BVI News

OPINION: Truth, reconciliation and the Commission of Inquiry

Kedrick Malone

By Kedrick Malone, Contributor

The apparently unprecedented events taking place in the world during our lifetime actually are not unprecedented in life, for there is nothing new under the sun. 

What has been, willl be; and what will be has been. However, there are some common threads linking these events together, with the most powerful of them being the revelation of truth. 

John 8:32 tells us: “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free”. The world is on a truth and reconciliation crusade and the BVI is no exception.

Therefore, if we are to make constructive use of this Commission of Inquiry (COI), putting aside arguments of its origin and motivation, we must place it in the wider context of world events and treat it as a truth and reconciliation commission — both on the part of the United Kingdom (UK) and the Virgin Islands (VI).

System Reconciliation

The outcomes of the issues and matters to be examined during this six-month COI will determine, first and foremost, whether our current public service governance system is adequate to effectively manage the operation of our Government and to provide the mechanisms by which it and public officers (political and administrative) are held to account. 

Good governance requires administrative systems to deliver efficient and effective results; standards to ensure compliance with rules; controls to manage and minimise risks; and codes to ensure ethical conduct. These necessary elements must be in place to safeguard against human susceptibilities. 

We must, therefore, once and for all, speak truthfully about our experiences with our current governance system in order to determine if it has evolved adequately to facilitate all of the needs of a nation engaged in global enterprises and of a people whose aspirations are the same as those in any developed society. 

With these truths spoken and written, we must move to quickly reconcile the gaps between the needs of the territory and its people, and the ability of our system of governance and our institutions to deliver the outcomes required to move the territory forward to greater self-determination.

“Truth Stands Alone”

We can only achieve the best outcome for the territory, if we accept that the truth stands alone and is no respecter of persons. Neither the receivers of the COI information nor the persons providing the information can change the truth. Recent world events have taught us that misinformation, conceived in darkness and majestically cloaked in grandeur, quickly evaporates in the information age of truth and revelation. This is the new paradigm that is ushering in a new era of justice, equality, transparency and peace in the world. VI is no exception.  

At our core, Virgin Islanders are a strong, honest, resilient, self-sufficient and independent people who have built an enviable society through strong leadership, hard work and always playing by the rules. Those of us who have worked in senior roles in public service are aware of the challenges of working within our limited governance system with its many gaps that only widen as the demands and needs of the Territory and its people increase. It is not sustainable and now is the time to fix it.

Small size issue

Through the creative use of public-private partnerships, the territory has managed to maintain its competitive posture in most arenas externally. Internally, we struggle to meet the domestic demands of a people whose quest for a good quality of life is no different in the West End of Tortola than it is in the West End of London. 

But one size of governance does not fit all. Limitations related to small size, population, resources, family relations, equitable work distribution and other issues unique to small societies require a different, appropriate and relevant governance model, a fact recognised by the United Nations in its Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) governance standards.

Towards self-determination

As a people of faith, we know that all things work together for good and that sometimes things that come against us that seem evil work for our good. We have come this far by faith and we should not let doubt, fear and mistrust cripple our quest for greater self-determination. History holds the truth and has taught us many valuable lessons of who we are as Virgin Island and United Kingdom people and nations. 

Let us use remember the admonition of the late Chief Minister H. Lavity Stoutt to learn from our mistakes and let knowledge, instinct, history, information and discernment guide and direct our path to the future with the help of God. Let us live our faith. It is in our DNA. 

This is our moment, Virgin Islands! Truth ushers in change and reconciliation. Both are prerequisites for greater self-determination. 

Kedrick Malone is a former senior official with the Government of the Virgin Islands

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  1. Yes says:

    You could not have said it any better Mr. Malone.

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  2. Ooohhh. Boiiii says:

    A lotta o dem s**ttin in dem pants wid frite

    Like 10
  3. Yeah says:

    Hopefully this Inquiry can set us back on the right track. Scare the thieves straight and maybe even a little Jail Time.

    Like 30
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  4. Love it! says:

    Well said, Kedrick. Love it! Love the insight, love the context, love the simple truth! I have great hopes for the COI. We simply CAN NOT accept that things are well because they are NOT. NO politician, radio personality or other can convince me otherwise. We are struggling as a Territory, as a people. And as you said, “Internally, we struggle to meet the domestic demands of a people whose quest for a good quality of life…” Things are NOT working. Let’s have the COI, throw away any garbage and associated items and begin with a clean slate. It is HIGH TIME!

    Like 35
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    • 007 says:

      You are mistaken what he is saying. It’s about truth not speculations,rumors and slander from those than oppose. You can’t hope for truth when your mind is already made up without any evidence or facts on the table.

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      • BVI's Black Box says:

        Flight Data Recorders, (Black Boxes) are devices designed to record and tell the story of an aircraft; (conversation in the cockpit; flight departure date, time, direction, altitude pilot/Traffic Control etc) in the event the plane crashes into the ground or goes down into the ocean. The FAA (The Federal Aviation Administration) or other name in other countries main interest is learning the aircraft’s location and redeeming its”Black Box”… done by listening for the “PINGING” sound the Black Box gives off.
        The BVI’s Black Box is Pinging and the Commission of Inquiry job is to hunt it down, Recover it with is Ton loads of Data (Auditor General Reports, Standing Finance data, Consultancy information, awarding of contracts, cronyism, government in the dark operation, statutory Board memberships and standing etc).
        The patient can’t be help without being accurately Diagnosed. Let’s get the patient diagnosed and properly treated. Better days are ahead. #BVIStrong

  5. 1st district says:

    Yes, you too from our London Office have lots of answers for us about financial dealings! The COI!!

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  6. Laura says:

    Well stated, Mr Malone! If only our Premier could take a few notes, we might be able to hold our heads up again.

    The BVI needs to take stock of every aspect of the COI results and not yet react but be proactive in building a stronger foundation of trust, security and stability for this nation.

    We are sinking but we won’t drown! “we shall know the truth, and the truth shall make us free” because “we know that all things work together for good.”

    Like 12
  7. BVIslander says:

    Mr. Malone thank you for your opinion, I think most of the us agree with you. It is is good to read what seems like a clear and rational opinion on the state of the BVI and the COI. Some BVIslanders seem to be against the COI. IN my daily travels around Road Two I’ve noticed that many of the people that are vehemently against the COI are either party supporters of Civil Servants.
    It has be wondering that is really going in Govt and how bad the corruption really is, why are so many public offers are constantly trying to discredit the COI. I guess time will tell

    Like 14
  8. hmmm says:

    I can imagine the enemies KM have now and the set of messages he got saying that he shouldn’t have. The offended capital of the world would have dissected every sentence out of what he says and think he meant it was about them.

  9. Divajs says:

    But what is the truth that scripture is referring to?

  10. Guy Hill says:

    @Hmmm.Thats how vain some folks can get.

  11. Be Real says:

    Well said. This should be about strengthening democracy and governance instead of been seen as an attack on governance.

  12. Hmmmmm says:

    They need to lock up K*****k first.
    K*****k think jumping out infront, will save him.

    Like 5
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  13. Deh Watcha says:

    I read in the blogs once…..

    “but for truth, there is no deadline”

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