The Brent Symonette Children’s Trust Fund’s Multiple, “GUSSIEMAE”, Inflated Public Contracts on the public dime!
NASSAU| A toddler from Aunt Jean Preschool knows it’s not the people’s time, and, from our latest investigations involving contracts for the supply of Water Improvements in Crooked Island and Long Island, some serious questions must now be asked.
Bahamas Press’ deep investigative teams have been connecting with sources deep inside the Caribbean Development Bank where these water projects have been funded and someone must question how Brent Symonette’s company, Bahamas Hot Mix LTD [now held in trust for his children], was able to collect all the water contracts issued thus far by the Minnis-led Cabinet.
This same Bahamas Hot Mix company just last week Monday was issued the contract in the amount of $20 million for the rehabilitation work [paving] on Runway 09/27 (soon to be Runway 10/28) and Taxiway India at Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA). But it gets better for the sitting Minister.
The same beneficial owner of the Town Centre Mall [again Cabinet Minister Brent Symonette] was also awarded the contract to own and operate the Bahamas Postal Service headquarters at an expense to the taxpayer of some $900,000 a year for the next five years. Details of that Town Centre Mall lease have yet to be made public to the Bahamian people even after many demands for it to be tabled in Parliament.
Readers should also make note how Brent Symonette’s Arawak Port Development is also the hidden player behind the new Prince George Wharf Port contract, which is presently undergoing secret dealings with the government. It was announced back in 2018 how Global Ports Holding, together with its Bahamian partners – Arawak Port Development Company (APD) and CFAL (formerly Colina Financial Advisors), made their pitch for control of the Wharf through their submission of an “unsolicited proposal”.
That announcement came in December 2018, and by late February 2018 the Americans vying for the deal were thrown under the bus by the Minnis-led government and the next thing we taxpayers knew was that the Turkish-led group was being granted a 25-year concession deal for the Prince George Wharf in the Bahamas. Another big win for Brent and crew. But, if that wasn’t enough, who remembers this?
Brent and Minnis’ company, Bahamas Fast Ferries, recently took over the ferry services in Abaco, squeezing out the Abaco business people who for ages have provided the service in that part of the country. But we digress, cause when you say “it’s the People’s Time”, everyone should be asking, “WHO PEOPLE?”
Now we have connected the dots and showed you that there is sufficient evidence to prove that it is not just, Brent Symonette, bastardizing the public treasury for his children’s Trust – but that he has a quiet and silent business partner by the name of Dr. The MOST Honourable [EVER] Hubert Alexander Minnis – Prime Minister of the Bahamas – who is enabling him to rack up every major deal for their companies. Now back to this Water Contract.
Back in mid-May, Water and Sewerage awarded Brent Symonette’s Bahamas Hot Mix [His Children’s Trust operation again] a whopping $5.363 million contract. And, while the WSC Executive Chairman suggested that the contract was “100% transparent” at the time it was announced, subsequently everyone learned just how dangerously inflated the contract was and its true cost to taxpayers. Bahamas Hot Mix Company’s [BHM] offer was 139 per cent, or $3.14 million, more than the bid submitted by Long Island builders, Rowdy Boys. [Man ya’ll think Miriam could call these figures?]. And, while some 11 contractors had entered bids for the job, the man sitting in the Cabinet Room of Hubert Minnis [Brent Symonette and his Children] was awarded the highly inflated “gussimae” contract.
In that contract, water builders Island Site Development (ISD) and Top Notch Builders were immediately disqualified for what was only described as having “conflicts of interest”. We guess they didn’t include Symonette because to do so apparently does not present itself as a CONFLICT!
But if all that wasn’t enough, just days following the NAD repaving works contract for BHM, the Minnis Government on Tuesday, June 18, 2019 signed yet another contract totaling $1,911,650.46 [That’s One Million Nine Hundred and Eleven Thousand Six Hundred and fifty dollars and forty-six cents] with Bahamas Hot Mix (BHM) at Ezekiel Thompson Hall in Cabbage Hill, Crooked Island. Just day apart now.
And in this latest grab-all-for-Brent and his Children’s Trust we learn that BHM didn’t submit the lowest bid for that job, and was $633,765.66 higher than the lowest bidder Apex Underground. Well how the other people children suppose to eat at this rate? Something is dangerously wrong with this picture and Bahamians better wake up fast!
Bahamas Press invites the Caribbean Development Bank to investigate these contracts now being funded by them. Is the process really transparent? How is it one company connected to a sitting Cabinet Minister and his children is getting all the work?
Bahamas Press wants the general public to note that there are some 24 Approved Licensed Contractors with the WSC of which some six firms are eligible to provide large scale water and sewerage infrastructure projects.
The question put therefore is this: How is it only one company, Bahamas Hot Mix, a company connected to Brent Symonette and his children, appears to be awarded every deal? This is a serious conflict for the nation to examine.
If one group gets all, what will be left for the rest of us?
We report yinner decide!