( The letter first appeared in The Nassau Guardian on 26 March 2021)
The leaders of this country are heading in a very dangerous direction.
Before World War II, Germany had a weak leadership and Hitler was able to take control. What followed ended with worldwide destruction.
In The Bahamas, our democratic system is coming under great pressure and unless we are careful, it would be replaced by a dictatorship.
Our laws are obeyed only when it is in our interest to do so. I will give you a couple of examples:
1) The Public Disclosure Act was designed to ensure that those who entered public life must disclose their financials each year. This has not been done for years. There is a penalty for those who fail to disclose, but this has not been enforced.
2) There is a provision in our constitution that states that the government cannot acquire private property for a public purpose unless the owner is adequately compensated.
In both of these cases, the prime minister of the country is responsible for ensuring that these laws are enforced. He has failed to do so.
After the 2017 general election, several PLPs were charged with several fraud-related matters. Among them was Kenred Dorsett. For disclosure purposes, Mr. Dorsett is my godchild.
On July 13, 2017, he was arrested and carried before the court with chains around his legs after being charged.
He was taken back to the police station where he was held. While being held, he asked to use the bathroom but was told he could not. You can imagine how embarrassing this must have been.
On July 14, 2017, he was granted bail after a relative provided a document for property to secure the bond. This relative cannot dispose of his property while this matter is pending, even if there is a need to do so.
Mr. Dorsett, who is an attorney, cannot practice his trade to provide for his family.
We are beginning the campaign for the next general election and there is no indication as to when this matter will be dealt with. Justice delayed is justice denied.
I would like to ask the Hon. A. D. Hanna and Sir Arthur Foulkes, who fought along with me and others in the 1950s and 1960s, if this is the kind of freedom we were hoping to achieve.
Did they expect it to become a dictatorship like Venezuela in South America, Myanmar in Asia or countries in Northern Europe?
You may think we have an incompetent authority but what we have is a dictator and a weak opposition.
— A. Loftus Roker