THE EDITOR: Last month, I wrote a letter to the editor highlighting the fact that Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar is a student of the servant leadership style of governance. In this recent test of her leadership mettle, she has only reinforced this point.
Former Minister of Sport Anil Roberts provided the ultimate test for any leader. The recent shenanigans surrounding “Room 201” would have made any leader cringe. Here you have a situation which would most definitely damage the credibility of any political party, but you are caught between a rock and a hard place as you cannot take any firm action because you do not have conclusive evidence. What a quandary!
The Life Sport situation is clearly different. She had firm evidence, and Roberts felt he had no choice but to resign. However, throughout our history, ministers of Government have continued to function in the face of more damning allegations. I believe that the tenor of the Prime Minister’s leadership style has set the environment where Roberts had no other alternative but to resign.
Many highlighted that this was the 19th change to her government, but I believe it just reinforces the fact that once there are any doubts surrounding a government official’s ability to manage effectively and responsibly, this Prime Minister makes the necessary changes.
I have no doubt that she is cognisant of the fact that so many changes may have a negative effect on her government’s reputation, but as she strives for transparency and good governance, she is willing to take this risk. That is strong leadership.