Categorized | National News

Roberts Calls For Bannister’s Resignation

Former Progressive Liberal Party Chairman Bradley Roberts has called for the resignation of Minister of Works Desmond Bannister.

In a statement  yesterday Mr. Roberts  said  that  Mr. Bannister was caught red handed telling two “bold faced lies” in his capacity as a Cabinet Minister on the Stephen Dillet repair contract and must immediately resign or be fired by Prime Minister Minnis.

He added that he has breached the public trust and must be held accountable.


“What with all this public talk both nationally and internationally by Dr. Minnis about fighting corruption, restoring integrity in government and leading and open, honest and transparent government, PM Minnis must act decisively if he is to be taken seriously and not conveniently dismissed as a bag of hot air who is madly in love with the sound of his own voice and coloured photo on the front page of the local dailies.


“Already Minnis’ silence on the Stephen Dillet scandal in light of public revelations reeks of a cover up at the highest level in the Minnis government. To speak at this late hour would be seen as succumbing to public pressure instead of acting in the public’s interest. To remain quiet would heavily suggest that the Prime Minister has something to hide.


“For the record, Minister Bannister conceded that the contract administration was mishandled, but blamed public servants for this failure:


“The project did not go out to tender the way it ought to have been to tender, public to tender. The manner in which the project commenced concerned the government and the government took appropriate steps in relation to that. I am not going to mention the names of public servants except to say that the government is satisfied that we have taken appropriate action in relation to those persons who are responsible.”


“It’s a project where somebody exceeded his boundaries” continued Mr. Bannister “and the project actually physically started, planned and started without ministerial authority. When that happened the minister had to act and Cabinet had to act…”


“The problem with this statement is that the Prime Minister himself issued the $4 million no bid contract to Mal Jack Construction, so why was Bannister telling a lie by using a lowly public servant as a scapegoat knowing full well that general orders prevent civil servants from defending themselves or speaking publicly on political issues? This is an act of cowardice. What was he trying to hide and cover up?


“In telling his second unsolicited and gratuitous lie, Minister Bannister told the press that the Stephen Dillet project “started under the PLP regime. (It) started when the PLP was in power. They obviously were working on it and we were not aware of it. We came to power and met all of this going on and we had to deal with the individuals who were involved,” Mr. Roberts said.

This is the latest in the back-and-forth in the controversy over “ Mal Jack” Construction after former Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Chairman Bradley Roberts claimed Sunday the contract to renovate the school was awarded to Mal Jack Construction without a proper public tendering process.

The Free National Movement (FNM), in the lead-up to the May general election and since then, has vowed to be transparent about contract awards and has committed to ensuring tendering process takes place for them.


Written by Jones Bahamas

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