Three Government Information Service (GIS) employees the opposition claims the labour administration fired were ‘seasoned professionals’ and the ‘heartbeat of GIS programming,’ former Information and Broadcasting Minister Dominic Fedee says.
The United Workers Party (UWP) had identified the three as Lissa Joseph, Primus Hutchinson, and Herma Demacque.
According to the party, they had received their ‘marching orders’, a claim denied by Information Minister Dr. Ernest Hilaire, who rejected accusations of victimisation .
Hilaire said the contracts were not being renewed.
“We don’t have need for their particular services but we still allow them to run out their contracts which end at the end of March,” he disclosed, adding that termination could have come in July or August last year.
Hilaire accused opposition leader Allen Chastanet and his ‘surrogates’ of being ‘disingenuous and blatantly dishonest’ regarding the matter.
But Dominic Fedee told reporters Tuesday outside parliament that he saw a desperate attempt by the government to deny victimisation.
And he declared that the government has the power to renew the contracts.
“Why not renew the contracts? You are talking about individuals with significant years in the media. You are going to end the Kweyol speaking programme that was done by Mr. Hutchinson? I don’t want to get involved as to what political party they support. I am not aware that they do, but they are seasoned professionals that helped to beef up and complement the GIS programming very well. In fact they were the heartbeat of the GIS programming and they are going to be sorely missed,” Fedee, a former broadcast journalist, stated.
Asked why the former government hired them as consultants, he responded that it happens continuously.
“You have consultants. If you look in this budget that we are about to launch, this government has millions in consultancies. They will be paying in fact it’s 81 million dollars. It’s a very normal practice,” Fedee declared.