Elma Campbell Chase and her son Che are now charged with defrauding the Ministry of Tourism of 1.2 million dollars. They pleaded not guilty and presumed innocent.
Who is she? She is a high society gal and at 64 years old stands to go to jail for a term of years with her son for a similar term. He is already out on bail for defrauding BPL of some 250k. He was charged in 2017.
Her father was Percy Campbell, a migrant from Trinidad, who came to The Bahamas first as a policeman, then joined the public service and became one of Pindling’s most trusted advisors in the Ministry of Development. We guess it was sometime after the fight with Carl Francis, her relative, the family left the PLP and became implacably FNM. So FNM that when the slogan “the Chief is a tief ” was used against Lynden Pindling, she was amongst those foremost in promoting it, loudly and plainly in the streets. As the FNM morphed into power under Hubert Ingraham, she was known as one of Hubert Ingraham’s girls.
The son Che is the product of a marriage between the UB Lecturer Haldane Chase and was named after the guerilla fighter Che Guevara. His family obviously had high hopes for him. He is a lawyer like his mother and from all accounts a smart fellow but has a gambling problem.
For all those historical reasons up above, except for her close circle of friends and family, there is little public political support for her. First, the Minister of Tourism an FNM did not blink when he discovered the fraud, he simply called the police. It is clear that no one from the FNM intervened. When one FNM Minister was asked about it, he dismissed it by saying why should we : “she is part of the old FNM under Hubert Ingraham.”
The PLP says where you put us. They remember the cruelty of anti-Pindling crusade and their view is with her regard to her “ it could not have happened to a finer person.” Karma is a bitch.
But in sheer human terms, it is simply tragic. How did a 64 year old mother and grandmother, an experienced lawyer, a former Minister of the Government, get herself into this fix? Particularly since she ought to have been on inquiry having regard to the earlier charge against her son. The argument is that sometimes women develop a blind spot for their children and allow them to trick you into doing foolishness that you would not ordinarily do.
When the police arrest a family in drug cases, usually the culprit in the House confesses and everyone else is set free. So what most people expected is that the young man in this case would not allow his mother to suffer the indignity of imprisonment, public shaming and accept responsibility. Not so. Both pleaded not guilty. At the age of 31 is probably is a little difficult to expect the son to develop a moral conscience.
The lesson still is though, parents ought to know when it is time to tell no god children: enough is enough.
Number of hits for the week ending Saturday, 7th March, up to midnight: 180,183;
Number of hits for the month of March up to Saturday, 7th March,, up to midnight: 180,183;
Number of hits for the year 2020 up to Saturday, 7th March, up to midnight: 1,933,847.