By Deli Caines
Charlestown, Nevis (Thursday, July 3, 2014)- A large number of residents from across the island of Nevis turned out to the Jessups Community Center on Tuesday, July 1 to hear the Nevis Reformation Party team discuss the many ills presently taking place in Nevis under the Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM)-led Nevis Island Administration.
Former Premier of Nevis, Hon. Joseph Parry told the massive crowd that the senior ministers in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) need to be about the theme of the ongoing NRP Town Hall Meetings, “Truth, Integrity and Transparency in Government!”
It was the second in a series of ongoing Town Hall Meetings.
Hon. Parry held up documentation pertaining to the recently revealed “shady” land deal between an Iraqi national and the NIA, and told the audience that the senior minister in the Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM)-led Administration need to be transparent and honest, when it comes to matters of government land. Holding the papers aloft, Parry told the audience that US$1.5million was sent from Iraq to an account of a company whose beneficial owners are a senior minister and his wife. The name of the company is Octagon Consulting Services Ltd., and the sum of money was for the purchase of 10 acres of government–owned land in Potworks, St. James Parish, Nevis. This account was at an indigenous bank in St. Kitts- Nevis.
He said, a written response dated the 29th April was sent from Hon. Alexis Jeffers – Minister of Lands and Housing to Delir Akrawi of the Naples General Trading Co. Main Street, Charlestown. The letter advised, “that a full payment must be paid within 60 days after discussion with the Nevis Island Cabinet,” stated Hon Parry.
On May 27th, according to Hon. Joseph Parry, money came from Shawn Ahmed Hasko – an Iraqi national of Salahaddim, France Village, Iraq in the amount of US$1,499,927 to Octagon Consulting Services Limited for land in Potworks in the St. James Parish.
The name of the contact person for the company Octagon Consulting can be seen on the Nevis Trust Limited website at: http://worldoffshorebanks.com/nevisoffshoretrust.php.
Mr. Parry expressed outrage that such a transaction involving the sale of government land can take place when a government minister is acting in his capacity as a minister and sits on one side of the table determining the price of the land and also sits on the side of the table facilitating this Iraqi with this transaction. “This is nothing short of corruption and conflict of interest,” said Hon. Parry.
During the meeting, Mr. Hensley Daniel, the former Minister of Health who made extensive strides to improve health care on Nevis while in office, discussed the relationship that he established with top-quality hospitals in Florida, Panama and Cuba.
Daniel pointed to one of the most profound injustices to health on Nevis presently, which is the fact that many people have to live abroad or have died due to kidney failure while the Dialysis Unit purchased by the NRP remains non-operational and sitting on the hospital grounds since April 1st, 2013.
It was obvious to many in the audience that Daniel was very disappointed with the lack of attention that health services are receiving under the present Minister of Health, the Hon. Mark Brantley.
“I truly care about our residents receiving proper health care, and when a young lady got into a car accident earlier this year I know that if I was the Minister of Health at the time of the accident, that young lady would have received care abroad immediately, because I understand that the first 24 hours are critical in saving a life!”
NRP Senator in the Nevis Island Assembly, Hon. Carlisle Powell spoke about the efforts and constructive work that was done under NRP versus CCM to bring Geothermal to Nevis.
“A number of progressive moves were made when the NRP was handling the development of geothermal in Nevis. Residents saw that things were being done such as experimental wells, the establishment of a geothermal plant and the actual display of the geothermal gas. Today in Nevis under this CCM Administration, a press conference took place on Geothermal and we have not seen or heard anything else on geothermal since,” commented Hon. Powell.
The evening’s other speaker was St. Paul’s parish representative in the Nevis Island Assembly, the Hon. Robelto Hector, and candidate for Constituency 9 in the next Federal elections, who said conflict of interest is the order of the day in this CCM- led Administration.
Hector noted that while he was in court recently, the Nevis Island Administration was represented by the law firm- Daniel, Brantley and Associates, which is a law firm co-owned by present Minister and deputy premier in the Nevis Island Administration, Hon. Mark Brantley.
Hon. Hector said he found this odd, as the NIA has two legal Advisors on the government payroll.
The St. Paul’s representative said further that transparency has become irrelevant as the Premier has refused to report to the people on a regular basis. “The Premier, Hon. Vance Amory leaves the island often and the residents on the island are not informed where he is going , what he is traveling for, and when he is returning.“
He concluded, “During the Hon. Joseph Parry’s Administration there were regular one-on-one meetings with the public, a radio call-in program In Touch with the Premier on Choice Community Radio every Tuesday morning, and regular press releases informing the public as to where, when and what the then-Premier, Hon. Joseph Parry was traveling for,” commented Hon. Hector to thunderous applause.
Another feature of the Town Hall Meeting was the presentation of the much anticipated petition which calls for censure of the CCM-led NIA for its corrupt practices, conflict of interest and poor governance. The petition has already received a large number of signatures.
For those interested in signing the petition, you may visit: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/liberate-nevis-now
The next Town Hall meeting hosted by the NRP will be on Tuesday, July 8th at the Nevis Credit Union from 7pm.