By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune Senior Reporter
IN her first interview since resigning as Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture last week, Seabreeze MP Lanisha Rolle said yesterday that her integrity is “intact”.
However, she declined to elaborate on the circumstances that led her to resign from her ministerial post, noting that she “tendered a voluntary resignation”.
“In the letter I indicated as much as I wanted to indicate,” she told reporters at the House of Assembly yesterday afternoon.
Social media has been rife with speculation about what led to her surprise resignation.
Asked to address the claims of impropriety, she said: “Absolutely not. I don’t entertain social media claims, they are what they are. You deal with facts, you deal with issues and you deal with truth. I don’t have time for those things.”
The Tribune understands that Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis received an internal audit report from the Ministry of Finance more than a week ago which sparked Mrs Rolle’s resignation.
He received the report after requesting a lockdown of the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, ordering that no cheques or contracts be issued.
He requested an audit after officials came to him with their concerns about the management of the ministry and National Sports Authority.
Auditor General Terrence Bastian is currently auditing the Sports Authority.
Asked if she expects the Auditor General’s report to vindicate her, Mrs Rolle said the investigators will find that she operated to the best of her ability given the information she had.
“I expect that the Auditor General will do what he or she does in all matters on a constant or yearly basis and that is to ensure that proper financial accounting procedures are followed and things are done according to the rules and procedures,” she said.
“I expect no less from that office and I think he would’ve indicated that it is their ordinary process (to audit the National Sports Authority). I met auditing going on at Youth, Sports and Culture, I met auditing going on at the Ministry of Social Services. Auditing continues at every ministry of the government, every year and any time, it is nothing new, not as I am aware.
“The process is the process, and the results are the results and I think according to my tenure they will always find that what I do to the best of my knowledge and ability is (to use) the information that I have to follow those rules. I believe that is what will be found.”
Mrs Rolle was uncertain about whether she would receive the Free National Movement’s nomination in Seabreeze for the next general election.
“We will see what will happen, but my life is guided by the Lord and whatever he permits is well done with me,” she said. “It’s up to the party when it comes to nominations and so I would have to respect the party’s process and certainly the outcome at the end of the day.”
Asked to describe her emotional state over the past week, she said: “It is what it is.”
“It’s politics. Decisions are made, things are done and you make the best of it and that’s what you must do. You must be patriotic, you must be respectful at all times and you have to trust the process and that’s all I’m doing, being patient,” she said.
Some staff of the ministries where she worked described Mrs Rolle as a difficult boss and the departure of several prominent officials in these ministries have been privately linked to her over the years.
Nonetheless, she said her record speaks for itself.
“I think people themselves would speak to the work that I’ve done from Social Services to Youth Sports and Culture,” she said. “It’s a great sacrifice, it’s hard work on a constant basis. It’s basically a 24-hour job and I know that I would’ve given my very best and as long as I’m serving in the public domain; I will continue to do just that.
“I’ve served from a police cadet, to a police officer, to an officer of the court and I will continue to serve. This is just simply a different arena, there are different rules for this arena so I must continue to learn, continue to adjust and continue to serve.”