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Chipman Fury: Pm Crossed The Line

Centreville MP Reece Chipman (right) with Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis.

Centreville MP Reece Chipman (right) with Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis.

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

REECE Chipman, the Centerville MP fired as chairman of the Antiquities Monuments & Museum Corporation, said yesterday he is examining the country’s defamation laws and is considering suing Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis for “insinuating” he had engaged in impropriety.

As the feud escalates, Mr Chipman said up to last night it remained unclear to him why he had been sacked.

He said Dr Minnis has not lived up to his expectations as prime minister, had now “crossed the line” and now he will become a more outspoken critic of the administration, especially in the House of Assembly.

Dr Minnis’ comments and handling of the matter has hurt him personally, he said.

“You have to be hurt,” he said. “I’m only human and I’m new to the business of politics.”

Dr Minnis has not revealed to the public why he fired Mr Chipman.

He told reporters on Monday that Bahamians elected him “to do a job” and “if there is undoing” by people in either party, it will be dealt with.

“We said we would root out corruption and bring honesty and integrity into governance and that we will do,” Dr Minnis said Monday when asked about Mr Chipman’s firing.

He suggested future administrations will see all the details of why he fired Mr Chipman through government records. It is this suggestion that drew Mr Chipman’s ire.

“The public should be outraged that a prime minister of a country does what he has done to someone,” he said. “He crossed the line. The firing is fine but you don’t go over the line and make such insinuations and assertions about somebody. There’s nothing wrong with firing somebody; the person may not be what you wanted for some reason. My concern is when you do something like that you ought to realise that we are all Bahamians, we live in one country; you don’t get in an interview the next day and say you have some things which the next party or whatever will see or will be on the record. This is our highest office in the country and we expect better.”

Mr Chipman denied reports he and Dr Minnis engaged in a heated argument before his firing. “Neither of us is that kind of person, we are both mild-mannered people,” he said. “We had an appropriate exchange; it was not harsh.”

He said before his firing Dr Minnis never warned him about his performance or suggested he was displeased with him. On the other hand, he felt Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister Jack Thompson and Director of AMMC Keith Tinker disliked his management of the institution.

He expressed doubt over claims that an unreleased auditor general’s report into the AMMC prompted Dr Minnis’ decision, saying he initiated that report, though he hasn’t seen it.

“I don’t see why that would have anything to do with the decision,” he said. “Whatever it is and says should be made public so others behind us can learn what they shouldn’t and should do.”

Asked if he supports Dr Minnis as prime minister, he said: “I have to support him as prime minister in terms of the fact that he is holding the highest office. However, I have expressed and will continue to express that the expectations of that office have fallen short in my books.”

Past parliamentarians who always towed the party line now confound him, he said, adding: “Sometimes there’s so much credit I give to the MPs of the past who could go through that entire process for years without having an opinion other than what their peers had; you wonder if the House of Assembly is a democratic place. The period of time for me is up where I gave my administration an opportunity to lead and to direct. I thought when I made a decision in the House in support of the government that my Cabinet had gone through the details. I leaned on the fact that they were qualified individuals able to make decisions, able to analyse and come up with a decision I can support. Based on this I’m not sure that is the case; I won’t be silent anymore.”

However, he expects to remain an FNM supporter. “I think the party philosophy of Sir Cecil, a leader among equals, is one I live by. For me to even consider not being an FNM MP would be something that is a challenge.”

Mr Chipman said he has not “yet” hired a lawyer, but is examining defamation laws with the help of his family. Among the cases he is reviewing is one in which an Australian prime minister was sued for implying a former minister engaged in improper conduct.

He expects to reach a conclusion about whether to take legal action this week.

“You can’t just go out there talking about people like that,” he said. “I have three children.”

Comments

John 6 months, 4 weeks ago

Can both of you ack like grown men? Sit behind closed doors, with referees if necessary, and iron out your differences. Battling in the media does not help either of you, your party or this country. Everyone deserves to be told iwhy they are fired and if an appointee is removed for reasons other than impropriety he/she is usually compensated by being offered another post, if only to avoid public speculation. But when you tell the press you, as prime minister, will never reveal all the reasons why you fired someone it says there were more than one reason and also that some of the reasons may be personal.

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licks2 6 months, 4 weeks ago

Remember that PM Ingram did that many times. . .and we applauded him as good PM. . .LOP did it. . .PC did it. . .plus labour law prevents the government from doing so. . .if he do then Chipman will have a case against the government. . .as it stands now. . .Chipman is whistling Dixie. No public servant will work with that MP again. . .full of himself. . .calling them names in public. . .and demanding they be fired because he was accused of "stepping out of his portfolio". Then coming in public and saying "I talked with my 8 years old daughter and we decided that I should clear my name in public". . .what a dufus move for a director of the board. . .

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observer2 6 months, 4 weeks ago

Reece is 100% correct and should be applauded for standing up for his rights and for ceasing to tow the line.

Similar to the Oban approval I can't believe that experienced and successful businessmen like D'Agular and Symonette could have ever approve such nonsense. However, they have to keep quiet in case they are fired as well.

The problem is that Parliamentarians are wearing too many hats. MPs should write and approve laws, not run government departments. The job of running government on a day to day basis should be left up to persons appointed from the private sector and rotated every 5 years. Governments come and go but the true controllers have jobs for life.

Similarly Cabinet Ministers should come from the private sector and be devoid of politics.

We have created an untouchable breed of leaders who run the executive and legislature for 5 years with little accountability.

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TalRussell 6 months, 4 weeks ago

Ma Comrade, welcome aboard my long blogged thoughts caboose.........but you forget mention we still live and are ruled under and by colonial rules and systems.

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licks2 6 months, 4 weeks ago

You so all mix-up that you een see that you just justified doc reason for getting rid of a "meddling" MP in a government department. . . as for the rest of your non-sense about the public sector management of government. . .why answer you back. . .you just simply don't make no sense. . .none whatsoever!

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TalRussell 6 months, 4 weeks ago

Ma Comrades, this is but the first red shirts shake em up day your humble Comrade has lived up to me previous blogging expectations of at least three red MP's would shortly be walking across the House floor, Let's wait see if my - there's mutiny brewing within Minnis cabinet ranks rises open infighting fruition? You has likes it when I work close with my in da know inner circle red shirts sources -and so right was I about 'Acee;s' back peddling away as da PMO's official spokesman's... but since Minnis and KP came as #1 and # 2 package deal - can KP find his way to out-survive the PM?

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Well_mudda_take_sic 6 months, 4 weeks ago

The dimwitted doc went way beyond the pale when he stated in public that "future administrations will see all the details of why he fired Mr Chipman through government records." What an arrogant idiot!

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licks2 6 months, 4 weeks ago

You talk like a fool because you don't know how governments processes and procedures in these matters are done. . .doc can't give yinna that information without invoking the wrath of the courts. . .but the information will be there on Chipman file under his PF # . . .a dumb government like that last PLP government may let it out. . .but any government who will play by the rules will not do so. . .doc may do it in the house. . .but if he give that information out while not in the house, dog eat his lunch!! So stop "actin" like a dumb idiot. . .you know he can't give out that information. . .that's private to Chipman. . .so let Chipman give it out. . .he knows what it is. . .or he can file a complaint with the labour depart. like any other public servant. . .

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Well_mudda_take_sic 6 months, 4 weeks ago

Surrounded by lap dogs like yourself who always defend his conduct no matter what, it's no small wonder Minnis is becomingly increasingly detached from political reality and the aspirations of the Bahamian people.

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licks2 6 months, 4 weeks ago

I guess he must be doing something right if he can get a "citizen" like me to defend him at every turn. . .even when he has no idea who I am. . .nor why I defend him from yinna dumb political hyenas who I believe do more harm in balanced dialogue that can do some good rather than yinna crap talking! For example, you can see that defending him in everything according to you connotes an egomania but in contrast you oppose him on everything and you consider it valiant and smart!! See why I tell yall that yinna full of dumb political blindness and jealousy and sound like a bunch of spoiled children who are mad because they don't have all of the toys! If doc piss yinna say something bad about how "he een pissing like a good leader"!

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athlete12 6 months, 4 weeks ago

Minnis should have given the reason you mentioned on why he could not release that information on why he fired Chipman. That's easy communication and the people may be more understanding. This just looks suspicious.

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TalRussell 6 months, 4 weeks ago

Ma Comrades, In a surprise move the majority of red House MP's should first fire Minnis and KP. then briefly prorogue House of Assembly before laying out government's top 15 priorities in a throne speech authored by cabinet shakeup under a new prime minister, deputy PM appointed by MP's not the PM, and appoint new House Speaker. Take my advice or suffer political perish as a party - refocus and reorganize. I would also recommend the appointment of not less than 5 but not more than 10 'Council of Minsters' drawn from the business and public sector and regardless political stripes or past party affiliations. The Bahamaland is goin' have a new day - lead it as a red party or step aside make room people who will. Enough with the outright deceptions, never ending audits, empty promises, slogans and daily threats prosecution political opposites, The Imperial power vested in PMO and special office spouse must be no more.

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licks2 6 months, 4 weeks ago

How come you did not told that group of corrupted cabinet that was our last government to "do your right thing". . .and vacate our house? Tal all you are interested in is the PLP getting back at power and commence giving yinna cronies access to our purse. . .NOT A CHANCE. . .AN ELECTION TODAY WILL AGAIN RESULT IN A WIPE-OUT FOR THE PLP!! YOU THINK THE BAHAMAS IS THIS SITE ALONE OR A FEW MEDIA PERSONALS WHO TOOK THING PERSONAL AYE? YOU JUST WATCH. . .YINNA PLP WILL NEVER GET BACK THERE AGAIN. . .YINNA MAY AS WELL GIVE UP WITH ALL THESE "UNDERHANDED" SKULDUGGERY .. . NEVER AGAIN FOR THE PLP!!

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TalRussell 6 months, 4 weeks ago

Ma Comrade, neither should the reds nor PLP politicians dare have urge rush to the polling stations test the angry and disappointed at both parties will voters. Each day we get a terrifying peek inside the inner workings red governance and she ain't looking pretty..... neither has the PLP apologized to the colony islands peoples. You reads what I blog, so incorrectly,

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birdiestrachan 6 months, 4 weeks ago

Chipman Sins pale in comparison to what doc has done to the Bahamas and its people with his OBAN deal. But I guess he is allowed to do what ever he wishes. including giving his wife ten thousand dollars allowance just for tea .. You go Doc you are the man.

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sheeprunner12 6 months, 4 weeks ago

Chipman comes from a strong family line ........ he has ONIONS!!!!!!! ....... and he does indeed deserve to be treated with more respect by PM Minnis ....... This is going to be a Trumpian showdown

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licks2 6 months, 4 weeks ago

Sheep the whole nation done trow Chipman under the bus on this one. . .the media now telling him "lee this one alone. . .you is the one who called doc the leader of political prostitutes". . .then the press went to doc for a response. . .about Chipman accusations of corruption in doc government. . .doc said he promised to remove corruption from his government. Von McCartny can't stand doc and he too told Chipman ta go sit down. . .he can't start calling name and when he get "swing" by getting called one himself. . .without getting called one himself he want the nation to come to his rescue. . .grow-up was the editor of the Guardian''s advice as well. . .

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TheMadHatter 6 months, 4 weeks ago

I read with interest in another article somewhere that appropriate fines for certain crimes are as follows:

Illegal landing $300 Harbouring an illegal $1000 Dancing without work permit $1500

Not sure if i read correctly, but interesting nonetheless. :-)

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licks2 6 months, 4 weeks ago

Hahahahahahahahaha. . .I guess you can come here illegal, work and pay $300 when ya get catch. . .but if you dance on the job while working here illegally. . .the fine goes up by $1200. Plus. . .ya better don't get catch dancing while working illegal. . .with another illegal person working with you. . .that fine can go up by $2,200. . .very interesting indeed!

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truetruebahamian 6 months, 4 weeks ago

I think that perhaps Minnis found out some things about Chipman's character and his past and his reasons for sliding into a political gain vein that needed to be handled with immediacy - which is good. However as is Chipman, (Ping and all others) Minnis is in the seat of power but being a relative neophyte he can be either confused or manipulated or subject to both!

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stillwaters 6 months, 3 weeks ago

I just wish that we, the people, had made provisions in the constitution where we can also fire some of these politicians.

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sheeprunner12 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Pindling was setting himself up to be an African-style dictator .... but he fell short of following through ....... Our Constitution makes the PM a benevolent dictator at any rate right now.

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TalRussell 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Do away with the colony islands Constitution will be the major plank of Libertarian Party Bahamaland Manifesto 2022 general election... why would this colony islands need a constitution.... first one out job will be the King's "KC" Counsel Freddy - goin be hard KC to sue government for millions dollars - what section of what piece paper is he goin challenge?

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