President of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) Dr Ronnie Yearwood has described the recent Cabinet reshuffle by Prime Minister Mia Mottley as “a swapping of incompetent ministers”.
He said what was especially telling was that Minister of Education, Technological and Vocational Training, Kay McConney remained unscathed despite numerous calls for her to be sacked following the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) survey fiasco.
Speaking at the Barbados Labour Party’s 85th Annual Conference on Saturday, Prime Minister Mia Mottley announced changes to her Cabinet, effective Wednesday.
She named Senior Minister of Social Sectors and Environment Dr The Honourable Jerome Walcott as Minister of Health and Wellness to replace Ian Gooding-Edghill who will head the Ministry of Tourism and International Transport.
Senator Lisa Cummins, who is the current Minister of Tourism, was named Minister of Energy and Business Development with responsibility for International Business and Trade, replacing Senior Minister Kerrie Symmonds who will be the new Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade.
Additionally, Member of Parliament for the City of Bridgetown Corey Lane, the parliamentary secretary in the Ministry of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs, will now serve in the Office of the Attorney General as Minister of State with responsibility for Crime Prevention.
In an interview with Barbados TODAY, Yearwood said none of the ministers who were moved had performed well in their previous roles and he had little confidence they would succeed in their new positions.
“Overall, I thought the reshuffle was done as a knee-jerk reaction to really what is a growing tide of dissatisfaction with the Government and the Government’s incompetence. I think at the core there is a competence issue with this Government. There is the inability to deliver even the most basic of things, so really all it was is just moving people around on the deck, but you moved one incompetent person to put another,” he contended.
“So you moved a non-performing Minister of Tourism to replace a non-performing Minister of Energy. You just swapped them about so you will get the same result. I don’t understand how in the Prime Minister’s head you are going to get a different result if you are doing the same thing over and over.”
The DLP president also took issue with the fact that McConney was not removed.
He said it showed the Prime Minister was more interested in putting the interests of her “friend” before the interests of Barbadians.
“Really what struck me is the person Barbadians have been demanding should be removed was not removed. So the fact that Kay McConney was still there after weeks of demonstrations and calls for her resignation and the Prime Minister did not remove her, I think the Prime Minister is sending a clear message to the people of Barbados about who she cares about, and she cares about her friend Kay McConney and not the parents and students of Barbados,” Yearwood said.
Furthermore, he also criticised Mottley’s decision to make the announcement at a political conference.
Dr Yearwood said that was “disrespectful” and proved that Mottley could not separate party and State.