By Opposition Leader Hon. Philip Brave Davis
On Wednesday 8th August 2018 the Prime Minister with great fanfare signed an amendment to the Letter of Agreement on Narcotics Law enforcement of September 2010 with the United States of America. Regrettably, the Prime Minister once again used a public forum to bash The Bahamas and its citizens. In his world every, single person in The Bahamas except him is corrupt. In his smug, condescending and self-promoting style, the Prime Minister once again opened the integrity of all Bahamians to question and suspicion. What he did not acknowledge was that there are many Bahamians, in private and public life who have never, ever, been suspicious of any untoward behaviour in their public or private lives.
For this slur on the reputations of hard working Bahamians, and persons of unsurpassed integrity he should be condemned.
What the Prime Minister neglects to acknowledge is that the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) has an unsurpassed record of ridding the PLP of corrupt individuals and this includes many of the founding fathers of the Free National Movement. When speaking on alleged Bahamian corruption in local and foreign fora the Prime Minister should choose his words carefully and read the political history of The Bahamas. If he reads and understands it, then he would be better placed and more credible when he makes such statements. The Prime Minister continually portrays the Progressive Liberal Party as the poster party for corrupt practices. In this regard he shows his ignorance, lack of education and the Bahamas political history.
To assist him in his education we would refer him to a Nassau Guardian editorial dated 17th October 2017 which stated:
“There is a menacing myth that has gradually seeped into our body politic, our political consciousness and our political culture, namely the myth of the origins of political corruption. The assertion is often advanced that political corruption began with the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) and that the Free National Movement (FNM) is a political party devoid of and standing in stark contrast to corrupt practices by persons who are engaged in public life or hold public office. This myth has been persistently perpetuated by persons who have espoused a perspective that the PLP is steeped in political corruption”.
In Minnis’ world, corruption is centred on persons who receive bribes and other inducements to perform their duties or to give someone an unfair advantage.
In his pettiness, spite and ignorance, the Prime Minister conveniently ignores the universal fact that a person does not have to receive cash or an inducement to be corrupt.
That is why he conveniently ignores more insidious and pernicious forms of corruption i.e., nepotism and cronyism.
In just 15 short months the Minnis administration through gross, unbridled and shameless nepotism has turned the civil service and government corporations inside out and injected friends, family members and FNM branch members directly into the operations of these institutions. This gross, corrupt nepotism has placed individuals in sensitive areas for which they in many cases have had no training or experience. This has caused great disruption in these departments and de-motivated honest, qualified public officers who have been superseded for no reason other than that the FNM wanted to place their supporters in the positions.
The result of these actions is that officers are now frustrated and angry and distracted from their tasks.
Cronyism is also a corrupt practice Prime Minister. You give this form of corruption short shrift because you know that just like nepotism, it is unethical, ungodly and corrupt. The Prime Minister must explain how it is that the brother of the Minister of Finance is supervising the school repair projects for the Government.
Let me give an example.
An international organization based in the Bahamas in 2017 banned several companies from bidding on their projects because of “fraudulent and collusive practise”.
My advice to you Prime Minster is that you clean up your own ministries before you proceed to besmirch the names of innocent, blameless Bahamians.