The news on radio and television in Saint Lucia keeps me up later at night than I really need to. I say this having to listen to and process in my fading mind, the full disclose by Hon. Phillip J. Pierre at the first sitting of parliament. Granted, the local watering holes and chatter centres on the island had a lot to say following the revelations; anyone following the last general election would have heard whispers of unusual transactions.
In 2010, a parliamentarian was asked to explain unusual trips to Canada in search of farmland to purchase; trips to Dubai; large purchases of heavy equipment and investment holdings in several companies. But that went unanswered. Up until today, no one seems to care, not even the Inland Revenue department or the tax department, how in five years of less one can become a millionaire in a third world country on third world wages using EC dollars.
I have heard of success stories from rags to riches. I lived through though the period in Saint Lucia when drug barons turned millionaires; for those of us who grew up in the Gaboo and Wally era on Chaussee Road, Morne Du Don, Leslie Land and Waterworks, and the countless run ins with the police. Today, the entire island is having a civics lesson on how a bus driver elected to office on the UWP ticket, with no management training or exceptional skills, except street talk and a swift mouth, has apparently used the taxpayers of Saint Lucia as his piggy bank.
“Bondosse!! Who wake up dat sleeping dog? Look information weee on da brothers!" the neighbour cried out. Which registry does one go to apply to become a 'brother' of Guy Joseph? Does anyone here know? Because it seems that is where the Better Dayz was -- in Forestiere. Tell me more! It is not that simple! You first have to join Guy Joseph Brothers’ Lodge to share the full benefits… and the whole chain. You know how the lodge operates: it stays with brothers, the other brother, cousin… eyes closed and hand tight, mouth sealed.
But it was full disclosure by Phillip J. Pierre trying to knock Guy Joseph dead… telling the world how three brothers of the same family were awarded direct contracts amounting to in excess of EC$700,000 dollars in Castries South East alone. How several contracts were awarded to brothers of Guy Joseph alone during Hurricane Tomas recovery! How Asphalt and Mining (ANM) had an operation desk in the ministry. How a brother as awarded a contract for de-silting the Soufriere river for EC$250,000. What is this?
Parliament in Saint Lucia sounds and looks more like Hot Couture (a Saint Lucian fashion show) … with so much to expose. I suppose I need to seek clarification, Mr Speaker …ooh no as the saying goes , you know your entire house is made of glass, yet you throwing stones?
I suspect there was a mixture of stunned disbelief and embarrassment. But wait, the invoice everyone is trying to calculate is how a word of mouth job from one brother to another brother for de-silting of the Ravine Poisson and Vanard Intakes, in addition to the diversion of the Vanard River… estimated by the Water and Sewage Company (WASCO) to cost EC$65,561.72 … amounted to EC$240,250. This is stunning – while the whole county pays a 66% water rate increase, for poor service and brown water.
Are Saint Lucians to believe the brothers’ lodge are high level Indian Crooks? After all, is this new maths, and who approved the invoice at WASCO, the ministry of communication and works and the ministry of finance? Did the brother who completed the work collect his fair share? Who pocketed the balance? Did the bank question the deposit – while harassing the common man?
If this is just the tip of the iceberg of the United Whistle-blowers Party (UWP), can the Leader of the Opposition, (LOO, Tom Girl) answer if Arsene James’ daughter is the top contender for a top post in her office -- as payback for the palace coup?
It’s independence week and I know Allen Chastanet and (LOO, Tom Girl) are looking forward to attend the free independence cocktails and parties. I think you should remember the national pledge -- “With God as my guide, I pledge allegiance to my country, Saint Lucia. I proclaim that I will serve my country with pride and dignity and will defend it with vigour and valour in the pursuit of excellence, justice and equality for all.” -- Authored by Jeff "Pelay" Elva
I would like to call on Allen Chastanet, if you are serious about reform, Guy Joseph, Ezekiel Joseph and yourself should not meet the requirements as “doormats”, special needs politicians, or the “Matador” that killed the nation -- all of you must go -- pronto!
I look forward to continue the conversation on the Michael Chastanet talk show -- Open Mike -- to be launched on DBS Television. So pay attention as the UWP is dismantled as the metrics of a bygone era on your watch!