There is a well known Stalwart Councilor in Grand Bahama who has a favourite saying to describe his political enemies. He often says that they “ demons “; they are “wicked”. The Islam of Malcolm X and Lois Farrakhan often used the term “devils”. Those are all apt expressions that come to mind when dealing with the political chat of Brent Symonette, former Minister, over the past week. Wicked, demon, devil. How else can you describe the blatant rape of the political system for the economic benefit and good of Brent Symonette, his brother and his family. This is the family’s second bite at the cherry, since their father and grandfather was the Premier and went down in political flames in 1967 in the midst of the greatest corruption scandal in the history of The Bahamas for taking money from applicants to the Government while he was Premier.
Mr. Symonette who resigned on Monday 1 July 2019 as a Minister of the government in the middle of charges and counter charges of conflict of interest, was not going quietly into the good night. He told Philip Brave Davis and Fred Mitchell that he would have plenty to say after Monday 1 July and he certainly did. He cannot stop talking. Unfortunately for him, he has talked so much, he has only incriminated himself in the unethical conduct and reveals what kind of greedy public servant he has really been.
His first foray into the public domain on the resignation was to debunk the story that he left because of a conflict of interst. The Deputy Prime Minister Peter Turnquest said there was none anyway. Mr. Symonette made a play for sympathy. There wasn’t a dry eye in the place if you believed anything he was saying. His story was there he was this poor little rich white man, trying to make a way for his family and these wicked people ( dare we say black) in the PLP were attacking him and his family. He said he would have none of it.
He said when the Prime Minister called him to tell him to rent the Towne Centre Mall, he Mr Symonette told the Prime Minister that it would be a Volkswagen not a Cadillac. He told the Prime Minister the term of 12 dollars per square foot. He also asked the Prime Minister what he was going to do about the conflict of interest. The Prime Minister said that a resolution would come to the House to fix that problem. The interview with Mr Symonette took place on Thursday 4th July.
The pundits and the country at large were incredulous. Did this man realize what he said? He said out of his own mouth that both he and the Prime Minister were aware of the conflict of interest and they decided together to patch it up and waive the conflict. It also appears that the normal processes of procurement for public spaces were not followed, since this was a deal direct between the Prime Minister as tenant and Mr. Symonette his minister as landlord. It was just said like that and there was no thought of the moral or legal implications.
It will be interesting to see how this actually redounds in this country. The FNM was cleverly able to portray the PLP as corrupt when they, the FNM, are in fact the most corrupt group in the history of our country. Chapter and chapter of this has proven this from the UBP of Sir Roland Symonette and Sir Stafford Sands to the Cecil Wallace Whitfield generation leaders. One of the dissident eight, a founder of the FNM, was convicted of trafficking in cocaine. Then the generation under Ingraham, you had one minister after the next involved in siphoning off money from contracts. In the last five years a former FNM board member was convicted of corruption in the purchase of BPL generators and he took the fall for it. He got 300,000 dollars for picking a bad machine and getting the Cabinet of Mr. Ingraham to agree to it. Not a word said about it.
The PLP has been too silent on this rank crookedness amongst this FNM group. It is time they be exposed. It is that bad now.
The UBP scion is back in the saddle. He is proud of the crooked deal that he patched up with the Prime Minister. He boasts proudly of the conflict of interest and how together they conspired to fix it up. He saw nothing wrong with it. Now you see why this FNM government has to go.
Number of hits for the week ending Saturday, 6th July, 2019 up to midnight: 194,226;
Number of hits for the month of June up to Sunday, 30th June, 2019 up to midnight: 771,345;
Number of hits for the month of July up to Saturday, 6th July, 2019 up to midnight: 135,553;
Number of hits for the year 2019 up to Saturday, 6th July, 2019 up to midnight: 5,081,366.