PSOJ Calls for Respect and Civility in Jamaica’s Leadership

Kingston, Jamaica – 31 July 2023: The Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) is reiterating its unwavering commitment to upholding the values of decency, integrity, unity, and respect within our society. We firmly believe that these principles form the foundation of a humane and civilised country, where the rule of law and public order are upheld for the betterment of our nation.
Recent events within the public domain, particularly emanating from individuals in leadership positions, have caused deep concern within our organisation. We feel compelled to address these issues as they impede the progress of our nation’s development.
Statement by JPF Chair, Corporal Rohan James
Regarding the recent statements made by the Chairman of the Jamaica Police Federation, Corporal Rohan James, the PSOJ believes that his remarks were misplaced, inappropriate for the event and displayed a severe lack of judgment. Institutions, especially those representing law enforcement, should exemplify the highest moral standards. We await further information on the interdiction of Corporal James and call for a thorough investigation into the matter.
Disgraceful Statements by PNP General Secretary
Furthermore, the PSOJ finds the recent statement by PNP General Secretary Dayton Campbell during a political conference held in North West Clarendon, referencing Minister Vaz, as absolutely disgraceful. We have consistently urged our political leaders to elevate their standards of behaviour and speech in the political arena. It is unacceptable to witness leaders engaging in conduct that undermines the principles of respect and decency. Dayton Campbell’s display of vulgarity on the political stage is reprehensible and sets a troubling example for our society.
We are also alarmed by the apparent lack of response from the Leader of the Opposition, who seemed complicit in this unprofessional conduct by smiling, nodding in agreement on stage, and failing to address his colleague’s disorderly behaviour. As leaders, it is crucial that we hold each other accountable for our actions, and we expect nothing less than the highest level of integrity from those in positions of authority.
As the PSOJ, we implore all leaders in various spheres of influence to be mindful of their actions and words, recognising their significant impact on shaping our nation’s character.
We call on all individuals in leadership positions to lead by example, fostering an environment of mutual respect and upholding the values that are essential for the growth and prosperity of Jamaica instead of indulging in a headlong race to the bottom to surpass each other in vitriol and indecency.
As leaders, it is crucial that we hold each other accountable for our actions, and we expect nothing less than the highest level of integrity from those in positions of authority. The PSOJ believes in respect for each other. There will always be differing opinions, but we must treat each other with respect and not set out to destroy the dignity of those on the other side as we seek to resolve issues.
Disciplinary Measures Against Attorney-At-Law, Isat Buchannan
In recent times, troubling incidents have come to light, exemplifying the urgent need for steadfast dedication to the values of decency, integrity, unity, and respect within Jamaican society. Most recently, a video surfaced in which attorney-at-law Isat Buchannan and Chair of the PNP’s HR Committee – who resigned today -quoted a known convict’s derogatory statement directed towards the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) and additionally referenced our constitution in vulgar terms.
The PSOJ vehemently denounces this venomous and misogynistic attack against the DPP. Such demeaning statements directed at the individual tasked with leading our fight against criminals are wholly unacceptable and starkly contrary to all standards of civility and respect.
Consequently, the PSOJ calls for punitive and/or disciplinary measures against Mr Buchannan by the General Legal Council and the Jamaica Bar Association. It is essential that the legal profession maintains the highest ethical standards, and actions that undermine the dignity of public office must not go unaddressed.
De-politicise Constitutional Amendments For DPP and AG
In another matter of concern, we urge the political directorate to refrain from politicising the constitutional amendments for the increase of the retirement age of the DPP and Auditor General (AG). We align ourselves with the observations made by the Jamaica Bar Association regarding the untidy management of this situation, which does not reflect good governance.
The Constitution mandates that the Offices of the DPP and Auditor General remain free from political interference or impediment. Therefore, all matters about these offices must be handled with the utmost adherence to due process and impartiality.
We call on the Government to allow sufficient time for all required representatives to ventilate legislative matters, including public consultation.   We cannot afford to normalise consistent cases of manipulation within the legislative framework.
Reinstatement of the Political Ombudsman Office
Finally, amidst the recurring instances of political misconduct, the urgent need to reinstate the office of the Political Ombudsman becomes increasingly apparent. We advocate for the Political Ombudsman to be vested with the necessary powers to effect meaningful sanctions, ensuring accountability and fairness in our political landscape.
At this juncture, the PSOJ must underscore our rejection of the seeping anarchy that empowers persons to feel that they can do or say anything they please, irrespective of the truth or the harm that will be inflicted on others or in society.
Additionally, we denounce acts of incivility that result in a breakdown of the environment required to come to a consensus and diminish our ability to work together in harmony in the best interests of the nation.
As the PSOJ, we remain committed to promoting values that strengthen our nation’s fabric and foster an environment of mutual respect and integrity. We urge all stakeholders to work together in upholding these principles, as they are essential for the growth and prosperity of Jamaica.