BASSETERRE, ST KITTS –Opposition senator in the St Kitts and Nevis National Assembly is accusing the Dr. Timothy Harris-led administration of corruption and lacking in good governance, transparency and integrity in public life.
Sen. Nigel Carty pounced on a public statement by Clecton Phillip, former Press Secretary to Prime Minister Dr. Harris, who alleged recently that Dr Harris who was among the Labour Party candidates in the 1990’s critical of the then Junior Minister of Finance in the Kennedy Simmonds PAM Administration of renting his company’s vehicle to the Electricity Department.
“This he (Clecton Phillip) says is corruption to its highest in that the Labour Party when it was in opposition during the 1990’s spoke to what was happening in relation to ministers who used their positions in government to rent vehicles to government and as soon as they (Harris-led Team Unity Government) got into office they have formed companies now renting cars, chairs, tents and tables and have sort to get the Government to rent from those businesses without any competitive bidding. This is corruption to its highest,” said Sen. Carty on Freedom FM’s “Issues” programme on Wednesday.
Sen. Carty said the Timothy Harris Government last year received US$16 million from the Government of Venezuela to pay sugar workers, but one year later numerous former sugar workers are disgruntled.
“Just last night, I met a gentleman from Parsons, who lamented the fact that he has been going to the Ex Sugar Workers Secretariat every two weeks and each time it’s some bobul saying that his money is coming,” Carty said.
“Scores of ex sugar workers claim that they have been underpaid, they have been paid way below expectations and many people who expected to receive payment have not received any up to today. We were made to understand that the balance of the US$16 million as only EC$16 million has been paid out and the balance of the money we understand was put in the Development Bank and a lot of this money has been given directly to family members of Dr Timothy Harris and other members of his government for them to create businesses, while so many people with ideas have not been given the opportunity to take part,” said Mr. Carty.
He accused the government of openly employing sisters and brothers of the prime minister and other ministers of government in key positions to create an unjust and undemocratic system.
Mr. Carty stated there are persons in Constituencies 6 and 7, who may not have supported Dr. Harris and now have to appear in court before his sister who was recently appointed a magistrate.
“There are persons who have trained long before her. I know of two or three State Scholars who were working in the Legal Department of government and they resumes, their files, were not reviewed. One wonders whether the requisite experience is possessed by this individual who has been appointed by the prime minister as a magistrate, while another sister is the High Court Registrar and an Additional Magistrate,” sad Carty.
He added that the people of St Kitts and Nevis are already fed up with a government that is just shy of 16 months in office.
“For a Party that was in opposition that has said so many things about what they perceived was wrong in this country, one would not believe that coming into office, we would see the kind of nonsense and shenanigans that is taking place now,” said Carty, reminding listeners that several key supporters of the new government have already broke ranks with the Team Unity Government.
“The likes of Terry Adams (foot soldier), Clecton Phillip (Press Secretary to Harris who left the post after one year), Speaker of the National Assembly, Franklin Brand who resigned last month after 11 months in the post, have decided they cannot continue to associate and affiliate themselves with that kind of government,” said Carty.
He opined: “This is the worst kind of governance we have seen in the last 50 years, because as bad and corrupt the (Kennedy) Simmonds government was, it never became this bad and so quickly. What we see is a government that has deplored the standard of governance, the standard of transparency and the standard of integrity in public life.”
Sen. Carty pointed to the failure of the Dr. Timothy Harris government to appoint the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee after 16 months in government.
“After it was mentioned in the Throne Speech in May last year, it is not appointed as yet because there is no intention on the part of this corrupt government which is spending money here, there and everywhere behind closed doors and in dark corners, there is no way that we have the establishment of this parliamentary oversight Public Accounts Committee,” said Carty, pointing out that in 2010 at the presentation of the National Budget, then Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas appointed the Public Accounts Committee with then Leader of the Opposition and now Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon Mark Brantley as chairman.