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primeministerphilipdavis

Thursday, February 9, 2023

primeministerphilipdavis

Timeline: The Long Road to Coleby-Davis Assault Case Closure

For almost a year, the public awaited the outcome of the investigation against Transport and Housing Minister Jobeth Coleby-Davis, who was accused of hitting an officer with her vehicle at a Carnival event.

Since politicians are rarely prosecuted in the Bahamas, many predicted that no charges will be brought against the sitting member of parliament even though the police claimed it was investigating the matter.

Commissioner of Police Clayton Fernander announced the case’s closure on Friday.

Here is a look at the road to the Jobeth Coleby-Davis’ investigation

May 21, 2022

A Corporal of the Royal Police Force was allegedly struck with a vehicle driven by Housing Minister Jobeth Coleby-Davis at Carnival Road March when he tried to prevent her from entering an area that was cordoned off on West Bay Street in the area of St Albans Drive.

Coleby-Davis was driving a silver SUV when the police officer told her that he was instructed not to let any vehicles through, to which she shouted, “Do you know who I am!’ as she attempted to go around the barricades and hit him before he moved from her pathway. A witness along with friends claimed to have seen the event around 10 am and filed a police report.

The officer was reportedly injured to the leg and received medical help at the hospital.

May 25, 2022

Coleby-Davis denied the allegations outside of Parliament stating that she would never react in the manner described since she was with her daughter at the time, hinting that she was politically targeted. “I stand by that and my grandmother always taught me that the last laugh is the best one and so it’ll be cleared up.”

Commissioner of Police at the time, Paul Rolle said the Royal Bahamas Police Force was investigating the matter and his assistant commissioner was finding out “exactly what happened.”

“We are dealing with that from within. I don’t have a timeline. Whenever that is finished, I don’t know that it’s something I will be discussing so much in the media, I don’t know what the outcome is going to be,” Rolle said.

July 6, 2022

Pressed by former Prime Minister Hubert Minnis who was asking for an update on the matter, Prime Minister Philip Davis denied there was ever an official investigation into the alleged incident during a debate in the House of Assembly.

He summed it up to be an internal inquiry to determine who was telling the truth, and nothing more.

May 30, 2022

By this time, a video to exonerate her, circulated on social media reportedly showing the incident. However, Police Staff Association Executive Chairman Ricardo Walkes said the video does not prove anything since it does not show what happened to the officer before filming began. “The video that’s going around shows what happened afterward, not what happened before the officer called and received backup,” Walkes said.

June 29, 2022

Former Police Commissioner Paul Rolle said he directed the incident be turned over to the complaints branch of the Royal Bahamas Police Force.

“We were trying to get Jobeth, Minister Coleby to give her statement. Because there were statements made in the public domain, but none was made, no complaint, no official complaint was made.

“The officer’s alleging that he was struck. And I think she was making some allegations as well.

“I want to hear what her allegations were. I said let me take myself out of it.

“They do the investigation and then make the recommendation to me.

“I do want to believe that she did make an allegation. Like I said, the officer was out sick. So, we…can’t proceed until he is certified to return to work to be interviewed,” Rolle said.

January 27, 2023

Newly appointed Commissioner Clayton Fernander said the matter is closed and the investigations show no evidence that the police officer was struck by Coleby-Davis. “… We deal with facts and evidence. That’s what we deal with and that’s what you need to go to court.”

The officer will reportedly return to his duties as an officer of the RBPF.

Is Prime Minister Davis Too Consumed on Travel While Domestic Issues Pile Up?

Prime Minister Philip Davis left the Bahamas for Angola on Tuesday after a hasty slate of travels around the world which is another opportunity to play up the climate change effects on the Bahamas.

The trip to South Africa for African, Caribbean and Pacific States, focusing on the challenges of climate change including economic diversification, peace and security challenges, comes at a difficult time, and challenges Davis to balance his attention on ongoing domestic issues like inflation and high crime rate with his international fight for developed countries to compensate the Bahamas for the effects of climate change.

Davis would be hundreds of miles away from the Bahamas as murders increase to 11 percent higher than last year, workers protest for increased salaries, prices soar and the public complains of poor road infrastructure. He would be in Angola at the 10th Summit of the OACPS (Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States), while the Opposition Leader Michael Pintard calls for the resignation of his Works Minister Alfred Sears who admitted after denying it, that he received but dismissed recommendations to lock in oil prices for lower cost of fuel for the Bahamas Power and Light.

And through all of it, Davis seeks to win on the international stage among allies who carry no political influence on the world stage and whose concerns might, in the end, be ignored as the world focuses on inflation, rising fuel costs, food shortages, conflict and supply chain issues.

When he returns on December 11th Davis will attempt to play up his political victories and smooth over prickly domestic issues as he plans another trip out of the country in the name of climate change.

 

Featured Image: Angola Parliament

Prime Minister Davis ‘Us vs Them’ Mentality on the FTX Fiasco Is Manipulative

FTX, the 32-billion dollar exchange, with its headquarters in the Bahamas has made a mess of the crypto market since its collapse and has now become a global conversation.

As scrutiny arises, Prime Minister Philip Davis who has welcomed former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried to the Bahamas has remained mum on the fiasco, only to say “those who care about our country’s reputation” should tread carefully when they speak about the complex matter involving FTX which he says is still “unfolding.”

“There is a reason that the Bahamas won international praise for the approach we have taken, to date, on digital assets, and there is also plenty of room to have a healthy debate about the industry, but this is a story that has the world’s attention, and those who use it to mislead and score cheap political points are no patriots,” Davis said.

His comments in the House of Assembly are manipulative and are steeped in an antiquated belief system.

It’s an attempt to keep the public quiet while the world talks about the issue and suggests that to ask questions, you’re doing something wrong.

It also suggests that any attempt to discuss FTX is “unpatriotic” and will ruin the country’s image.

Davis attempts to implement an ‘us versus them’ mentality which can be destructive, divides the Bahamas from the rest of the world, and forces Bahamians to pick a side and automatically make judgments about the other side without taking a realistic view of what happened.

Opposition Leader Michael Pintard then responded stating that he was surprised “at the brevity and to a large extent, the hollowness” of the prime minister’s remarks on the downfall of FTX.

“We are facing a substantial risk to our financial services sector and one would’ve expected that since the international community’s eyes are trained on the Commonwealth of The Bahamas that on this occasion that this Davis-Cooper administration would’ve thought it necessary to break its silence much earlier with a far more comprehensive statement given the gravity of this.”

There may be circumstances where Davis’ concept of waiting until all the evidence is brought to the forefront before making allegations, could be applied, but FTX is global.  The fiasco is not a secret. The world’s a global village.

Bankman-Fried was a crypto sensation living and working in the Bahamas and rubbed shoulders with prominent US politicians and A-list celebrities. Therefore, his headquarters in the Bahamas will bring scrutiny.

Of course, Bahamians have questions and they deserve to be answered and one’s patriotism should not be based on the questions they have about FTX’s dealings and connection to the governing party.

Bahamians deserve to know more from Davis and he should willingly answer any of the questions from the Opposition leader such as did the PLP accept donations from Bankman-Fried, did it hold digital wallets with FTX, and whether it did its due diligence to screen the company before its operation in the Bahamas.

Davis should not expect Bahamians to stick to his script.

New FTX CEO Rebuke of Sam Bankman-Fried Dealings, Contradicts Davis Assessment

New FTX Boss John Ray harshly criticized crypto-white knight Sam Bankman-Fried and his transactions in the Bahamas, which directly opposes Prime Minister Philip Davis’ assessments of FTX’s operations in the Bahamas.

Ray wrote in a court filing in Delaware, “Never in my career have I seen such a complete failure of corporate controls and such a complete absence of trustworthy financial information as occurred here.

“From compromised systems integrity and faulty regulatory oversight abroad, to the concentration of control in the hands of a very small group of inexperienced, unsophisticated and potentially compromised individuals, this situation is unprecedented.”

However, Davis in his first comment on the FTX’s fiasco said in the House of Assembly that officials have not found any anomalies.

“We have not identified any deficiencies in our regulatory framework that could have avoided this.”

Davis continued, “I have every confidence that the Bahamas will emerge from the proceedings involving FTX – proceedings taking place here as well as in other jurisdictions – with an enhanced reputation as a solid digital assets jurisdiction.”

Ray, who is an expert in financial scandals like Enron, rebuked FTX’s poor record-keeping, the inexperienced senior managers, and the use of company funds to purchase real estate in the Bahamas.

Ray said the exchange had suffered an “unprecedented and complete failure of corporate controls.”

Last week, the Securities Commission Bahamas froze Bankman-Fried’s assets after his 32-billion-dollar empire collapsed.

Since filing for bankruptcy, he appointed Ray as the new CEO.

Bankman-Fried is expected to testify on Capitol Hill next month to account for purported billions of dollars that evaporated in the crypto exchange.

 

What Can Davis Accomplish at COP27 as Inflation and Energy Prices Surge Around the World?

Prime Minister Philip Davis carried a contingent of 70 people from the Bahamas to attend COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, to call on developed countries to pay for the effects of climate change on small island nations like the Bahamas.

Davis like other leaders of small island nations contend that the release of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide has increased the likelihood of hurricanes which have worsened over the past few years, and the country’s debt is tied to the responses to natural disasters.

PM Davis is shown in Egypt. Photo credit: Office of the Prime Minister

Last year, at COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland, chief “polluters” like the United States, China, India, Russia, Japan and Germany promised to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases by 1.5 degrees Celsius. But only a few countries that signed on to the Paris climate agreement, have worked toward the target goal.

Reports say carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere that were released from developed countries this year reached 421 parts per million, the highest in history. In fact, the planet just recorded one of the hottest summers.

Many countries have experienced rising floods, heat waves, storms, and droughts which are believed to be worsened by rising temperatures, which experts say are the repercussions of climate change.

However, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the world changed its focus to inflation, rising energy prices, conflict, food shortages and supply chain issues which would likely prevent any other focus on the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The fuel shortages spurred by the conflict, are pushing countries toward mining and drilling for fossil fuels. Germany has since restarted coal power plants.  And world leaders are worried about rising prices.

Preventing temperatures from exceeding 1.5 degrees seems out of reach and it’s likely the developed countries will ignore the pleas of Davis, Mia Mottley and other leaders of small island nations in compensating for climate change losses.

Davis Disappoints With $6.50 an Hour Minimum Wage Offer in Cost of Living Crisis

The minimum wage increase was a long-awaited promise of the New Day government and when Prime Minister Philip Davis announced its final decision on Tuesday in a national address, the public took to social media to express disappointment in the scant increase.

The country’s minimum wage is expected to increase to $260 from the $210, which was in place since 2015. It is a raise of $6.50 an hour, the lowest renumeration that employers can legally pay their workers.

Davis announced that it will be retroactive going back to July and will begin in January 2023.

With the exponential increases in goods and services, many believe the increase by $50 will have little to no effect on boosting incomes and improving the welfare of workers at the low end of the ladder.

Beverly Sands said, “If he thinks $260 a week can sustain a family with the prices then let him put himself and the other MPs on that weekly salary. See if they can survive for a year or two.”

LaDawn Russel asked, “He ain’t shame?” While Natalie Duncombe joined in the chorus, “Is this a joke?”

Levelle Ferguson called it “chump change when the cost of living is higher than a week’s salary.”

 

Many people believe the minimum wage should have increased to at least $300.

 “He got to be living in a dream if he thinks $260 weekly is substantial. After tax and NIB, you’ll be living off the same old minimum wage of $210. He might as well raise it to $300,” Stephona Forbes said.

Sharee Neymour suggested $400 as the new minimum wage. “If the government is serious about affecting change, they could come up with more than that [260].”

 

Some people, however, believe Davis’ announcement should be celebrated.

Nicole Brown said she is “proud” of Davis. “Good job,” she said.

And Dave Beckford, Vice President of the Bahamas General Workers Union said, “Congratulations.  A little closer to liveable wages.  This for the workers. A little increase is better than no increase.”

The Sticking Points in the 2022-2023 Budget Communication

Prime Minister Philip Davis presented the Budget in the House of Assembly on Wednesday, which Opposition Leader Michael Pintard believes lacks sufficient details.

Davis promised that the new budget will focus on economic growth, and job creation; assist Bahamians with the cost of living; and will highlight the home and border security.

What Prime Minister Davis says:

  • The new budget provides salary increases for teachers and nurses, including monies owed.
  • The minimum wage will increase incrementally, beginning in July 2022
  • His government will restore funding for elite athletes and programs, and it will provide $1 million for the hosting of the Carifta Games, Bahamas Games and Relay Games.
  • The PLP government will provide a 10% increase in grants for the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture.
  • $500,000 will be allocated for Urban Renewal–education and community programs.
  • Churches, trade unions and burial societies are exempted from property tax.
  • The Davis administration will provide funding for renewable energy and is set to increase its fleet of electric cars.
  • $6 million will be provided for vessels of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force.
  • $10 million will be provided for catastrophic healthcare.

What Opposition Leader Michael Pintard says

Michael Pintard says the new budget should have been about growth. In a press conference following the Budget reading in the House of Assembly, Pintard with other members of the Opposition asked how will the government sustain and pay for many of the things mentioned in the Budget.

He said Davis should have addressed the challenges the country faces and layout a plan to face the challenges.

Pintard wished that there was an emphasis on price inflation, tax policies, the youth population and their concerns, crime and violence in the country and the Disaster Reconstruction Authority with more focus on Grand Bahama and Abaco following the destructions left behind by Hurricane Dorian.

 

 

 

 

Dubai Is the Place to Be. 5 Reasons So Many People Want to Go There

Dubai, the United Emirates has become a topic of discussion in the Bahamas, ever since Prime Minister Philip Davis and nearly 160 delegates left the country for the oil-rich middle eastern city.

Though the Bahamas is a country based on Christian beliefs, many Bahamians have taken a keen interest in the city where Islam is the official religion.

Here are the reasons why so many people wish to visit Dubai:

1. Its reputation of wealth has become the envy of the world.

Dubai is known for its ultra-rich residents, but most of the wealthy residents have migrated there. Only 15 percent are natives of Dubai.

A report shows that more than 2,000 wealthy people moved there in the first six months of 2021.

 

2. Mega malls have become great entertainment.

Dubai is known for mega malls and is home to the ‘Dubai Mall’ dubbed the biggest shopping center in the world. It has 1200 shops. People travel from all around the world indulge in the city’s shopping centers.

Dubai holds a month-long shopping festival in January with concerts and giveaways where shoppers win cars and gold.

 

3. It has a thriving food scene.

There are a variety of foods available—at, Arab, Persian, Indian, Pakistani, Filipino, French, Japanese, Chinese, British, and American restaurants from low-end to high-end. Pop-up eateries are common.

 

4. It’s the modern art and design capital of the Middle East.

Art districts are littered throughout Dubai and some have sprouted up in the industrial Al Quoz area. Dubai has a diverse art scene. Art and design festivals like Art Dubai and Design Days are always taking place.

5. The Desert Safari experience is on most people’s bucket list.

The famous Liwa Desert is just miles and miles of red sand stretching endlessly into the horizon. A Liwa Desert Safari takes you deep into the true Arabian Desert, miles away from civilization and toward the Saudi border.

 

Davis Surrenders to Omicron as Cases Explode. His Speech Falls Short of a Plan to Contain It and Treat Bahamians

As COVID-19 cases rise to threatening levels, Prime Minister Philip Davis acknowledged that the country is entering a new phase in the pandemic.

Health officials reported 818 new cases on Friday and 291 new cases on Saturday.

With COVID-19 cases spreading like wildfire, Bahamians expected much from Davis’ speech on Sunday but many were left disappointed as he announced nothing new. He reiterated his government’s plan to implement widespread testing using the Rapid Antigen Tests and issue medical-grade masks to the public, which was a promise made on the campaign trail.

He seemed to have surrendered to the virus, telling Bahamians that “all of us will be affected…We will see high counts.”

He asked, “How ready will your body be to fight off the virus?”

Davis said a vast majority of Bahamians will become infected by the virus as the Delta and Omicron strains roam.

While a large portion of the Bahamian population remains unvaccinated, Davis warned that they will be ‘hit hardest’ in the new phase of the infectious virus.

Experts have described Omicron as more transmissible than Delta but less severe.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, head of the World Health Organisation warned that “while the new strain appears to be less severe when compared to Delta, in people vaccinated, it should be not be categorized as ‘mild.’

“Just like previous variants, Omicron is hospitalizing people and it is killing people,” Ghebreyesus stressed.

Davis said Bahamians should double masks until his government can issue the medical-grade masks, and limit time spent indoors.

“We’re in the hardest days of it.

“We can weather the storm together,” Davis summed up.

Sidney Poitier: 10 Things to Know About the Legendary Bahamian-American Actor

Sidney Poitier, a Bahamian-American actor died on Friday at the age of 94.  He was a trailblazer in film and is remembered for paving the way for black actors.

Prime Minister Philip Davis said Poitier’s “light will continue to shine brightly for generations to come.”

Davis said Poitier’s “colossal achievements,” will be remembered including “his strength of character; his willingness to stand up and be counted; and the way he plotted and navigated his life’s journey.”

What to Know About Sir Sidney Poitier

  1. He made history in 1964, becoming the first black man to win a best actor Oscar award for Lilies of the Field. He went on to perform in other films, winning acclaim for Mr Tibbs, Porgy and Bess, A Patch of Blue and A Raisin in the Sun.
  2. He was a diplomat for the Bahamas, serving in Japan between 1997 and 2007 and the UNESCO between 2002 and 2007.
  3. He was born in Miami to Bahamian tomato farmers Reginald and Evelyn Poitier in 1927 . Poitier grew up in Cat Island in the Bahamas. His family later moved to Nassau and he was sent to live with relatives in Miami at age 14.
  4. Poitier admitted to lying about his age in his book, The Measure of a Man: A Spiritual Autobiography. He said he pleaded insanity to be discharged from the army after 9 months
  5. He held dual Bahamian-US citizenship.
  6. President Barak Obama gave him the Presidential Medal Of Freedom. In 2009, Obama awarded Poitier the highest civilian honor for his achievements in art and humanitarianism.
  7. The Bahamas’ bridge that connects Nassau to Paradise Island was renamed in his honor in 2012.
  8. He imitated radio announcers and read newspapers to improve his reading skills after a heavy Bahamian accent and limited reading skills cost him his acting job at Harlem’s American Negro Theater.
  9. In recent years, Oprah Winfrey,  chose his 2000 memoir The Measure of a Man for her book club, introducing him to a new and younger generation.
  10. Poitier married actress Joanna Shimkus, his second wife, in the mid-1970s. He had six daughters with his two wives and wrote three books – This Life (1980), The Measure of a Man: A Spiritual Autobiography (2000) and Life Beyond Measure: Letters to My Great-Granddaughter (2008).