Mukulu responds to the nonsense from Earl Witter

Mr. Earl Witter, QC, J.P.
18 Church Street

Dear Mr. Witter:

I am in receipt of your letter in which you have outlined your interpretation of a section of the Public Defender (Interim Act 2000). I think if you have an issue with your own misunderstanding of the law, you should perhaps seek advice from a person who is sufficiently competent to advise you. I say this as a cursory glance at the applicable section of the Act, would raise a more relevant question of fact, which you seem to have ignored. However, it is not my job to advise you on these things.


Jamaica’s young people must be more vocal and visible. Condemn Earl Witter !

Eart Witter recent decision to use his influence to block the appointment  of the bright, affable, well spoken and well composed acting public defender   Matondo Mukulu from the post of Public Defender must be condemned in the strongest possible terms.

It is clear to me and to others, that the now retired, stuttering and a most ineffective former public defender, interfered with the selection process for his replacement, which in my mind compromises the process, thus making this recent appointment  of  Arlene Harrison rather suspect. if not null void, meaning the appointment should be cancelled and the entire process redone.

I read Earl Witter’s letter written to Mantondo Mukulu dated Dec 12, 2014, a letter  , which should carry zero weight given the fact that, he Witter was NO LONGER a public servant and had no tenure of service under the Public Service act.

In that long winded letter, you could sense anger and pure jealousy on the path of Witter who was an abject failure as public defender. I will highlight a few sections of this letter below.

i. your appointment to act as Public Defender was ultra vires, null and, void, ab initio, it being open-ended and purporting to have been for a period exceeding the two months mandated by ss. (3): your “tenure,” it turns out then, dangles not by two but, by a single slender inelastic thread.

ii. you have, but erroneously, been enabled and, have seized upon an opportunity which patently you have perceived, not only to arrogate to yourself all of the powers of a Public Defender duly appointed but, have yourself, purported and, with great exuberance, inter alia:

a. to “rebrand” the Office of the public Defender;

b. to terminate other probationary appointments validly made by me, (one of them to the freshly created and highly sensitive post of Director of Corporate Services) and to substitute and/or make other appointments of your own which, clearly, are as null and void as was my own of you to act as Public Defender;

Earl Witter has long retired and has no authority, legal or otherwise to be writing to the person acting in this position. I not only found the letter to be rude and condescending, but highly improper and warrants some sore of legal interpretation.

Witter continues his rant :

d. by your public and in-house utterances and conduct regarded me (on one famous occasion to my own face) in a most churlish and highly disrespectful manner;

e. to have assured me orally, that it had “never crossed (your) mind” that you could seek appointment by His Excellency, the Governor General, as Public Defender but notably, have since resiled from that pretence;

f. have exhibited a propensity for duplicitous conduct (of which there is much evidence) by virtue of which I have come to regard you as untrustworthy and thus, on that basis alone, undeserving of any or any serious consideration by His Excellency for appointment as Public.

Look at d above, clearly this is very personal and I strongly suspect that having retired, Earl may have been attempting to direct the person acting in his position and was rightly rebuffed.

Now for the real kicker

But now, placing all such reliance as I may, upon the provisions of s. 5 (2), I put you formally on notice that you should forthwith cease and desist from operating under the colour, guise or pretence of “acting” Public Defender. Moreover, promptly, publicly and henceforward, do announce your substantive position to be that of probationary Deputy Public Defender and, confine yourself strictly to the relevant job description. The period commencing at the expiry of the probation envisaged by this appointment is, perforce, a de facto extension of your probation.

In all the circumstances therefore, you are rendered bereftof all authority save that encompassed by the Deputy Public Defender’s job description.

Now can someone tell me who Earl Witter think he is and what authority he believes he has, having retired and no longer employed as a public officer  and therefore has no right in law to direct and or authorize any action to the person in the current position.

I would like for a lawyer to comment on the above.

Now the big question become, why did Witter believe it necessary to write this letter to Mr Mantondo Mukulu and then copy same to the speaker of the house and the Governor General, does one not find this very odd.

What impact or role did this vile letter have on the non appointment of  Mr Mantondo Mukulu to the post of Public Defender, given the abject failure Mr Earl Witter was in this  role.  In my mind Mr Mukulu was “doing” rather than “acting” while Earl Witter was “acting” more than “doing”.

Let’s look at some of the highlights of Mr Mukulu short tenure while “doing” the job of Public Defender.

This from the Government Information Service ( JIS)

Sunday, June 01, 2014

KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) — Acting Public Defender, Matondo Mukulu says that  total of 657 of 800 outstanding cases have been resolved by his team, since he assumed office in April this year. (2014)

Another point to note

He said that when citizens file complaints, they will receive a response from his office within 21 days, “whether we have written to a government state body and they have responded, or not.”

If the head of the JCF could get the clear up rate Mr Mukulu was able to achieve during his rather short tenure, that Commissioner would be crowned ” King” of Jamaica and the National Security Minister would be made a National Hero.

What has happened to Mr Mukulu instead, is a bitter old man filled with anger and jealousy at the apparent effectiveness of the person filling his role has been seen as a villain rather than a hero and has been prevented from carrying out the good work, which he started on behalf of the Jamaican people.

The young, bright and vibrant people in this country should therefore not let this slip by without vigorously protesting via social media, writing to the papers, to parliamentarians etc to express their disgust at Mr Witter’s interference in the appointment of a public officer, given the fact he himself is no longer a public servant. His actions by the way would still have been inappropriate even if he was still a paid public officer.

It is instructive that in other countries around the world, it is the young people who typically takes the protest to their leaders in order to effect change, so why the same cannot take place in Jamaica.

The rate on employment among the young is over 30% and if young people continues to sit by and do nothing thus allow people who are way past their useful best to block their upward mobility, we could soon find a country unable to move forward and young people failing to make the achievements they ought to make in life.

So instead of using social media to comment on Lisa Hanna’s bathing suit, which by the way was the appropriate outfit for a day at the beach, lets use it to denounce  Earl Witter and let it be known that dinosaurs like himself will not be allowed to stifle the progress of young and talented people in this country.

I am angry and that is putting it mildly.

Merry Christmas

Commonsenseja, would like to extend warmest wishes to all readers and commentator on the blog. Wishing you a holy and peaceful holiday season.
As we go out to eat and drink and have fun, I do hope that all this is done in a safe manner and you will all be around to see another year.
Blessed Christmas to you all

With record low crude oil prices, is it time to shelve those energy conversion projects?

When oil prices was over US$100 per barrel, everyone was looking for alternative to expensive energy prices from the Jamaica Public Service company. Many had chosen alternative sources of energy such as wind, solar and many have done upgrades to light and air conditioning system, all with the intent to reduce energy usage and cost overtime.

One important part of the consideration in trying to undertaken these projects were the financial benefits that would have accrued from making the investment, with many using the SPP or Simple Payback Period. Now these numbers would have been based on energy being at over US$100 per barrel and most investment would have been made if the payback period was 2 years or less. With oil price now at 50% of what it was at the start of this year, many people have been left wondering if they made a bad decision in investing thousands and in some cases millions of dollars, seeing that the savings now are only a fraction of what they had expected and their payback period is at least 1.5 times what it would have been with fuel being at the price is today and with some projecting it could remain low for another 18 -24 months.

Those who have not yet invested are considering postponing those expenditures as they projects are not looking as financially viable with crude oil prices at US$58 per barrel.

To these people I say, let’s take a different approach. I would say take that windfall you are now seeing from lower oil prices and invest those funds for as long as oil prices remain below the US$100 per barrel.

Once oil prices go back up, you use the funds generated from the investment of the savings to help offset the cost of alternative energy solutions , which would reduce amount of funds you would have had to make available for this capital investment.


Electricity Bill ( oil prices at US$100 per barrel)     $2,000,000

Current Bill ( with 15% reduction )                         $1,700,000

Savings ( will be move when full prices kick in)      $300,000

Estimated time oil prices will be low     18 – 24 months

Assuming savings above is average over this period

Total projected savings = $5.4m – $7.2m  or US $47K – US$62,608 if funds are not invested.

Total projected savings with funds invested.

Assuming interest rate 30 day using T-Bill 30 day rate of  6.7%  this would be $5.7m  to $7.7m  or US$49.6K to US$66.96K

Not bad considering this is all monies that one would have spent had oil prices been at prices it was at the start of the year.

Are Micro Turbines the correct energy solution for Jamaica ?

Many businesses in Jamaica having to deal with very high electricity prices, have been looking at ways to lower their energy prices. In many cases they have gone to solar, wind and  Co-generation.

Red Stripe currently has one one of the largest Co-generation plants in Jamaica, which provides it electricity, heating and refrigeration , this plant is referred to as Combined Heat Power Plant or CHP.

The investments in these alternatives are pretty costly and a plant such as the one at Red Stripe cost close to US $7.7M or Ja $ 877.8m at current exchange rate.

Not many companies in Jamaica can or are willing to put up this kind of capital investments to secure their own power source and would therefore look to the market for cheaper alternatives which can give lower overall energy cost that JPS.

Micro turbines appear to be one such consideration, given that these small self contained package units can provide the Power, Heating and Cooling that a small to medium sized operation would want.

These micro turbines have been around for over ten years and tend to be used in remote areas, where the access to electricity is rather limited and it would have been a costly exercise to run power lines from the source to where the power is required.

The question now becomes, how good are these systems and should I consider one for my business.

The key to that question is to look who are the players in that industry and who are NOT playing. The next question to ask, is why are these players not playing and the answer to that question will allow you to be in a better position to move forward.

The generation business have been around for decades and they are some major players in this industry, so you may want to find out if the large players are playing in the micro turbine industry and if not why., given that very few companies would miss an opportunity to make money and if you see them staying away from a particular industry it may very well be that there is no money to be made their.

Next, ask yourself the question, are the players who are in micro turbine industry making money ?

You may have been told that one important measure of a company is the warranty they offer and that can be true but it is not always true.

I have seen many buyers in the energy sector being offered extended warranty on a energy saving item, only to find out that the warranty period is longer than the life time of the company offering the warranty. All this means is the when you have a failure  within the warranty period and you try to effect the conditions under the warranty, you find the company is no longer is business, which makes the warranty null and void.

I have seen many Windmills installed and then taken down and sent to the scrap metal yard as the company out of China which sold them the crap is no longer in business. What really happens however is this.

A local or a foreigner is offered a deal on these items out of China. The guys buys full container loads of the items and then offer them for sale on the local market as the panacea to your energy problems. You got ahead and make the purchase, have the item installed and working. Months later the system fails and you contact the local agent.

The local agent then contacts the agent in China only to find out that he cannot make a link that supplier anyone and that company is no longer listed. In reality what happens is the seller in China offloaded his junk in Jamaica, quickly changes his name and move to another location to repeat the same actions once again.

The subtle message is  Look before you leap !

For people wishing to consider alternatives, please contact the Development Bank of Jamaica to have a qualified energy expert look at what you are being offered before you dive in and drown.

Why is Phillip Paulwell such a failure ?

Phillip Paulwell  as the Minister of Mining and Energy has made more costly mistakes than any other government minister since independence, but continues to have the full faith, trust and backing of the Prime Minister of Jamaica.

Phillip Paulwell has made more grand announcements than any other minister this country has ever seen since independence, but more than 90% of these have never gotten off the ground or have failed having managed to get off the ground, yet he continues to hold unto the very MINISTRY he has failed so much at.

The only thing that I can give some credit to Mr Paulwell is the liberalization of the telecom industry, which would have happened anyway and had more to do with the direction that telecom was headed vs any genius on the part of Phillip Paulwell.

Phillip Paulwell’s biggest problem is want to strike it big, without doing his homework or listening to advice from those who know a lot more than he does. Firstly Phillip Paulwell is not qualified to lead this Ministry, he is a trained lawyer, whom I believe has never really practiced law, He has no formal training in the energy, mining or telecom sector, has never been employed to a business operating in any of these sectors and therefore comes to the job with no real experience and or achievements.

If you ran a mining company, a telecom company or one in the energy sector, would you employ a CEO who has had no previous experience in any of these sectors and only real training is having a law degree?

I am sure of you are honest and thinking about the long-term future of the company, you would say no way, so why do we have someone like this leading this most important sector.

The many mistakes that Phillip Paulwell has made working in this sector, does not come as a surprise to me at all, it was bound to happen and will continue to happen as Mr Paulwell searches for that big signature project that he hopes will propel him one day to party leader and Prime Minister of this country. He has failed to spend the time to educate himself with the many facets of this very large operations that he has been given full responsibility and does not appear to listen to advise that I am sure would have been provided to him.

Phillip is so consumed that he has hit the jackpot, that he runs and makes big announcement after announcement and when they all fail to materialize, he simply moves on to the the next big announcement hoping the last few would have been forgotten .

He appears to make commitment to spend money without rigorous analysis especially when it come unto his dealings with foreign investors, we see that over and over again.

Phillip Paulwell is not the man to the lead this Ministry and the Prime Minister continued efforts to keep him there will hurt Jamaica in the long run. If Mr Paulwell is to have the measure of success he wants, he needs to learn that he has to earn it. He must spend more time LISTENING to his local experts, which are in most cases, much better that the brief case salesman who comes to Jamaica, to make a quick buck from our perceived ignorance and in fact does so, leaving Jamaica with less money and holding unto a briefcase of  failed concepts.

Frankly speaking,  Mr Paulwells vision of becoming Prime Minister is forcing him to make rash decisions, most of which have been costly failures to the country and what makes the entire situation so bad, is the Prime Ministers under which he has operated have all failed to stop save him from himself and instead have encouraged him along.

Can Mr Paulwell redeem himself ?

West (Worst) Indies fails once again !

The Worst Indies has once again embarrassed the region on the tour of South Africa by losing heavily inside 4 days. One can recall the West Indies packing up and cancelling the tour of India due to a pay dispute, but after their embarrassing defeat, one wonders if the WICB should not cancel the tour and refuse to pay this bunch of lazy, incompetent money grabbing bunch of losers.

The side is a disgrace to West Indies cricket and it seems the players concern is only money and they do not give a damn about actually playing for this money.

The WICB should disband the team, stay out of the Test Area for five years to rebuild a new team and then re-enter the cricket arena.

%d bloggers like this: