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Editorial: Rolle Speech Raises Suspicions Over Jobs

Are jobs being given for votes in Abaco?

That’s the terrible impression being given by Public Services and National Insurance Minister Brensil Rolle from his speech yesterday.

More than two years on from Hurricane Dorian, after the government has been perceived to have dragged its feet over rebuilding, with so many still left struggling to get back on their feet after the storm – and with many still left without answers over their missing relatives – suddenly on the eve of election we have a move to permanently employ dozens of North Abaco residents.

Mr Rolle himself acknowledged that this will likely be seen in a political light, saying: “I know some people may say from the other side that this is a political move but we say to you it’s about your future. We are committed to you.”

In the same week as an election, when you commit to adding 85 more permanent staff to the public purse, you think the opposition will see this as a political move, Mr Rolle? We wonder why that might be. If positions were reversed, would you be crying foul days before an election at the permanent hiring of staff?

Mr Rolle suggested this has been in the pipeline for a while, saying: “We said this from last year that if you did well and you did your work, we will make sure that you fill the vacancies in the Ministry of Public Services and National Insurance and all 85 of you who are on my register, you will get your letters, we have printed them, they should be with your staff.”

Not alone in this task, Mr Rolle says a major part has been played by the area’s MP, Darren Henfield.

He said: “Every single day for the last few weeks Darren has been coming to me and saying to me, minister, where are my letters? Where are my people?”

The last few weeks, you say, Mr Rolle? Tell us, is there something that changed in the past few weeks that suddenly brought an added urgency to Mr Henfield’s requests?

Is it perhaps that an election was called?

Even if all this were above board, to announce it on the eve of election like this looks and smells like a political move. To add that a senior Cabinet minister in Foreign Minister Henfield has been asking every day about it only makes it seem more so.

It’s appalling for the people involved too – who might be seen as being given a political favour when in truth it might indeed be a reward for hard work. If everything is genuine, they do not need their hard work discredited.

The situation is even worse if you look at just two words: “My people.”

My people? As opposed to whose people?

At the very least, this is inappropriate. There is so much talk about reducing corruption in government – and this does nothing to help that perception. And if it really is a case of giving jobs for votes? Well, that’s more than a perception.

This should have been resolved long ago if it were genuine, or it should have waited until after the vote. To push it through so close to an election only brings suspicion, and our country’s politics have long suffered from too much of that.

Comments

carltonr61 2 months, 2 weeks ago

What about the hundreds still waiting the very well earned entitlement after dozens of years. This may backfire badly in Nassau.

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tribanon 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Repost from a few moments ago:

Elected and other senior government officials should be banned by statute law from doing the following after a national general election has been called until the outcome of the election is known and the next government administration takes the reins of power:

1) Using the public purse to hand out jobs and other freebies in a blatant bribery effort to obtain voter support;

2) Making significant appointments and promotions of any kind within the public sector aimed at 'vote buying' and/or frustrating the next elected administration; and

3) Signing material contracts for non-essential goods and services.

The corrupt Minnis-led FNM administration is guilty of having done all of these things and much more since Minnis announced the September 16 Election Date.

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mandela 2 months, 1 week ago

If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck then it's Brensil Rolle and the FNM they are bold faces hypocrites and they will be flying south after Sept.16, 2021.

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ibonamy 2 months, 1 week ago

It is sad when you see officials turning a blind ear to these things. We average about 4-5 thousand students leaving school every year, entering into the work place. One of the many roles of Government is to create the environment for employment. Being a bottleneck or using people as political pawns is wrong and dangerous. Big on promises and small on delivery is not a good recipe for governance.

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Dawes 2 months, 1 week ago

Thats like asking Is the pope catholic?

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FrustratedBusinessman 2 months, 1 week ago

To be fair, that is in question these days as well.

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FrustratedBusinessman 2 months, 1 week ago

You know that you have failed as an FNM government when you are about to lose both seats on Abaco out of all places. This panic-driven Johnny come lately vote buying scheme is not going to save the FNM there.

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ThisIsOurs 2 months, 1 week ago

The story missed the most important part of Mr Rolle's general statement, he said and I'm summarizing: "EVERY minister had an opportunity to review the list and give names of their constituents...but dont worry this has absolutely nothing to do with politics"

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birdiestrachan 2 months, 1 week ago

Mr; Rolle gave Kawsi Thompson's wife a position at NIB. The FNM government seems to believe they do not have to be accountable. They can do wrong and call it right.

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licks2 2 months, 1 week ago

Ah. . .just listen to yinna talk fool!! Plenty talk and very little knowledge!! Be careful what yinna "like" now. . .YA WILL SEE IT AGAIN!! But why am I telling yall this piece of advice for. . .what yinn acare about integrity? Carry on smartly. . .it is what it is. . .this country is so imatured in political integrity that it een funny!!

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M0J0 2 months, 1 week ago

sad to see, hospital and nurses cant get their due, but the whole of abaco can be employed which is now more money on the public purse but you cant give the hard working health care workers their due. wow is all I can say.

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