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Minnis: I Disclosed Interests Over Govt Contract

Dr Hubert Minnis

Dr Hubert Minnis

By AVA TURNQUEST

Tribune Chief Reporter

aturnquest@tribunemedia.net

FREE National Movement Leader Dr Hubert Minnis yesterday maintained that he disclosed his interests in a company that received a government contract when he was elected in 2007, but refused to further discuss the matter.

Dr Minnis insisted that his previous declaration over the issue was “available for revision.”

However, he would not respond to questions on whether the conflict of interest claims against him and his charge against Attorney General Allyson Maynard-Gibson were comparative in nature.

When asked whether or not he will continue his call for Mrs Maynard-Gibson’s resignation, Dr Minnis said: “I remain focused to remove the PLP, to move all, not any one in isolation. I will continue to point out to the Bahamian people the neglect of this country and the bad governance of the PLP.

“I’m focused on moving the entire PLP regime.”

During a later conversation, he said: “I will do whatever is necessary.”

Dr Minnis maintained his position that the resurrection of conflict of interest claims against him were an attempt to deflect from the government’s bad governance; however, he softened his stance against Mrs Maynard-Gibson and his call for her resignation due to her family’s involvement in Baha Mar.

“At this point in time the PLP is trying to use me as a deflection from their bad governance. The people need to know about BAMSI, the garbage trucks, and who else may be involved in Baha Mar.

“The rise in poverty, the shrinkage of the middle class, the cost of health care increasing, the inadequacy of medication and inability to obtain proper medication, surgeries are being cancelled.

“These are issues that face us today. This is just deflection, the issues remain. We (in the FNM) are anti-corruption and we will build a better government.”

In 2005, a company called Leechez Investments Ltd - in which Dr Minnis has shares - was awarded a contract with the Public Hospitals Authority (PHA) for lease of its Stat Care building.

While the contract was awarded before Dr Minnis entered politics in 2007, the contract reportedly continued while Dr Minnis was health minister, and still exists today.

Allegations that the matter presented a conflict of interest were raised by Progressive Liberal Party Chairman Bradley Roberts last week, who called Dr Minnis a “hypocrite” over the opposition leader’s critique of the attorney general. Mr Roberts threatened to reveal documents that extensively outlined the nature of Dr Minnis’ alleged conflict of interest when it was politically expedient to do so.

Dr Minnis has previously said the matter was a red herring because he disclosed his connection to Stat Care when he became a politician.

Mrs Maynard-Gibson initially revealed that her two daughters had leases to operate stores in Baha Mar. However, she later clarified that her husband Maxwell Gibson owns the retail jewellery store chain that has been granted those storefront leases.

Mrs Maynard-Gibson said she informed Prime Minister Perry Christie of her family’s involvement prior to her appointment to lead a government delegation to China to mediate talks between the resort and its Chinese stakeholder.

Dr Hubert Minnis called the matter an “overt conflict of interest” and insisted that Mrs Maynard-Gibson “do the honourable thing” and resign from Cabinet.

He pledged that the Free National Movement would continue to pressure the Christie administration on the matter.

Comments

Well_mudda_take_sic 4 years, 3 months ago

This is why the Bahamian people have suffered for years at the hands of ruthlessly corrupt and greedy individuals within both the PLP and FNM; tit for tat and two wrongs make a right is how these evil politicians have always operated to ignore serious conflicts of interest and engage in egregious influence peddling for unjust and illegal self-gain, thereby depriving most Bahamians of the much better quality of life that they rightfully should be enjoying. Minnis should resign and the Bahamian people should insist that Christie and Maynard-Gibson do likewise!

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TruePeople 4 years, 3 months ago

Bey it always kill me when people is talk about PLP and FNM like 'right' and 'wrong' with out realising that the two really are the same.

In the British parliamentary system you have a Party and an Opposition based on seats........ But it's ONE gov't. Furthermore it's one country and one people. Where PLP come from is where FNM come from. MPs from both parties are more like to each other than i am even to my own neighbour. Only the totally blinded by red or yellow can't see that.

All they think their job is, is providing a circus show, and when the curtains go down bey y'all want to act surprise when yall find out they friends and business partners.

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DonAnthony 4 years, 3 months ago

Oh how corruption is endemic in this country. Who in the FNM will condemn this abuse of power? This is a serious conflict of interest and if Dr. Minnis is a man of integrity he should resign for the good of the party and the country. Of course this will not happen, and is why the FNM is likely to lose the next election again as disenfranchised FNM's continue to defect to the DNA. Stop saying that the PLP is corrupt, we know they are even worse than the FNM, but if you are guilty of such a serious conflict of interest do the honorable thing and just leave. Until there is true accountability and we find politicians who are real statesman who put the common good above their own greedy self- interest this country will continue to deteriorate. The FNM and PLP are slowly but surely destroying this country.

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TruePeople 4 years, 3 months ago

Bey, we should all vote DNA just to see if they can't do any worse than the two main political parties!!! throw out all of them

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Emac 4 years, 3 months ago

Please remove yourself from the leadership position of the FNM and let Turnquest take over. Hold another convention and let the council select madam Turner-Butler as leader. This is the only hope I see for the FNM...Sigh!

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Wideawake 4 years, 3 months ago

Does LBT pass the corruption test??

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Emac 4 years, 3 months ago

Not sure... But until something comes to light, she is the only hope for the FNM. I would like to see Turnquest as deputy though. He is not leader material, too passive. This country needs a strong and decisive leader who can whip this country back into shape. If ya weak, Bahamians gon run over ya, period.

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shortpants 4 years, 3 months ago

And we still don't trust Bran Flakes .He is part of this problem too. We need Jesus and the churches are quiet as church mouse.

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The_Oracle 4 years, 3 months ago

He had me right up to his Claim that the FNM is Anti-corruption. Not true. PLP vs. FMN is simply a study in the lesser of two evils. I shall judge him upon his own conduct, and the conduct of those he surrounds himself with. Tit for Tat works in pre-school and grade school, not in the governance of a nation. A lesson they must have missed or forgotten.

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asiseeit 4 years, 3 months ago

I have thought on this for a while and am willing to vote for Minnis. I see him as a worker, honest, with the best intentions for our Nation. If you want vote for the dancing, verbose, clown, with charisma and get exactly what you deserve, more of the same of what is happening today.

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arussell 4 years, 3 months ago

I totally agree who else do we vote for? I don't see anybody in the PLP who can turn that amount of corruption into positive no time soon. Bran is a lost cost. Which only leaves the FNM who has less sandals on record and has turn this country around before but than again that was a different leader. I just dont know

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TalRussell 4 years, 3 months ago

Comrades, the evidence is in - you cannot change ether the PLP as a party entrenched in their old ways of 60 plus years of history, nor the red shirts, who have proven they too have their own problems with transparency.
What is needed is for caring citizens with fresh ideas to get together every Sunday afternoon from 2:30 pm - 4:30:00 PM precisely in Rawson Square - where a new political road can be discussed and debated and hopefully chartered - by the younger, not so older, and the older
Has the time come for a new political beginning that may not be just about reestablishing another political party stricture, as we know it.
The mere shuffling the two party's leaderships decks by 2017, is but a temporary fix.

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birdiestrachan 4 years, 3 months ago

Dr: Minnis brought up this conflict of interest in the first. place, and he was not smart enough to knows he is the one who is in conflict of interest. He is collecting Cheques., Her husband business is renting space for his business. Now Minnis is very good at spinning tales. He did cash the Cheques.?

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licks2 4 years, 3 months ago

I thought that his last cheque was in 2011. . .four years after he was given that contract in 2005 by the PLP. I must say that his activity since 2005 to 2011 is a clear violation of the conflict of interest principle. However, his reasons for why his building remain without a contract (month to month) since 2007 and still rented by Government while he was a Minister is credible to those who know how long Governments takes to do anything in this country!! If he removes himself from his current position I will agree and if he decides to stay all the same! To be honest I don't believe that he did not know that his arrangement with the building was ongoing! He knew! I believe he just kept his mouth shut and ride the train until the persons in charge got around to doing what they had to do!

But because he did report the matter to Hubert I and payments kept coming while the good doc kept his fingers crossed to keep the money coming until they get around to fixing the problem he can get a blye from any quarters. And all know that a limited company is considered separated and apart from the individual. For example, I can sue that company and the good doc will not have to pay a penny out of his pocket!!

This whole matter just served to show that the doc is a basically honest guy. . .a little naieve but a decent guy! Or a mean political machine. . .either way, the PLP are pooping bricks about him.

The PLP only caused me to put him up a little higher for fitness for the PM job! Big Bad Brad is making street folks to come to the good doc's defence. . . just the opposite to what they intend!! I starting to wonder why Perry them so afraid of the good doc if they said that he is an oof who can't chew gum and walk at the same time? One up the good doc and the PLP poopie!!

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Wideawake 4 years, 3 months ago

The FNM needs a leader who is above reproach regarding cronyism, corruption and conflict of interest. The main focus of their campaign MUST be ANTI CORRUPTION, with a list of new rules and regulations they would introduce that would prevent the rampant corruption that us destroying our Nation. This cannot be done with a leader who is "only a lil bit corrupt"!!!!

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Reality_Check 4 years, 3 months ago

The tit for tat syndrome whereby two wrongs make a right is the very same reason why the FNM and DNA have not vigorously pursued the corrupt Christie-led PLP government for all of the conflicts of interest and other wrong doings at the Bank of The Bahamas, involving Christie's greedy and dishonest political friends and business cronies, that have cost honest hard working Bahamian taxpayers mega millions of dollars in recent years!

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