EDITOR, The Tribune.
AS a lifelong supporter of the now defunct and badly demoralised Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) I profusely apologise to the good people of our wonderful nation for being a co-conspirator with that party and its then leadership cadre in selling a patently bogus agenda back in 2012. The PLP as I used to know it is no more and started to vanish in the last year of The Gold Rush Administration. The startling revelations made by the Hon Doctor Hubert A Minnis (FNM-Killarney), our Prime Minister, during his budget contribution, brought down the scales from my eyes. I was once politically blind......now I am able to see clearly, again.
No one, least of all me, begrudge any single hard working and honest Bahamian from earning, the old fashioned way, a reasonable living. The fact, however, that one individual and his mostly “unregistered” companies were able to collect more than eight million dollars is a telling indictment on the entire Christie administration/maladministration, especially when one considers the scope of the services provided in exchange. There are countless Bahamians who have long outstanding judgments against successive governments or who are owed compensation, for decades for land acquired by successive administrations “for public purposes”.
To add insult to injury, it was also revealed by the ertswhile Prime Minister that one former high ranking PLP party official secured a contract from the then BEC worth millions to perform services for which he, allegedly, has no formal training or experience.......oil removal and disposal. Another individual/firm closely connected to the PLP received a customs brokerage contract worth almost a million dollars per year. Is this individual/company connected to former Minister of Education, Jerome Fritzgerald.......the same one who wrote to Sarkis apparently soliciting business for his family owned business and ‘medical assistance’ for his father, according to emails which are in the public domain?
I appreciate that forensic audits are being conducted into various ministries and governmental agencies so I do not wish to preempt whatever the audits might reveal, if anything, but the vanquished, thank God, PLP, has much to account for. How much was collected for the Hurricane Relief Fund? Where is the dedicated account located and who were the signatories on that account/s? Where is the former Minister of National Reconstruction, et al, Shane Gibson? He held responsibilities for numerous vital ministries and agencies; The Public Service (which was saddled with a huge increase in casual workers in the weeks ahead of the May 10th general elections); National Insurance Board; the proposed National Health Insurance (which had no gazetted regulations and no statutory board); The Labor Department and only former PM Christie knew what else or he should have known.
Months after the passage of Matthew, scores of Bahamians are still waiting for long promised donated supplies and financial compensation from the central government. Individuals are complaining about the inordinate length of time they have to wait to access pensions and other benefits to which they are entitled. Yes, it has been revealed, multi-million dollar contracts and sinecures were given to PLP hacks and cronies as if there were no tomorrow.
An uninsured dormitory burnt straight down to the ground at BAMSI, years ago, and no one within the Ministry of Works, inclusive of the then minister, has ever been held accountable. The contractor, at that time, former Senator Audley Hanna, a known PLP counsellor, has yet to publicly address that issue or to show proof that he compensated the then administration for his admitted ‘oversight’ in not showing proof of a valid indemnity contract.
I have heard about a former minister in the Gold Rush Administration who, either solely or though shell companies, purchased several garbage trucks to contract out with the now infamous Harold Road Landfill. I know who the alleged former minister is and, if challenged, I will publicly expose him. Many ministers and members of the PGC Administration displayed absolutely no shame in their apparent political deceit and perceived plunder of the public purse. The Rump Opposition will remain in the political wilderness for a long time. In fact, as led currently, the PLP is losing traction and believability by the nano second.
The shrill and hallowed cries by its parliamentary members and the National Chairman who, apparently, is still deluded and shocked over the electoral results suffered by the PLP, under his watch, are pathetic and sad. They shout ‘witch haunt’ but under the PLP it would seem that witches infested its ranks from the top straight down to the level of constituency workers. If credible evidence of corruption surfaces, the Minnis Administration must have the political will power to do the right thing. It cannot be business as usual if Minnis and crew wish to retain the goodwill of right thinking Bahamians. To God then, in all of these things, be the glory.
ORTLAND H BODIE, Jr
June 22, 2017.