Just when it seemed “the system” had decided to change its evil ways and to get going with the matter of Hannah Defoe, harsh reality has once again set the record straight.
Some may recall that on July 25, 2012, the unsuspecting young woman on vacation had stepped into the seductive swimming pool of a local hotel and sank to the bottom, never again to rise. It soon emerged she had been electrocuted.
Almost a year later the Ministry of Infrastructure engaged a gas station owner to “conduct an inquiry into whether the processes leading to the supply of electricity to [a hotel] located in Vieux Fort was in keeping with the regulatory procedures in the Electricity Supply Act 1994.”
To date, the report that was submitted to government last April remains a secret. At any rate, where the majority of Saint Lucians are concerned. This being a nation of tittle-tattlers, some well-placed citizens who have read at least some sections of it have let it be known the report is nothing short of an indictment.
Against whom? Against all of us. Government departments that don’t deliver; a citizenry that famously tolerates killer mediocrity; individuals who will sell their souls and their children’s for an opportunity to be served cocktails at Government House and so on.
Cover-ups are the order of the day. Facebook is the new First District Court, with the especially moronic serving as judge, jury and executioner. How many have died unnaturally without resolution? At last count the number was over four hundred.
In Saint Lucia the law is not only a metaphorical ass—if you’ll pardon the expression just this once—the law in Saint Lucia is an asshole. Children are abused at school with impunity. Those who turn to the courts must be ready to accept adjournment after absurd adjournment. Citizens without means who find themselves in trouble actually expect to spend the rest of their lives languishing in prison for reasons over which they have no control, regardless of what the Constitution might say about speedy trials.
Our DPP’s office is undermanned and underfinanced. Result? The department is next to useless. Millions having been spent on the establishment of a crime lab, the building and its expensive equipment have yet to be put to constructive use. Our police department is under some kind of predictable investigation for suspected human rights violations.
Roads newly-built cave in without explanation, even when citizens have died as a consequence. Christianity and voodoo booze side by side at the same watering holes. Even the government demonstrates scant regard for due process: witness the matter involving misappropriated Taiwanese funds. While government claims the allegations are under investigation by the police and the DPP’s office, the supposed evidence—collected by civil servants with or without axes to grind—can be read on the internet, placed there by government personnel. The police have not confirmed receipt of the “evidence.” Neither has the office of the DPP.
Small wonder that we’ve turned on ourselves with a vengeance—just as Franz Fanon a long time ago predicted we would: When people are oppressed beyond tolerance, said he, in effect, they turn not on their oppressor but on one another.
And so we rape and we rob and we chop each other up with cutlasses. Or we shoot one another in the head over the smallest slight, while a gutless and guilty government looks on, too concerned with maintaining itself to care about law and order and justice, let alone delivering on campaign promises.
Believe it, we are in deep doo-doo. To quote the Governor General whose office, by the way, has been made into a sick joke by recent events: “For the time being and for the foreseeable future, we are largely on our own and as a nation we must rely on ourselves and on each other if we are to prosper. This is a lesson we already know. This is a lesson we have already lived. This lesson we have already mastered and now must make the central pillar of our daily philosophy.”
As I write, the news is that a woman has stabbed to death a man with whom she had been sharing her bed and her body. Why did she kill him? Who knows for certain? Perhaps she took the governor general at her word and relied for her survival on her knife!