The latest installment in the CARICEL spectrum license saga took everyone watching yesterday, by surprise, when news broke that the Andrew Holness led government was starting the process to rescind the license granted to the company. This is by far the most dramatic intervention in this matter beating the other one that was taken, when the US Embassy in Kingston publicly intervened in the matter through a Tweet late last year.
There are a few disturbing things about the entire sordid mess. The most troubling one by far is why the previous People`s National Party (PNP) government, gave the principals of CARICEL the go ahead to start up this company, as we are now been told by the US that this information was made available to them before? It must be noted that this entire thing started under the PNP, though people like Paulwell who was the Minister then is trying to make it out as if it is the JLP that started it.
It is inconceivable that the US would have such “hard Evidence” about certain individuals associated with the company and never passed it over to the then Government. The question that now needs to be ask, is why did the PNP allowed the process to get so far advanced that a new government could approve the License? And not only that, but why wasn’t the information passed on to the incoming Minister? Old folks says Hindsight is 20/20 vision, and when anybody looks back at how Peter Bunting and Paulwell was behaving on this CARICEL matter, recently, everything falls into place-they knew stuff that the present Government didn’t! Thats the only logical conclusion that can be made now.
Quite worryingly too, is what possible motive could the former minister have for not passing on the information it seemed he had in his possession when he dimitted office? Was the PNP hoping that it would blow up like the DUDUS,MANATT affair and cause an early election? If the words of Bobby Pickersgill is anything to go by when he stated years ago:” we believe it is best for us to form the government, so anything that will cause us to be in power, we think it is best for Jamaica,” then this country can safely assume, that is what they wanted to happen.
The PNP, and specifically, Phillip Paulwell must come clean and tell the Nation what they knew about this deal, when they knew it, and what actions were taken if any, to safe guard this Nation. Its no joking matter, when the United States of America, says look here, their is somebody associated with this Company that is alleged to be involved in Lotto Scamming and Drug running, to have so much private phone numbers at their disposals!
We as a country must demand answers from the Opposition on what informed their decision to give the green light to CARICEL, even with information they must have known about that painted the company in a bad light and has implications for National Security. It cannot be, that a former Minister just walk away humming when it was his seemingly reckless actions, that has led to this point where this thing is now an embarrassment to Jamaica.
And the Plot thickens, as the US is now saying with a great degree of confidence, that CARICEL went and got a Policeman to “clear” person/persons that the US had security concerns about. If that is true, then it has wider implications for the entire society as it will only reinforced the view that the police force is a corrupt entity that cannot be repaired, where the rich gets away with anything, and the poor suffers. Its absolutely frightening!
There are numerous lessons that can be learnt from this whole mess and it must be learnt quickly. Never again should this mess be allowed to happen.