Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis. Photo: Donavan McIntosh/Tribune staff
By LEANDRA ROLLE
Tribune Staff Reporter
PRIME Minister Dr Hubert Minnis said yesterday former Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Lanisha Rolle is not being directly investigated after an internal audit he is said to have requested uncovered findings that led to the resignation of the Seabreeze MP.
Asked if Mrs Rolle was directly a part of that investigation, Dr Minnis said: “No she is not.”
When asked to address concerns about the lack of women representation in Cabinet following Mrs Rolle’s resignation and if a woman won’t be appointed to the Cabinet until after the next election, he replied: “I don’t know when the bell may ring, but the bell may ring tomorrow and you may not have time for that but those are matters we will address.
“And we always feel that we want to ensure that there are equal men and women not only in Cabinet but even if you look at the Office of the Prime Minister; both my secretaries are females. “My Delivery Unit director is female. My communications director is female. The individual in charge of my Bahamas Investment Authority – female. Women are doing very well and I look forward to the day that we have our first Bahamian prime minister.”
His comments to the press comes after a letter to Governor General C A Smith with Mrs Rolle’s signature was leaked Tuesday, announcing her resignation from her ministerial post.
A statement released from the Cabinet Office confirmed the resignation later that day, noting that “certain matters have been brought to” Dr Minnis’ attention and are currently under investigation.
Yesterday, Dr Minnis did not reveal what those matters entailed.
However, The Tribune understands that when ministry officials and the board of the National Sports Authority became concerned that established processes and procedures were allegedly not being followed at their agencies, they took their concerns to Dr Minnis on Saturday, February 13.
Dr Minnis is said to have then immediately requested a “lockdown” of the ministry, ordering that no cheques or contracts be issued.
The following day, Sunday, February 14, he asked Financial Secretary Marlon Johnson to launch an audit into the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture and to report its findings within at most four days, this newspaper understands.
Dr Minnis received the report from the ministry’s internal audit department on Thursday, February 18. The Office of the Auditor General is now auditing the National Sports Authority.
Mrs Rolle is the fourth minister to resign this term, joining Brent Symonette, Dr Duane Sands and Peter Turnquest. She was also previously the only woman in Dr Minnis’ Cabinet.
Iram Lewis, previously the minister of state for disaster preparedness, has been appointed the new minister of youth, sports and culture.