Archille Joseph, CEO of the Domnica Employers Federation
Archille Joseph, CEO of the Domnica Employers Federation

Plundered by wanton looters after Hurricane Maria, members of Dominica's private sector are dismayed that the Roosevelt Skerrit Administration has largely ignored a letter that they wrote to government almost four months ago.

"We wrote around October/November (last year) and to date not a response far less an acknowledgement of our letter," said Executive Director of the Dominica Employers Federation (DEF) Achille Joseph who spoke to THE SUN last week on government's response to a letter that the umbrella private sector organization, the Dominica Business Forum (DBF), wrote requesting an enquiry into widespread post-Maria looting.

Joseph said as tax-payers, members of the private sector need to understand what went wrong when the police did not perform its duties after the storm.

"The State institution sworn to protect residents and their properties failed miserably. The Police did not perform!" said Joseph.

Adding that the DEF and the business sector are blaming the leadership of the police force for the loss of their investments, Joseph said: "Many have called for the resignation of the Chief (Daniel Carbon) and the Minister for National Security, (Rayburn Blackmore) but I think this is premature since we do not know the cause of the inertia by the Police.

"So again, we will repeat our call for a formal investigation and/or inquiry into the failure of our Police. Many in the private sector are mindful that the Chief of Police may not have a statutory responsibility to report to the citizenry on matters of security. Assuming this is correct or permissible in this instance, and even if the contrary is true, the Prime Minister, as chief steward of the State, has to be held responsible and accountable to the electorate. The PM, therefore, is the target of our repeated calls for an inquiry.

"We need to know what caused the inertia by the Police. Hurricane season 2018 will be here in three months and we cannot comfortably go into the season with unanswered questions. The PM has to tell us where he and/or his agents failed".

Joseph said: "Businesses were raped to the ground by many in civil society. Even structures which were not destroyed by the hurricane were brought down by mischievous human hands, and the contents looted."

Joseph said that the "wound" created by the looting was "still wide open and extremely painful" and that gash will not heal until there is an inquiry.

Asked what time frame had the DEF and the DBF given to government to respond to their request Joseph said: "We are just watching and waiting."