Over a week has passed since the Bishop of Gozo spoke about a reality already known to all. Bishop Teuma rarely beats about the bush. During the festivities in Għajnsielem, he called a spade a spade. He referred to the endemic plague permeating Gozo, which is that of the many Gozitans employed by the Government. But worse still, he referred to the work that is never carried out. As a result, these employees appear to be carrying out phantom work! What is the Government going to do? Is it going to open some sort of inquiry? Is the Commissioner of Police going to investigate this serious allegation? I don’t think so. A week has gone by, and all is quiet.
Bishop Teuma has mentioned nothing new, but the difference lies in the fact that he has taken the bull by the horns, and he is right. He noted that Gozo has workers who are paid but do not carry out their jobs. He said they were making fun of the other Gozitans and setting a bad example for children. He warned that some in Gozo receive their salary when they hardly report for work. They report for a few minutes or an hour or two and then do private work. This is not right.
Regarding these allegations, the authorities have remained silent. This confirms how the motive for certain inquiries and court proceedings – here, I am referring to Melvin Theuma’s phantom job case – are politically motivated. On this issue, several individuals were cited and had to appear to testify after Melvin Theuma accepted a Government job to which he was not entitled. In this instance, the media had a field day, but in thousands of similar cases, the media has remained silent. Nobody is entitled to be paid for work that he/she is not doing. Curiously, on this point, neither the Government nor the Opposition demands an investigation to verify the facts.
After Bishop Teuma publicly highlighted the Gozitan agenda and attracted the nation’s attention, everybody remained silent, and no magistrate was appointed to investigate this scandal. Neither the Government nor the Opposition have demanded a public inquiry. Neither party is putting pressure because, were they to do so, the Commissioner of Police would have to bring to court each and every Gozitan deputy still living from the time of Independence to date who engaged individuals giving them phantom jobs with the Government. Let’s be frank. This stealing has been going on for a very long time. It has been the economic model for small islands like Gozo to have many persons employed by the Government. The NSO (the National Office of Statistics) has published information showing that Gozo has 35% of its workforce with the Government against the 20% engaged in Malta!
Justice has ended up being used for political reasons to blacken Yorgen Fenech. And to discredit Fenech, they have ended up glued to him, and so have a number of innocent civil servants who do a good job. And here lies the injustice. In a case linked to Melvin Theuma, I do not know how many witnesses were called to testify about his phantom job. Yet on the issue, which is much more serious, everybody, including the media, has allowed it to die a natural death! It is my understanding that if you intend to pick on one individual, you must pick on everybody concerned. But because many votes are involved, such actions are not criticized by anyone. The media remains silent. Even the Nationalist Party remains silent. This is why I am convinced that Melvin Theuma’s case is politically motivated. I do not justify Melvin Theuma or anyone else who is given a phantom job.
After what Bishop Teuma has stated, I fear he will not remain popular in Gozo. What this leading Bishop is doing goes to show that he has no fear of speaking out about what is right concerning embarrassing topics. He is not asking for justice like those belonging to the rule of law group. He only wants what is wrong or bad to be known so that whosoever is wrong turns back and returns to the right path. No doubt Bishop Teuma has stepped on many toes and is not going to be looked upon with kindness.