AT LEAST one of our readers did not appreciate our Christmas editorial in which we wished our nation a happy and blessed Christmas, but urged Bahamians — especially the young — to try to grasp the meaning of Christmas by understanding that the birth of the Christ-child was God’s greatest gift to mankind. His birth was a second chance at redemption for all of us. It was a time for thoughtful prayer and a moment for many to turn wayward lives around.
Apparently, this particular gentleman expected a “sweet Christmas piece that will echo positive thoughts over the Christmas to lead us into the New Year”.
The carnage in Fox Hill that brings this tragic year to a close demonstrates that these are serious times. It is no time to rattle on about tinsel, and reindeer and that much beloved fat man in the red suit who delivers toys to the little ones. There were too many children this year whose parents didn’t even have a turkey bone to put on their plates. There certainly was no lighted Christmas tree, nor did Santa and his reindeer remember to stop at their door.
No, it is a time to take life seriously, to take our nation seriously, to lay down the guns, stop the cheating and stealing, the white collar crimes, the mindless decisions of our leaders, and concentrate on rescuing our nation from destruction for the good of us all.
Crime that was turned into a political football in last year’s election by politicians who promised a solution if elected, has backfired. There was no secret solution, and no matter how hard the politicians have fought to convince the public that crime was indeed on the decline, everything was shattered in the senseless tragedy of Fox Hill on Friday night.
As innocent Fox Hill residents sat in the park awaiting the results of the Boxing Day Junkanoo contest, a car drove slowly by. Suddenly there was the sound of gunfire, as a horrified crowd started running for shelter. A quiet, law-abiding young man, shielded his three-year-old son with his body. Suddenly, he felt the burning pain of a bullet in his back and arm. Although seriously hurt, he survived and his son escaped injury. According to residents in Fox Hill, the first person to go down was a man pushing someone in a wheelchair. He crumbled to the ground, dead.
There is a rumour going around in the Village that the perpetrators were looking for a certain person, or persons. Not finding their target, they started to shoot randomly. This is what is being said. It might or might not be true.
However, these Fox Hill vendettas go way back — and the killing started long ago.
Shortly after midnight on Friday, a report reached The Tribune that a young man sitting on an upturned bucket on the side of Dorsett Street in Fox Hill was shot in the face by a person or persons in a silver-coloured Honda as it drove by. He died on the spot.
The rumour immediately started to circulate in the Village that this was “Emperor” Knowles’ son. A police officer did not know. The young man’s name was not Knowles, and so the policeman did not want to speculate. However, it is now being said that he was the dead Emperor’s nephew. If true, we felt there would be trouble. What happened in the park on Friday night might have no connection, but yet it might be the continuation of an ugly feud that has been raging for years.
On July 27, 2012 Dion “Emperor” Knowles, who was the “terror” of Fox Hill, was riding a motorcycle when a vehicle knocked him off and someone opened fire with a machine gun. He ran for a short distance, then dropped dead. Two Bahamians, thought to be contract killers, who took orders from someone in prison were being questioned with his and 23 other New Providence murders. A year and a half later, Emperor’s son, Dario, was shot and killed.
The Prime Minister, who was meant to announce the decision today between Government and Cable & Wireless for ownership of majority shares in Bahamas Telecommunications, has postponed the announcement to focus on crime and the Fox Hill tragedy.
This is another problem that Bahamians have to face. We doubt that after investing so much in a crippled telecommunications company, that Cable & Wireless would give up its two per cent majority shares without demanding a heavy monetary price. If there is a price, with the Treasury now broke, where will the money come from?
Which leads us to VAT, a tax device to raise enough from residents to pay off the country’s heavy debt.
And everywhere we turn today — instead of government doing everything possible to encourage investment to create jobs — business people are saying, “We have put everything on hold until we see government’s intentions with VAT.”
And so, although we would like to write a “sweet piece that will echo positive thoughts to lead us into the New Year”, not being a hypocrite we cannot write what we do not foresee.
The most we can do this year is wish our readers the very best for the New Year and hope that 2014 will bring our nation fewer problems than last year.