|Attorney General and Minister of Home Affairs, Adriel Brathwaite (FP)|
"Do not take me out of context"!
So says Attorney General and Minister of Home Affairs, Adriel Brathwaite, who today denied dismissing the concerns of staff members of the Probation Department who staged industrial action yesterday.
Responding to a news item in today’s (Tuesday, May 31) edition of the Daily Nation newspaper that he had dismissed their concerns during a meeting last week, the Minister said: "I have been misquoted.?? Certain staff members wanted to meet with me separately, but I declined as I felt that I had made myself available and invited members of staff to lay any concern on the table at that time.?? In fact, at the beginning of that meeting, I specifically invited members of staff to engage me in frank and open discussion on any matter that they chose.?? Against that background, I saw no need for a separate meeting. I could not in good conscience meet with a few members of staff; I should meet with all of them. Indeed, I made it clear that once the promotion process was fair and transparent in accordance with the Public Service Act, then persons who were not promoted should not see it as an excuse not to work, but should put their disappointment aside."
Noting that he fully understood the emotion of the situation, Minister Brathwaite, who is currently in Guyana attending a one-day meeting of the Council for Ministers responsible for National Security and Law Enforcement, emphatically stated: "If you take a few words out of any presentation you can use them however you please.?? I know what I said and it was not insensitive.
"The comments attributed to me do not represent what I actually said.?? Anyone, who is even remotely acquainted with me, would know that such harsh language surely is not my style."
Mr. Brathwaite said he met last Friday (May 20) with staff of the department, in the presence of the Permanent Secretary, and other senior ministry officials who can vouch for his comments and the context in which they were made.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs, Lucene Wharton- Isaacs, echoed similar sentiments, noting that in attempting to allay concerns raised by some of the staff members, the Minister told them once the process is fair and transparent, unless there was some underhandedness, they should brush themselves off and carry on.