Categorized | Featured, National News

‘A Crisis of Trust,’

Phillip Brave Davis

It’s a “crisis of trust” for Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis’ to award millions of dollars in contracts to companies in which St. Anne’s MP Brent Symonette is a shareholder, Progressive Liberal Party Leader Philip Davis said. 

“One of these deals is a lease for the Town Centre Mall, a government contract, which will be worth $4.5 million to a company owned by Mr. Symonette and his brother,” Davis explained yesterday.

“On October 24, 2018, the prime minister and his colleagues passed in the House of Assembly a resolution to enter into this lease. The resolution stated in part, ‘And whereas one of the beneficial of owners of the Town Centre Mall is a serving Cabinet Minister who did not take part in the discussion leading to the decision to accept the offer to lease portions of the building.’

“On Tuesday, July 2, 2019, Brent Symonette appeared on the talk show of Shenique Miller, and described a detailed conversation he had with the prime minister about this very lease. This is a conversation that, according to the resolution and the prime minister, never happened. The language of the resolution passed by the FNM in Parliament was a lie, and the prime minister knew it at the time it was passed.

“The prime minister now says his conversations with Brent Symonette should be considered ‘confidential’. When he talks about transparency, you see, he doesn’t mean regarding conversations in which he and members of Cabinet discuss matters of significant interest to the public.”

However, Davis said it is difficult to imagine how the prime minister can continue to lead the government effectively.

“With his misrepresentations to the House of Assembly, and multiple deals benefitting members of his inner political circle, he has lost the trust of the public,” he added.  “In a functioning government where public trust was valued, a vote of no confidence would take place.”

According to Davis, it is likely that members of the prime minister’s political party prefer to keep him in place, rather than see him resign or fall to a no confidence vote. 

“Many of them are putting politics, not country, first. Some of them care only about their continued ability to pull his puppet strings to their own benefit,” he said.

“This may be the political reality, but it does not in any way justify the unethical behavior that has led to this crisis of trust.”

Symonette recently resigned as minister of financial services, trade and industry and immigration and many believed he resigned because of a contract that was awarded to his company.

The government has also been under severe criticism over a number of contracts that companies in which Symonette is a shareholder would have received.  

But Symonette explained publically that his decision to resign wasn’t because of the contracts awarded. 

He said his decision to resign was a simple issue, as he wanted to resign before his 65th birthday.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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