By RIEL MAJOR
Tribune Staff Reporter
DEMOCRATIC National Alliance leader Arinthia Komolafe has called on the Official Opposition to put forward a motion for a vote of no confidence in the government over recent revelations regarding the General Post Office’s relocation to Town Centre Mall.
She said yesterday, “We implore the opposition leader, Mr Davis to exercise his duty and act in the best interests of the Bahamian people. He should ignore his assumption that members of Parliament on the governing side will not vote in the affirmative in a vote of no confidence.”
Mrs Komolafe also urged Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis to address the renewed controversy surrounding Town Centre Mall.
She also called on Cabinet to refute the statements made by former Cabinet minister Brent Symonette over the lease of Town Centre Mall or resign.
She spoke to reporters at a DNA press conference outside the mall.
“We in the DNA demand that the Cabinet either disassociate itself from the chain of events as explained by Mr Symonette and demonstrate to the Bahamian people that they are not a rubber stamp Cabinet and that there is integrity in the awarding of government contracts.
“Otherwise, the DNA demands the immediate resignation of the Cabinet of the Bahamas. . .
“On behalf of the Bahamian people, the DNA launches its 10 days of activism demanding transparent, accountable and anti-corrupt governance.”
She added: “Bahamians, we have stooped to an all-time low. Our government has no shame. Our leaders have no shame. They are an embarrassment to the existence of this great Commonwealth of the Bahamas.”
Mr Symonette has a 50 percent stake in the mall, and recently revealed that Dr Minnis called him personally about the deal. The Office of the Prime Minister has refused to divulge the date of that call, or whether it took place prior to a Cabinet discussion, telling The Tribune it is a matter of confidentiality.
Mr Symonette has since said furor over his comments is misplaced, telling The Nassau Guardian on Monday that he has been truthful and transparent on the matter.
Public Service Minister Brensil Rolle said on Monday that the government followed every protocol in leasing the mall from Mr Symonette.
Mrs Komolafe also said: “Mr Symonette openly admitted that the prime minister called him and informed him that he would be awarded the contract for the post office. He was so surprised that he pulled off this great feat in spite of the obvious conflict of interest that he could not contain his excitement. Why did Prime Minister Minnis contact Symonette on the matter? Is the prime minister responsible for the Post Office or is he the head of procurement for the government? The answer is no, because this prime minister is the first prime minister to go without portfolio. “Is the prime minister unaware of the fact that he ought not interfere with the portfolio of another Cabinet minister?
“The prime minister has yet to address whether Mr Symonette is telling the truth or whether Mr Symonette is misleading the public regarding Prime Minister Minnis’ involvement in the awarding of the contract. Where is the supposed prime minister of transparency and accountability? Why is he so quiet on this matter? The Bahamian people want an explanation from you Mr Prime Minister.”
Last week, the Office of the Prime Minister rejection any allegation that Dr Minnis personally negotiated the deal.
“The assertion that the prime minister would personally and unilaterally negotiate a proposal that has gone on over two administrations is nonsensical,” OPM said previously.
Mrs Komolafe said a DNA government would expose “sweetheart” deals awarded to special interests and order a Commission of Inquiry into the actions of successive administrations.
Mr Symonette resigned from his Cabinet post effective July 1, but has maintained the decision was not connected to the post office situation, but because he wanted to spend more time with family once he reached the age of 65.