Pintard: Beaches and Park Accusation Is a Smoke Screen
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Leader of the Free National Movement Michael Pintard suggested that the government is seeking to underhandedly victimize FNM contract workers by releasing a damning report against the former chairman of the Bahamas Public Parks and Beaches Authority Shanendon Cartwright.
In a weekly press conference on Sunday afternoon, Pintard called on the government to be upfront with its intention about the report, which suggested malfeasance by Cartwright when he served in the position and issued contracts.
“We are asking the government to be honest with its intention because it does appear that much of the narrative that’s being put out relative to this authority, is to set the stage for the cancellation of contracts held by who they believe to be Free National Movement supporters,” he said.
“While I am not prophetic, I would suggest that if we were to look at the list today and look at the list one or two months from now, those persons who are calling them who belong to the PLP family are likely to have those contracts renewed, which would suggest that much of the narrative being shared in the public to muddy the water is about creating a pretext to eliminate one group of Bahamians from holding contracts to replace with another group of Bahamians holding contracts,” Pintard said.
Why it matters
At the crux of the matter, hundreds of contract workers who were employed under the previous administration are awaiting payment for work done on parks and beaches. It is reported that they have not been paid since July.
On Friday, the authority now under the leadership of a new director, McKell Bonaby released a report claiming various perceived irregularities with the issuance of contracts stating that the former chairman’s signature was signed by three different people, contracts were missing, and identification of contract holders were not on file.
Since being sworn into government, the PLP has canceled the contracts under the previous administration, citing the irregularities and even stating that the budget for the authority had ballooned its budget.
What Shanendon Cartwright says
Cartwright is fighting back stating “procedures were followed” when he was chairman and he will respond when the government’s assessment is completed.
Pintard added that the Opposition will respond “line-by-line” when the full report is released in January.