Barbados Becoming A Society Of "Fat Cats" And Soft Corruption

After reading the interesting article penned by Albert Brandford in the Nation newspaper of April, 29 2007 it prompted me to muse on how our Barbados society has continued to allow an already corrupt system of government to become even more corrupt. It is intentional not to litter this writing with any theoretical concepts usually disseminated by many of our well known political scientists and social commentators. Brandford quoted Richie Haynes when he wore an NDP cap back in 1994 as saying:

 

“Most of the stealing in Government takes place where Government interfaces with the private sector of Barbados. You can’t steal salaries and you can’t steal debt payments. The next big chunk would have to be in terms of contracts, tenders … and that is where the ‘thiefing’ takes place.

Dr Richie Haynes, leader of the National Democratic Party (NDP), 1994”

Although it is not a particularly profound statement it is one which all of us who keep our ears to the ground can very well agree with. We look around and observe MP’s who enter government having come from decent jobs but not necessarily paying extravagant salaries, and after a couple of years on the government side we observe the ostentatious lifestyle which many of them embrace. In recent times we seen Rommel Marshall, an insurance agent in his former life who after spending a few years in government now owns property all over Barbados, a business in Bridgetown, drives a Mercedes and we can go on. There is Noel “Barney” Lynch and Gline “Wuk Fuh Wuk” ClarkeBarbados Free Press has written voluminously on these two. Now we see the Prime Minister driving around E50 which is a Lexus jeep which no doubt he would have acquired duty free but if paid for would be significant in price even on a PM salary.

We however tend to focus on politicians when discussing corruption but what about those judges who sit on the bench while still covertly managing their law firms and legal practices? What about those priests who accept “donations” to their personal accounts for performing the “blessings” at functions? What about those bankers who approve personal loans for prominent individuals with the unspoken expectation that the organizations they head would benefit from significant contracts. We must never forget that the government is responsible for a very significant share of the business which private sector depends on for its very survival sometimes.

My musing is not to become trap in any Willie Lynch syndrome but only to use the argument that any organ or individual in a Barbados society must logically be a microcosm of the environment. The individuals which make-up our political parties therefore will not be immune to the material lifestyle which now pervades our society. The conundrum for a cynical electorate though is that historically it does not matter which party is in power; the behaviour remains the same. What a vigilant Barbados society must do is to ensure that we advocate for the appropriate safe guards to be established and enforced so that corruption is discouraged, identified when it rears its ugly head and weeded-out with haste.

 

33 comments

  • Can anyone tell me what the Gov’t is doing with regard to the building that they are erecting at the roundabout at the Newton junction this building is about 6 years in construction by gov’t wokers how many more will it take to bring it to completetion or is there a problem with it that it has stalled for so long????
    Once again our money and we deserve replies to our questions what really is the hold up with this project? we have invested a great deal of funding to get it to where it is and maybe we should put some thrust towards finishing it or better yet come clean and tell us why you have taken so long with completetion or what really is the problem…

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  • Nicholls was Owing’s pimp and friend and money mover they wheel and deal together all the time any deal that Owing does Nicholls and Bannister share the spoils and then Nicholls is the one that moves the money around and divides up the various shares and then deposits in offshore accounts for the three of them, unlike Owing collecting and depositing his cheque for $ 750,000.00 but then again this one was too small a cheque to worry to go offshore with it.
    We have also learnt that recently there has been a cooling of the relationship between Owing and Nicholls as a result of Owing’s new marriage we understand that the most recent Mrs Arthur knowing what she did about Nicholls providing female service girls to Owing and the lifestyle that they indulged in while they were close, she has asked Owing to cease his relationship with Nicholls, therefore we are not sure how the deals are being split at the moment we will have to see how the BOLT flyovers were sorted out between themselves.
    Is there a link to the storage facility, the Jail and the flyovers? There certainly is between the Jail and the storage facility they are both being built by the same company that Nicholls and Bannister involved after they did not get the local contractors to pay them bribe money they sent the contract offshore so they could factor in their very healthy fees in excess of $ 100 mill, I long to learn the name of the company involved in the flyovers if I were a gambling man I would bet that Nicholls, Bannister and Owing are involved and either the same company or a sister company is getting the contract to Bolt these flyovers.
    What a corrupt island we have turned out to be with Owing at the head of the line.

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  • WIV~could be wrong but I am sure I heard talk that the building is a Trinadadian concern.

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  • WIV~you make some heavy accusations. The BNB is the financial institution of the BOLT for the flyover. Mr. LeHunte has been the beneficiary of several large government contracts in recent times. In fact in Barbados there is a joke which goes around that BNB is still a government bank. They also have the contract to fund the Barbados Water Authority relaying of pipes, over 200 million I think. No wonder Mr. Lehunte has been heard last week in the press making favourable comments around CWC 2007.

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  • Adrian Loveridge

    Wishing in Vain..

    Type HAFEEZ KARAMATH into Google News and it will give you some idea what is happening at the Newton building.
    There was an Advocate article recently that stated the BIDC (Government) had sacked the contractor.

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  • Thanks for the clarification Adrain, I must confess that one slipped passed us : – )

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  • God don’t like ugly,nor does he like thieves that unfair poor people,big head owen and his crew will suffer,look short all of them will have to leave Barbados for fear of losing their lives at the hands of these new age bajans.

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  • Pingback: Fat Barbados Cats and Soft Corruption - Barbados Underground Comments On Albert Brandford's Article « Barbados Free Press

  • Wishing in vain

    I for one was not aware that Alleyne’s wife received a contract from CWC if this is the case it would have to be considered immoral and dishonest.
    From what you have said here it appears that there was a lot of work handed out to friends and politicians and their friends although this does not surprise me totally it sickens me to see it take place in such a blatant form I assume that these work contracts are just typicial of the mode that the gov’t operates in that being do as you like we are to powerful and so well liked by the voters that we steal from them amd shaft them and they say or do nothing but return them to office to do more of the same, shame on us if we have not yet learnt that 10 years is long enough for a party to get corrupt in power we gave this gang of crooks 15 years and look what we got in return multi million dollar stealing which involves nearly every minister but the prime one being Owing.
    We need to see where we are at in this country and to vote according to our hearts and if this is done we will remove these bastards from office and bring some honesty to public life again.

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  • WIV~how do you respond to the concern of a confused public that if the DLP is voted back in the same things seems to recur?

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  • Wishing in vain

    Have not heard a squeak out of MM Lynch, Mottley or Owing on this disaster they supposely were overseeing they have gone underground or wording their resignations that is what they ought to be doing having raped our country up to and after CWC, they really need to face criminal charges for their corruption will Mr Thompson look into this whens he comes to power, maybe I should not suggest that as the BLP will endeavour to hold office under any conditions that could even mean by illegal and dishonest means and we already know that they are a dishonest bunch so stuffing the ballot box or an influx of Guyananese will be very likely, I bet you every Guyananese living and not living in Barbados will be a vote for the BLP legally or otherwise mark my words.

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  • Wishing in vain

    I think that there is room for dishonesty as we have seen from this party that once given the room and opportunity the corruption will set in that is why I favour an american style program you have two terms and you of there, this party was ok in their first and second term but in this last term the level of corruption is at an unbelieveably high level ther are stealing like there is no tomorrow and maybe they feel this to be the case and the are speeding up contracts awarding them to friends of the party for their cash back scheme just look at the flyovers as an example of this fast track system have you ever seen a gov’t contract get awarded in such haste and what do we know about the players involved I look deep enough you will find Bannister and Nicholls showing up in there by extention that includes Owing as well.
    We need to break the cycle up and give the leadership to a new party maybe for 5 years and if they are working well 10 but then after that there needs to be a change of gov’t once again.
    Never should we allow three or four terms in office it just breeds dishonesty, arrogrance and corruption thats my take on that.

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  • When the history of this period is written, people like Al Capone and Bugsy Malone would certainly look like priests when compared to this bunch of bandits that we call ministers of goverment. They are all rich, And how did they get that way? TIEFING LEFT RIGHT AND CENTER. Can anybody say what did any of these “ministers” do that was outstanding within the last 13 years? ANYTHING? NONE? NOTHING?

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  • Zulu~can you appreciate the point which Kerrie Symmonds made when he got his increase as a result of public sector wage revaluation; the job of managing a government is a complex thing which require the best brains. Extending the point is that if you pay peanuts you will get monkeys. My point is that the very act of managing day to day requires thinking ministers.

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  • Wishing in vain

    Not one thing other that run their mouths constanly with promises and lies.
    You are very right Zulu they have promised heaven and earth and delivered nothing other than mega stealing take one look at the jail contract awarded to a company Bannister and Nicholls brought to Owing and he has awaded them the contact for the storage facility the Jail and I am investigating it now but there maybe a link with them and Owing with the Flyovers as well and talk about corruption.

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  • Wishing in vain

    In following the various blogs, I note how prolific you are in spreading vicious, venomous innuendo of corruption to the point becoming tiresome. Come on, I challenge you. You are anonymous, invisible and immune from prosecution. It is only your credibility that is at stake. Name names, produce evidence that can be substantiated to support your allegations or quit your tedious squawking.

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  • It is a general knowledge that a company name Veco was awarded the contract over a local consortium made up of ” of Jada Builders, Rotherley Construction, Rayside Construction, C.O. Williams Construction, Williams Industries, FirstCaribbean Internatonal Bank, Barbados National Bank and mega-billion dollar British construction firm Carrilian, which builds and operate prisons in the United Kingdom”. A google of Veco shows that it is a very agressive lobbyist in the US and had has its fingers rapped a few times. I have not been able to find the two agreements between Veco/local consortium and the Barbados government which we can table for critique.

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  • slowly but surely we will wake up one morning and those in the majority who have not, will take what they want from those in the minority who have, and this island will see a level of violence not seen since the 1938 riots, you can only push the poor and the struggling middle class so far…

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  • Come on Glockbadass~we are known as a passive people! Historians might agree with you though especially citing the Bussa rebellion as a classic example. It was widely known that the low producing plantations of St.Philip caused the overseers to push the slaves very hard. History shows that Nanny Grigg and Bussa led a rebellion in protest. So who will rebel in Barbados and in that form? Does one always have to shed blood to request change? I think not – look at Martin Luther King and Ghandi.

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  • Wishing in vain

    David I am glad that there are others out there with their eyes wide open you and I are on the same track.
    The only thing that I have to add to your statement is that they Bannister,Nicholls and Owing were asking for a faciliators fee that was in mega millions range and some of the parties declined to involve them Nicholls, Bannister and Owing this was when they decided that the contract would go overseas if they were not going to be paid what they wanted, had it not been for a few within that group who put their feet down and said that they were not going to pay them the money.
    If they would have paid the monies into their accounts and the contract would have stayed here.
    NB COW were not opposed to making the payment as required by Nicholls, Bannister and Owing

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  • Lets thank BFP for following up on this story about VECO. We did hint in our piece that VECO is a company which because of it aggressive lobbying had been rapped on the knuckles several times. Good job BFP!

    http://barbadosfreepress.wordpress.com/2007/05/05/breaking-news-us-politicians-indicted-for-takingarranging-bribes-in-veco-scandal-involves-new-barbados-prison/

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  • Pingback: BREAKING NEWS: U.S. Politicians Indicted For Taking/Arranging Bribes In VECO Scandal - Involves New Barbados Prison « Barbados Free Press

  • Update to this story is that we read in the Nation this morning that two VECO officials have admitted to bribing US officials.
    http://www.nationnews.com/story/288843939613592.php

    BU readers can follow a comprehensive discussion on this topic over at BFP:

    http://barbadosfreepress.wordpress.com/2007/05/05/breaking-news-us-politicians-indicted-for-takingarranging-bribes-in-veco-scandal-involves-new-barbados-prison/

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  • On this VECO issue has the contract been signed already between GOB / VECO ?

    I ask that question because in the absence of any contractural info. disclosure on this project by the BLP……is it not possible that they can
    ” insert ” a figure and claim that is the negotiated contract price ?

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  • Jerome Hinds~I don’t see how that can be the case because the financial rules of Barbados would have required some sort of tendering process which would obviously require a “figure” that government would have to allocate in the budget.

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  • David,

    Let us be realistic……when can you recall this BLP government paid any interest to the financial rules of Barbados ?

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  • Stealth Bomber

    Can someone explain how Thompson was able to cut deals with the Clico using the public purse in the ’90s as head of finance in this country ? but then again he doesn’t play by the rules. For we only have to look at what he did to mascoll in 2005 /2006.

    Barrow must be turning in the Caribbean Sea. All David sees is his last chance of being a pm (power-hungry manipulator). But one musn’t be surprised, for when a man’s dream becomes his obsession, and his obsession becomes his way of life,, then all the ingredients of a dictator are there.

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  • Stealth Bomber~what are the deals Thompson cut with CLICO? The other point you made does not add up because Thompson ousted Mascoll with the support of his parliamentary colleagues.

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  • Can you tell me whose signatures are actually on the prison contract between Veco (their reps’ names) and the Barbados Government.

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  • MES~we would have to do some research for you but a sister blog BFP has a comprehensive discussion going on on this subject. Follow the link.

    http://barbadosfreepress.wordpress.com/2007/05/05/breaking-news-us-politicians-indicted-for-takingarranging-bribes-in-veco-scandal-involves-new-barbados-prison/

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  • Pingback: Now That We Have A State Of The Art Prison, Can We Lock-Up Some “Quality”Thieves Now? « Barbados Underground

  • Pingback: Blast from the past: BCCI and Barbados « The Bystander

  • i worked on the barbados airport project.
    i was the only white bajan foreman on the site.
    i could pass as danish so i would be in the office sometimes.
    i heard a trini contractor that was doing the roof on the main
    existing airport ask the manager of phil and son”who do i bribe to get that job?”on the harbor i believe.
    he did not see me in the office.
    this goes on all the time.
    i later went on Holiday for 2 weeks and when i returned my job was done and i was not needed any more.
    a danish person had come in and took my job.
    thing is it was done so fast by the danish guy there is no way it could have been up to speck.
    oh well got to love Barbados for those things.

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