By KHRISNA VIRGIL
FORMER Cabinet minister Fred Mitchell has denied that $20 million disappeared from the National Emergency Management Agency on the PLP's watch.
In response to the report, which has been circulating in the press this week, Mr Mitchell issued a statement insisting "there were no missing funds".
The money in question was reportedly part of NEMA's relief fund for those affected by hurricanes Frances and Jeanne almost seven years ago.
Mr Mitchell said: "The statement was a serious tactical error on the part of the public official (who made the claim)."
He expressed confidence in NEMA's record keeping, and said the facts will show $20 million did not "go down a hole".
Mr Mitchell blamed the reports on an "increasingly desperate FNM" government - which he accused of "spinning nonsense and propaganda in the streets because it is election season".
The MP also criticised DNA leader Branville McCartney, who was critical of both the PLP and the FNM for their response to the reports.
Mr Mitchell said Mr McCartney "ought to be ashamed of himself".
"Having separated himself from the Ingraham administration, to now join in this foolishness is simply beyond belief. That too is what many see the DNA as - a stalking horse for the FNM," Mr Mitchell said.
In a statement issued Wednesday, the DNA said there were many "red flags" raised by the claims of missing NEMA money.
The statement said: "This not only looks bad on the opposition, who was the governing party at the time, these monies allegedly went missing, but on the present government.
"While the DNA questions how such a substantial amount of relief funds went missing, the party, moreover, suspects a mischievous political ploy by the present administration, considering such a serious issue is just now becoming public."