security in a configuration called, Border Security,” explained the Deputy Prime Minister.
“My position remained the same, that there was absolutely no need for a split at this time,” said the West Basseterre Parliamentary Representative.
As he continued his explanation, he shared that “Having organised the Passing of the Baton ceremony for the incoming Commissioner of Police, slated for a couple of hours later, and being mindful that I was still the minister, and having the highest regard and respect for the officers of the St. Kitts and Nevis police force and indeed for the nation as a whole, I attended and concluding my duties in a professional manner. It was at the conclusion of the Toasting Ceremony at the Police Training Complex, that the Prime Minister informed me, that he was scheduled to make a broadcast that night.”
“I leave you to judge the level of respect, decorum and propriety meted out,” said Condor.
He said that he believe it was most unfortunate that the thoughts and energies of nationals, all across the globe and indeed those of our residents, should be consumed in a debate of discord among the policy makers at such a critical time as this.
In fact, he said, the new period seemed to have been ushering a new era of accord of oneness…a coming together as it were, in appreciation and acceptance of the role we all must play if we are to rid our country of the humongous challenge of the escalating crime and violence with which we have been battling for many years now.
“It is my view that the process of initiating and implementing an anti crime strategic plan and the Gang Prohibition Bill which was debated in the National Assembly, augured well for high hopes and expectations, for effective redress that was almost palpable in the land,” opined Condor..
“I therefore find it regrettable that we should be having this level of distraction that takes the focus off the task at hand…that is, to come together to battle our biggest national scourge of recent times, that of crime and violence,” shared the minister.
Sounding somewhat puzzled Condor stated, “One questions the motive, indeed the need for this decision, and the specific changes outlined by the Prime Minister at this time.”
He said that if he understood the broadcast (of Dr. Douglas),correctly he is saying essentially that there will no longer be a Ministry of National Security, at a time when it is so very critical we be seen as united combative force against the perpetrators of this evil war against our land.
The Deputy PM argued that the country does not need a confused, fragmented law enforcement agency, for it is exactly this kind of perceived cloudy vision that evil doers gain strength and momentum.
He said he is satisfied that substantial work had been undertaken, with a view to transforming the ministry into a policy-focused organization and that he remained fully committed to employing measures, so as to ensure that its administrative leadership was re-ordered in such a manner, that would render improved communications and some semblance of good order and efficiency.
“I did conclude that it was practically impossible to achieve these objectives with an accounting officer who amongst other things, constantly made policy decisions without advising or consulting with me as minister. For these reasons along with other public concerns and after careful deliberations, I requested that I be given the opportunity to identify a new Permanent Secretary, in an effort to take the ministry forward,” stated Condor.
“I have concluded that the minister, and God forbid, a golden opportunity for a national coalition on this issue, has been sacrificed,’ said the former head of National Security.
As I speak I am not privy to the official information on the newly re-styled ministry and as such will not be able to speak to it until I have received it and have had further discussion on it.