WRONG_WOEID WRONG_WOEID

A Junior Will Lead Them

A Junior Will Lead ThemAntigua St John's - If ever there was a reason for a commission of inquiry into the public fencing scandal, the man at the middle of the indignity Minister of Sports Winston Williams has just made the case for such.

Amazingly, Williams, the junior minister in the ministry of education and sports is asking questions on a matter he was directly involved rather that providing answers.

So after the fact, expending millions of dollars, Williams is trying to convince the public that there were no safety measures in place in a system that has been running for decades.



What a joke!

“If the system fell down, then let’s attack the system; let’s put proper things in place; let’s strengthen the systems,” is Williams’ plea.

What Williams seems to conveniently forget, is this simple fact.

There is a credible system already in place and had he followed the law of the land, the projects would have been handled in a proper manner.

As a matter of fact, the first time any contractor breached his or her contract, Williams would have been able to address that matter and dealt with it.

“If persons, who the report clearly stated found ways to benefit from those things (projects), then let us make sure they can give back, if that can be ascertained, and I think the report clearly states that. Now the Treasury Department is carrying through on that requirement,” is the minister’s poor excuse.

Why would Williams have oversight if he was unable to oversee the problems?

The Minister is suggesting that he is a blind man being asked to be a watchman.

And even with that, a blind man would have done a better job, which begs the question what was the minister’s agenda.

Perhaps Williams’ agenda is explained in the following statement.

He stated:

“Over that time, more than 100 people were given an opportunity to ply their trade.

“We did not bring anybody in from China or Guyana.



“It was people living in the villages here; the carpenters, masons, trucker-folk and back-hoes.

“When the stadium was finished, a lot of people out there were wondering what next?

“Because of that economic activity, it held the rest of the economy until 2009 or 2010 when the crash came."


Really Minister Williams, since when it’s your responsibility to determine the economic activity of the nation of Antigua & Barbuda?

I thought that was the role of the Minister of Finance and the economy and by extension the Cabinet, which is the executive arm of the government.

By the way, where was the Minister of Finance and the Economy Doctor the honorable Errol Cort in all of this?

When the Governor General Dame Loiuse Lake-Tack decided there was no need for an inquiry into this matter did she consider the role or lack thereof of Dr. Cort?

I’ll come back to the GG.

That this fencing scheme ‘held the rest of the economy until the crash came’ is preposterous to say the least.

And it also shows how out of touch Williams and his colleagues are on financial and developmental issues.

Had Cort been a proper steward of the nation’s finances, he would not have allowed a ‘junior’ minister or any other minister for that matter to waste taxpayers’ monies in that way.

Williams should accept responsibility for his ineptitude and Dr. Cort, no stranger to such financial carelessness is equally accountable.

It appears that Cort seems to have a way of deflecting blame when he should be the one shouldering the load.

Cort was able to absorb public criticism for his role in the Medical Benefits Scheme scandal where persons were asked to repay funds while others were sentenced to jail.

It’s quite interesting that Williams felt compelled to quote parts of the committee’s findings on the fencing matter but let out those areas where the tending process was subverted.

If, according to Williams, he was being patriotic by affording local contractors jobs, then, why undermine the tendering process?



It makes absolutely no sense.

Surely one can conclude that the overly excessive spending and the circumventing of the tendering process were nothing short of a campaign ploy authorized by his colleagues.

How else could a ‘junior’ minister be allowed to ‘blow’ all that money during one of the worst economic period in the history of Antigua & Barbuda?

What, Did not officials at the treasury call in Minister Cort and inform him that Williams was just too loose with poor peoples’ monies?

I am not convinced that Williams was able to pull this off all by his lonesome and that’s one of the reasons for an inquiry.

Who gave Williams his blessings?

We need the names of those who helped Williams, those who showed concerns and the person or persons who gave ‘junior’ the ok to spend, spend, spend and spend some more.

When the GG was making her determination on Whether or not there should be an inquiry into the fencing scandal she should have considered at least that.

To suggest that recommendations that were made by a committee that investigated the matter are now being followed is a poor excuse by the GG.

The fact is Cort, after turning a blind eye or at least granted Williams the ‘green light’ to spend benefitted from two huge projects that cost close to EC$11 million.

The St. Johnsons 669-seat facility and the restoration of Simon Boulevard Center, next to Clareview Psychiatric Hospital are clear evidence of the monies spent in Cort’s constituency.

When the Antigua Labour Party was in power, the United Progressive Party criticized them for the construction of sporting facilities as it drew close to elections.

It would appear that the UPP has taken a page out of the ALP playbook, just that the bill is now public and the media is more open.



With the UPP’s mantra of transparency and accountability, this matter clearly demonstrates that it’s all talk and no substance.

The same way many in the government asked Sir Gerald Watt to resign after the fiasco during the 2009 General Elections, perhaps it’s time for them to demand the same of Williams and Cort.

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23 Comments In This Article   

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bornya

#23 cavella » 2013-09-24 07:51

I find it so confusing when they keep talking about IHI while they are wasting money.Ben Corp and the car park make me hurt when I drive across there.
Epicurean moved to a larger place and they have to buy land.
The UPP is in charge of land yet they move the APUA head office to the city.
We have some dunce people who think that they can fool us.They keep buying old buildings and renting new buildings from friends to our detriment.I have never in my 60years in Antigua see so much thieving going on and APUA keep robbing us with fuel variation.I am praying forAntigua that the Lord will save us from destruction which looks inevitable.
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cavella

RE: A Junior Will Lead Them

#22 Rubbin alcohol » 2012-05-16 17:50

There isn't gonna be any inquiry one of the contractors who benefitted from this wanton wastinging of the peoples money is now busy sponsoring everything. If u hold a crab race they will sponsor it
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Rubbin alcohol

RE: A Junior Will Lead Them

#21 Daughter of the Soil » 2012-05-08 08:50

ALP was corrupt......now UPP is accused of being corrupt. What is the alternative to this mess? Is there a 3rd party out there, that will truely put the PEOPLE FIRST? God Bless A&B!
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Daughter of the Soil

RE: A Junior Will Lead Them

#20 Concern Antiguan » 2012-05-04 20:28

The old guards are gone. Bird, Walter,Williams, Carrot, Hurst, Halstead, Hall, and the others of their generation. They served us well. We are proud of their contributions. They did This @ a time with minimal educational achievement. Those days are gone. What did you really expect in this day and age, when you give a person with no educational achievement such as Mr.Williams such a portfolio? Clearly, you were asking for disaster. When you are in a position to govern you must be up to the task. Apparently, this is also the reason why the people are questioning the P.M ability to lead. Our leaders must be intellectuals. This is a criteria. The world is too literate now. Our leaders must be up to the challenge of an ever evolving global literacy demand. Personally ,i understand why Mr.Williams messed up the task given to him. Let us not repeat **ake by appointing and electing individual who are not worthy of representing us. Advance education is a acquired discipline that all who seeks higher offices should achieve.
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Concern Antiguan

@Godfather

#19 jeb » 2012-05-04 19:14

And I suppose the PLM were squeaky clean. Did they not have their share of ‘Mr. five percents’ off the top, land acquirement and the list goes on? Admittedly, possibly less back then…now it is double or more and in the millions. As I have seen it tenman has been meticulous to comment with factual and back up on either side.
Don’t you realize that most of us know that corruption existed before and before that and before even that? Since we have to move on in life there is no point dwelling, ad infinitum, on long past issues that we cannot change. Antigua is broke NOW because of the broken promises and ineptitude of (ALL) the present government and to have a future we need to deal with the here and now; insulting others on a personal level for not seeing everything your way is childish.
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jeb

MUCH MORE

#18 THE GODFATHER » 2012-05-04 14:42

Colin, there is more to the past than IHI, trust me if I had power, I wouild make a public example of all of them! If you subtract the history of the Bird's, there is nothing left, TRUE OR FALSE.

There is no spinning of the truth, recognise there is much more than IHI.
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THE GODFATHER

@ The GodFather

#17 Proud ANU Queen » 2012-05-04 13:24

GodFather, I thougt this was funny! Isn't BS the Prime Minister's initials? Just asking!
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Proud ANU Queen

Williams put his foot in his mouuth

#16 Wadadli Blogger » 2012-05-04 13:21

How can the treasury be getting back money without another full investigation?

The first report on the fences (that was presented to cabinet 2 years ago) was only a sample of half of the projects ... so if the treasury is to get back the money that was over paid then a new full investigation is needed.

In other words an inquiry MUST BE CALLED!!!

Then Baldwin and the UPP were on a stage last night at a public meeting talking about the ALP was corrupt ... well the ALP might have been corrupt ... but we are living in the present and the UPP IS CORRUPT RIGHT NOW!!! So I believe our most important thing is to stop this present corruption RIGHT NOW!!! Not reward it!!!

Maybe the humbling the ALP got will help them ... it's now time to humble the UPP!!!
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Wadadli Blogger

Just supposin

#15 Colin » 2012-05-04 12:37

Suppose there were no IHI - wht would the UPP spinners use for ammunition?
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Colin

@Tenman

#14 Dig It » 2012-05-04 12:20

Tenman, a very good point you made with MBS! It is unfortunate in our young nation that what applies to some don't applied to others! In others words, our "wrong-and-strong" way of governing seems to make our "memories" lost, as we try to "sweep" all our "tresp**" against the people under the rug! This is so "surreal" as I just can't understand why the GOAB expects the "wrongs" to go "unpunished" or with a "slap-on-the-hand?" You asked where is "transparency" and "accountability?" I am of the view that it was an "unintentional" slip of the tongue by the Chief Servant and his cronies just get into power and then send it to Guassa! Here, in the fencing scandal, you have an "omissions" that contracts were "overpaid" and others paid for "work never done" but that's nothing to call a public inquiry by the PM and GG! I guess they think that asking those very contractors to pay back the Treasury is enough not to call an inquiry! If the PM have nothing on his tenure, he should come clean and do what's right!
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Dig It

@ beyond limits

#13 down to earth » 2012-05-04 10:49

Beyond limits, which fence ah u ah rip us off with, u c.nt!!!!
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down to earth

Dig It - Transparency & accountability

#12 tenman » 2012-05-04 09:55

Dig It well said. I recall the MBS scandal where LB called in a forensic auditor, Allan Joseph. His report was released to the public. Persons unhappy with the investigation demanded an inquiry and after reluctance one was held. Now we have this fencing scandals where insiders are used to in some instances investigate things they are responsible for (eg Auditor General). The report, completed may 31, 2010, was leaked to the public, over a year after it was submitted. The Finance minister now claims the matter is closed. Where is the transparency and accountability? Why is it that the government feels the need to hide the content of reports from the public? I can only surmise its because they have something to hide.

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tenman

facts

#11 tenman » 2012-05-04 09:23

GodFather a google search using Quote:
"tenman" and "IHI" and "Caribarena.com"
reveals at least 283 results A similar search substituting one of your known alias,"Godfather" provides 31 results. Clearly I have spoken more on this matter, via Caribarena, than you have




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tenman

YOU CANNOT HIDE

#10 THE GODFATHER » 2012-05-04 09:21

Tenman, give me a break, your wishy washy excuse highlights your ignorance. PM Baldwin Spencer should have acted on his 2004 mandate, throw them in jail, then let the clourt intervene.

If I had political power, thats what I would have done, what PM Baldwin Spencer did was inexcucsable, he failed to act. I would be squeezing someone balls for information, make no mistake; they are bleeping guilty.

What could be the reason for earlier bombing and subsequent file disappearance relating to the case.

And for you to say you are not influenced by others, many times you refer to the PM as BS! You have shown your colours Tenman, and its DIRTY....
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THE GODFATHER

IN THE BELLY OF THE WHALE

#9 THE GODFATHER » 2012-05-04 09:01

Magic, do me a favour, try and get an audience with the gang of 3, investiagte IHI. You have never written anything on IHI, this preceded the fencing scandal and involved millions in offshore accounts. Listen, these past xxxxxx, xxxx billions from Antigua Treasury that the people are paying back right now.

Investiagte, the over EC$400m road program, check big x.A.x.A. and his financial backers, remember he was the frontman, boasting of making more than $EC5m, just a local messenger, and interview his BOSS`. Look at the person who controlled the purse strings at that time, and his associatiion with the BOSS. And then have a chit chat with your friend at his Lions Den.

Let's see if there is really true media in Antigua & Barbuda, the ball is in Caribarena's court!
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THE GODFATHER

God Father

#8 tenman » 2012-05-04 09:00

God Father I have commented on IHI, the problem is you do not like what I say. Since tax payers moneys were used by Linquist why won't the government simply release the reprt, so I can like with the fencing report, try to make reasoned comments? Instead you would prefer me comment on things politicians have stated about a report? The PM who has access to the report you spoke of, lost a defamation case from one of the persons named in IHI. He also has the police force and the AG office at his disposal. God Father if the PM with more info than me has had a court find him guilty of defamation why should I walk that road with no real info?
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tenman

They way of governing have CORT-UP with them!

#7 Dig It » 2012-05-04 08:53

After marching and protesting for 28 years, and, finally, given the opportunity to taste "power-and-authority ," the UPP government has really shown that the "wrongs" will never be "right" once the public's "resources" are at their disposal to either "enriched" themselves, friends, party-hacks, and anyone who is willing to pat them on the backs for "failures!" All the GOAB's "back-peddlings" have finally CORT-UP with them! And, Senator Fence's "spending-spree" without any proper measures in place has shown how "recklessly" he and his cronies cared about the tax payers money! My question to the Senator is: If you know that the "system fell down" why go along with the multi-million dollar fencing and sundry projects? Do you really have a choice back then? Tell that to a public inquiry, as that is the best place for you right now!
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Dig It

TENMAN POOPOOGANDA

#6 THE GODFATHER » 2012-05-04 08:46

Amazing, Winston Williams is condemned, we all say GUILTY, and thats understandable, there is an effort by the ALP to keep this issue, along with WPP in the minds of everyone, and that is there democratic right. But what about the rights of others. concerning similiar issues. do these not need investigation too.

It is sorrowful, when all these so called bloggers, who are very much partisan, taking Williams to task, wanting transparencey and accountability, similarly would not wish the same for past ALP wrongs. And there are many such bloggers on this site, and Tenman is one!

You never ever commented on IHI, all your partisan rant, quotes and irrelvant view blind any objectivity you may have left. I dont give two bleeps what you post in defense of the gang of 3 that robbed us, they should face justice, PM Baldwin buckled, watch and you will see the outcome, then sell your poopooganda
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THE GODFATHER

my vote

#5 beyond limits » 2012-05-04 08:04

a voting for winston
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beyond limits

amen

#4 tenman » 2012-05-04 08:00

Magic, I agree with you. Special warrants were wrongly used for the majority of these projects and they have to be signed by the ministry of finance. The purpose of these warrants are for extra ordinary and urgent situations. The real motive behind these projects was rewarding mostly loyalists to help in the 2009 election. There is no way a junior minister of sports could exceed a development budget of 1.5 million and spend in excess of 54 million without approval from the minister of finance. The very report has ministry of sports personnel stating, on page 6, that it was the ministry of finance which advised that special warrants would be used due to budgetary constraints.
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tenman

Warning!

#3 Jackie Spent! » 2012-05-04 07:56

Thank you Magic! Me tired tell the Big Man so! Me tell he to do like Magic and Caribarena say and have one inquiry!!! But narrr listen to me...is only David and the Doctor he a listen to these days!!!

Lard me belly a hut me!!! Me carn sleep a night! Magic call he an talk to he for me!!! Me nar warn see go a jail!!!

Now me hear that the others an dem a meet behind he back to throw him out! Lard me belly a hut me! Me a cry day an night now! Me na warn go no where now wit he! Me too shame!
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Jackie Spent!

I may be able to help you Magic

#2 STEVE » 2012-05-04 06:09

"Who gave Williams his blessings?" From my reading of everything surround this fencing scandal, in my opinion; Williams got his blessings FROM THE CABINET. Plain and simple as that. "It would appear that the UPP has taken a page out of the ALP playbook, just that the bill is now public and the media is more open". IT WOULD APPEAR YOU SAY MAGIC? ONLY ONE DIFFERENCE, REGARDLESS OF WHAT PEOPLE MIGHT SAY, IT WAS NEVER THIS BAD SINCE COLONIAL RULE AND I AM CONVINCED THAT IT IS NOT BECAUSE OF THE GLOBAL FINANCIAL CRASH.
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STEVE

RE: A Junior Will Lead Them

#1 STEVE » 2012-05-04 06:03

Who gave Williams his blessings?

We need the names of those who helped Williams, those who showed concerns and the person or persons who gave ‘junior’ the ok to spend, spend, spend and spend some more.


Read more: http://www.Caribarena.com/antigua/opinions/opinion-pieces/ian-magic-hughes/100434-a-junior-will-lead-them.html#ixzz1ttTznQN8
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STEVE

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Ian 'Magic' Hughes

Ian 'Magic' Hughes is an Antiguan Journalist.






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