There is a brewing controversy between the Prime Minister and the legal fraternity, not for the first time.
This time it’s over the Prime Minister’s stated position that police have the authority under public health regulations to enter private citizens’ homes to ensure the enforcement of COVID-19 regulations.
The Law Association’s view is shared by senior counsel Martin Daly and others.
The PM’s position is supported by the Attorney General and Police Commissioner, which is not surprising.
What is surprising is that the police’s authority seems to be only known now after so many horses have bolted the stable and the country has been failing to control the latest spike in cases and deaths. There have been numerous reports of house parties in so-called ‘posh’ communities, not to mention the now popular ‘zesser’ fetes.
Just recently, there was a report of the relative of a well-known People’s National Movement financier hosting a massive wedding and Down the Islands parties were a norm, which is why the Health Minister has now made it a point to say such gatherings are no longer allowed.
It is as if we all believed the false narrative that we were top of the world in handling the crisis which many other countries far more advanced than us are yet to get under control. In the interim, our leaders waited to the very end to initiate processes to acquire vaccines and we are now well behind in the process of inoculating citizens.
What’s before us today is a worsening situation, created in part by the throw-caution-to-the-wind invitation for citizens to travel to Tobago for Easter. If one is to believe the Works and Transport Minister’s boast, 50,000-plus citizens not only took up the invitation but did so with no inhibitions.
The chickens are now coming home to roost.
The death toll from COVID is rapidly rising, as are cases. How much more of a wake-up call do we need?
It’s not okay for the Prime Minister, who has been head of the Government for over six years, to continuously blame the Opposition for the state of the country and the porous borders which allows Venezuelans to enter illegally and undetected, posing the further possibility of the spread of the virus.
The blame game can continue and the country can stand still, while COVID makes its move in all its mutations. But the fact is we can’t afford it.
Where the Prime Minister and his team need to focus their energies now is on a plan to inoculate the citizens so that we can achieve herd immunity.
As for the opposition, it is better they stay quiet than to spew some of the most inane rubbish that has been spewing from the party.
The country does not need bickering. Not between the PM and the legal fraternity, nor the Government and Opposition. Enough with the blaming! The country is dying for some real help and what we need is real leadership.