SIDF PR Stunt Can’t Absolve You Mr Prime Minister

Those of you who listened to that sitting of parliament at which the question was asked and listened further to the answer provided by the Minister Dr. The Rt. Hon Denzil Llewellyn Douglas, should not have been happy with his answer and rightly so.

He prevaricated and down-right lied to the country when he answered; publicly displaying his lack of accountability and responsibility and blatant disregard for our Democratic traditions. It is important to note that the question was first submitted to the minister in October 2011, some six months before he provided a tissue of lies as his answer.

It is therefore an insult to all Kittitians and Nevisians to learn, that three weeks after the prime minister has lied to the public, SIDF can be engaged in a public relations exercise attempting to persuade sensible and educated citizens that their no-good organization is up to some good.

At the same time CUOPM is on its media blitz to drive the public discussion about the goodness of SIDF and Prime Minister Douglas, when in truth and in fact our Nation is witnessing the highest level of corruption; the violation of our Constitution; the thievery of resources belonging to the Consolidated Fund; and a slush-fund operating without any adherence to Good Governance principles.

According to information from the Registry of Foundations, SIDF was formed in 2006 under the Foundations Act of 2003. SIDF is therefore six years old this year.

It is very distressing that persons who are otherwise intelligent, educated and ethical could be engaged in carrying out the whims and fancy of the political directorate by launching an organization some six years after it has been in full operational mode disbursing funds obtained in the most questionable fashion.

A public relations exercise carried out by SIDF seemingly requested by Dr. Douglas wishing to escape answering to the public, is only a cover-up of the factual and illegal conduct of the Government that created with resources belonging to the State, a well-funded parallel government that is accountable to no one other than a corrupt, criminal mastermind.

When the question was asked of the Minister of Finance, one expected him to be informed of things that are happening under his ministry; after all he has been a Minister of Government for close to seventeen years; after all any minister who cannot tell the people of his country the details of a program under his ministry after six months of research is not worthy of his job.

When the question was asked, one expected the Minister of Finance to disclose that for the month of December of 2011 alone there were three hundred applications supported by the SIDF bringing to the Fund a whopping sum of US$60 million that is beyond the reach of the Director of Audit, the Public Accounts Committee and the ordinary poor people to whom it belongs.

When the question was asked we were already aware of the existence of the seventy acre (70 acres) Premier Farms that was set up in the constituency of the prime minister; a farm that was under the control of Edison James from Dominica who is a friend of the prime minister and Henley & Partners, the main organization handling or citizenship program at that time.

We were already aware that having seen no development of the Premier Farms, its successor happened to be the (113) one hundred and thirteen acre Capisterre Farm chaired by Dr. Hermia Morton who was Permanent Secretary in the Minister of Agriculture and also a Trustee of the SIDF; and we were also aware that the same SIDF had loaned a large sum to the Capisterre Farm.

We were also already aware that Kittitian Hill, another project in the constituency of the prime minister, had obtained a large sum from the SIDF that in the process had become a 90% shareholder in a failed project that was acquired by foreigners at seventy five cents per square foot; and that Crossman had taken up the CEO position of the SIDF.

We were also aware that while Crossman was the CEO at SCASPA and Chairman of SIDF a ten million dollar bond was secured by SCASPA from SIDF.

The recent spate of public relations surrounding SIDF cannot absolve our prime minister of his responsibility to answer questions that are geared towards holding the Government accountable and for the State to ensure that Good Governance practices are applied; that the Government should not operate an undisclosed slush-fund controlled by the political directorate; where corruption and thievery can show their ugly heads; while our Nation suffers at the hands of the IMF and the Parris Club.

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