When prime minister Ralph Gonsalves said, “I am here to finish the work of Maurice Bishop.” Some asked him what he meant. One of those was Peter Binose, and that question has been asked since, over and over again by others. This is ultra important.
Maurice Bishop, Grenada’s [fortunately very dead] Marxist revolutionary, told his finance department to keep two sets of books. One set of dodgy accounts to fool the International Monetary Fund (IMF), bankers, bondholders, investors, etc. The other real set for his and the central committee records.
Cameron Balcombe (pet-named “Dinky”) is CEO of Saint Vincent’s ‘Bally & Bally Investments Limited.’
Cameron and Bally and Bally had bad luck with the Harlequin Buccament Bay Resort project. They supplied the project with trucks and machinery and carried out a contract and never got paid. They also supplied the resort with fresh prime produce from Georgetown farmers and never got paid. As a protection for Harlequin at that time of financial crisis, to give what we now consider undue, untruthful and unfounded confidence to suppliers, contractors, and workers, Julian Francis of the Francis/Gonslaves family dynasty, owners of the plantation known as Saint Vincent, began bragging of being mister fix it.
He said, “if you have any problems with Harlequin [trouble getting paid], come to see me, and I will sort it out for you.” He never did, not only did local contractors, and suppliers not get paid, but dozens of decent skilled, hardworking Vincentian resort workers were left being owed months of wages [never to be paid, and never will be] when the Harlequin project collapsed. Had Francis not backed Harlequin at that time Vincentians, resort investors, and the government would have lost less, and Harlequin would have folded sooner. I suppose we should ask why he did that, what did he or others gain from that?
What was further mud in the eye, everyone knew that the prime minister’s wife got paid for furnishing the first handful of beach side sheds which they called villas for an obscene, some say an inequitable amount of money? Unlike most others, Mrs Gonsalves got paid and went to the bank with her wheelbarrow full of money.
A minister regularly took away food from the resort with his car boot filled to the brim, for parties at his house.
Furthermore, a ULP minister got a house built by the later defamed Harlequin contractor ‘ICE’ at upper Prospect. ICE and a firm of accountants were successfully sued [not in this matter] by Harlequin on a matter of fraud.
An article in the Vincentian Newspaper [VN] which alerted us to the latest corrupt matter. Today after the news of this matter broke last night on SVG’s airwaves, the VN internet page mysteriously disappeared. Here is where it was at: http://thevincentian.com/cdb-revokes-contract-withdraws-funding-p17529-1.htm
Now we learn that these latest corruption possibilities and what some may view as being crimes committed under the Prevention of Bribery, Money Laundering, and Corrupt Practices Acts, may very well apply to the scheme that was being funded by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).
When Julian Francis once told us he had bypassed the SVG Tenders Board and he would do it again, most Vincentians did not understand the implications of such a statement.
The CDB should never allow governments to administer such funds and issue contracts without extremely up-close scrutiny by the bank of every single step. The British, EU, US, and Canada give CDB funds in good faith; in the belief, they can be trusted to do the right thing in distributing them. Cancelling the project and calling back the funds is a step in the right direction.
What one may ask is bankrupt Venezuela doing listed as a none-receiving adviser to the CDB, were they placed there by Gonsalves? Funding countries should demand their removal. What a stinker folks, what a stinker!
For years ULP tame contractors, supporters financially and politically of the Unity Labour Party [perhaps ministers bribed even] were awarded contracts while others were left out in the cold, the Vincentian people did not realize or begin to understand what was going on. But the public should realize that SVG runs on corruption seeing as most Unity Labour Party (ULP) supporters have received stolen government building material as a voting bribe prior to every election.
The ULP is following closely the steps and formats used by Hugo Chavez, and now Maduro when robbing Venezuela blind, which made every Chavez family member a billionaire. It’s happening in Saint Vincent right now and has happened for close on 20 years, robbing the public purse that is.
The CDB has now not only revoked the contract awarded for River Defence Works at Yarabaqua River (Belle View) because of accusations, but it has also withdrawn funding for the project altogether. One can be sure they looked carefully into the allegations before taking such drastic action.
The revocation was indicated to the ‘Bidder,’ the party to whom the contract was awarded, in a letter dated 27 June 2019, signed by Allister Campbell, Chief Engineer (Ag) of the ministry of works, the executing agency on behalf of the Government, to whom the funding was allocated.
Remember also Julian Francis, the minister of works who should have given final approval is Ralph Gonsalves cousin [and a member of the dynasty], who has been promoted to that position for years by Gonsalves. What a stinker folks, what a stinker!
The CDB letter explained that upon receipt of a letter of objection via the Chief Engineer (Ag), mounted a “review” (read investigation) of the procurement of the contract, and “… declared mis-procurement for the contract for the River Defence Works at Yarabaqua.”
As a result, the CDB, according to the Chief Engineer’s (Ag) letter, informed the government of St Vincent and the Grenadines that it was cancelling funding for the project, and that it expected that money already expended on the project would be repaid with interest by “the Recipient,” i.e., the government of St Vincent and the Grenadines. What a stinker folks, what a stinker.
The letter of objection which prompted the CDB into action was submitted by Bally & Bally Investments Ltd., which was an unsuccessful bidder for the project. Bally & Bally Investments pointed to what it said was the successful bidder’s inability to undertake gabion wall construction, reinforced concrete construction and river training, which was basic requirements/criteria for qualification for the contract.
So Bally and Bally were rejected through inadequate knowledge and inadequate experience. While the party to whom the contract was awarded and from whom it was withdrawn, Reliable Construction Ltd, whose bid amounted to $1,421,577.00., had perhaps even less knowledge and experience. What a stinker folks, what a stinker.
Bally and Bally Investments in its objection went as far as to say that to the best of its knowledge, Reliable Construction Ltd. “has not done any Gabion baskets or river training works of that magnitude (what is required by the Project) or at all in this State or elsewhere….”, and further that “it is utterly unfair that contractors expend resources and time to bid on those projects, only to be unfairly treated.”
The Yarabaqua River Defence Works was one of several projects to be undertaken under a Rehabilitation and Upgrade Works Programme of EC $8.5 million, to be funded by the CDB.
Some of the other works included were: River Defence Work at Caratal River; Roads at Gracefield, Roway, Bower, Fergusson Mountain Road, and Overland/Magum.
Bally and Bally and its CEO Cameron Balcome have suffered for years with being beaten at the post by ULP favoured contractors for many projects. But they have kept trying and stayed loyal to the Vincentian people, only to be robbed so many times of their rightful winnings. They had one or two [let’s keep them quiet] contracts awarded them, which they finished on time, on budget, and to a high standard of competence and workmanship.
Enough is enough this nasty corrupt government behaviour has to stop. Let’s just see if the dynasty owned police and DPP come forward and press some charges for the latest debacle. Of course, realistically we all know they will do nothing because they are already bought and paid for. No one will even ask the questions required to be asked.
What a stinker folks, what a stinker.
How many other projects have been swindles on the Vincentian purse? How much veered left, for the left, at Argyle airport?
One thing you can be sure of, the ULP spite tactics will now kick in, Cameron Balcome will never get another government job. Most probably will not even be asked to tender.
They will probably harass him by sending a police raid at 5 am one morning. Watch your back Cameron, you already know the play dirty.
Remember Bigger Bigs, he was less of a thorn than Cameron Balcome and was almost destroyed by them.
Often heard, never seen, dwelling in the in-between.