Categorized | Editorials

Nixing a Culture of Impunity

Revelations now coming to light suggest that funds belonging to the Bahamian people [and which were held in trust] have been subject to any number of brazen uses.

Whether any of this amounts to criminal wrongdoing is anybody’s guess.

But for sure, it is clearly a very sad fact of life that this scandal reveals some of the costs that can and will accrue to the Bahamian people when the nation’s Executive delegates too much of its authority.

And so, today –as the chips fly hither and yon – we implore the current administration that it should be up and doing with reviewing standard operating procedures at all public corporations with a view to insuring accountability, transparency and wise stewardship of the people’s hard-earned money.

Here we insist:-Like others who are waiting and watching to see how the National Insurance Scandal will finally be settled, we wait in hope even as voices in the wind shout that, this one, this scandalous thing will – in short order – find it finessed and shelved away.

This is far too cynical a view.

For our part, then, we continue to insist that the authorities should be up and doing with not only nixing what might be deemed a culture of impunity long complicit in crimes committed in some of this nation’s suites; but that these same authorities should be most deliberate in sending forward the loud and clear message proclaiming an end to a system that seemed predicated on a notion of ‘different strokes for different folks’.

At one end of that spectrum are reports concerning Ponzi Schemes and the theft of millions of dollars from unsuspecting investors. We are also hearing the tale of the big-time money swindler who was able -up until now- to get away with a billion dollar rip-off.

What is even more troubling is the sense we are getting that the authorities do not have a clue as to what is to be done about crime in the streets and crime in the suites.

That may of course be due to the fact that there are so very many so-called ‘respectable, law-abiding Bahamians’ who make their living off the likes of the swindlers and co-artists who are in our midst.

Here we go further with the suggestion that whenever a country becomes grounded in corruption, many of its people — particularly its youth — come to the conclusion that all that matters is money.

After that all that truly matters concerns how much of the loot they can grab.

This is both unfortunate and regrettable.

Compounding the matter is the fact that some of the people who flout the law and who thereby collect their share of the corruption bonanza are the very ones who shout so loudly about how proud they are to be Bahamians.

These are the high-minded, high-perched ones who comprise an elite brand of criminal in an already crime-ridden, bloody Bahamas.

In this regard, then, we would also wish to suggest that the current focus on street-level policing as panacea to crime in The Bahamas might well be an expensive exercise in futility.

They must see to it that there is no hiding place for the criminal cloistered away in his suite.

We make this point in the same breath as we note that there is an abundance of evidence that is strongly supportive of the conclusion that The Bahamas is home to hundreds of such highly placed con-artists and tricksters.

The damage these scam artistes do is analogous to the destruction wrought by a nest of termites.

And so it follows: – If ever there was a time when the attentive public is desirous of ‘swift” justice that time is surely now as they get both whiff and smell of some of the corruption-tinged allegations now swirling around the head of this or that person previously working for the National Insurance Board.

And so today, we re-new our call on the authorities to move with all deliberate speed to bring this matter to speedy closure; and for sure, we are also minded to point out that the masses of our people still yearn to know and believe that the laws on the books apply to each and every Bahamian.

In addition, the masses of Bahamian people yet yearn for the soon-coming of that day when the Law is applied without fear or favor; but for sure, we must re-state and re-cite our fullest agreement with the proposition which teaches and ensures that a person charged with an offense is to be presumed innocent.

And so, we rush to make the point that, Algernon Cargill and any others who might yet find themselves hauled before the courts should be presumed innocent and [as such] should be given every opportunity to defend any and all allegations made against them.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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