Blatant nepotism alleged in FNM government

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Oswald Brown

Oswald Brown Writes…

By OSWALD T. BROWN

The Progressive Liberal Party’s Northern Bahamas Campaign headquarters issued a press release over the weekend that raised some serious questions about blatant nepotism within Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham’s Free National Movement (FNM) government. Given the implications of what has been alleged and the history in matters of this nature of the Minister involved, I think the Bahamian people should demand an official response from Prime Minister Ingraham and the FNM government. Here is the text of that press release:

Bahamas Customs officers reportedly are up in arms over the rumour being circulated that Minister of State for Finance Zhivargo Laing’s brother-in-law Milo Stubbs will be promoted to Assistant Comptroller of Customs.

Stubbs reportedly is set to replace current Assistant Comptroller Lincoln Strachan, who is due to retire at the end of December, having reached retirement age.

With Strachan’s retirement imminent, well placed sources say the plan to fast track Stubbs’ rapid rise to a position where he would eventually assume control of Customs was hatched two years ago when he was promoted and leap frogged over several senior and more experienced customs offers. It was put in motion last year when he was reportedly given a double increment and promoted to Customs Superintendent in Grand Bahama.

“The fact that his brother-in-law is the Minister of State for Finance, who has responsibility for Bahamas Customs, certainly gives rise to charges of rank nepotism,” one source said. “This can’t be right, and it obviously has had an effect on morale in Customs.”

Rev. Lying Laing MP for Marco City cannot Tell Truth anymore.

This is not the first time that charges of nepotism have dogged Laing. Back in 2007, questions were raised in the House of Assembly by Frank Smith, PLP Member of Parliament for St. Thomas More, related to the alleged intervention by Laing after the then Comptroller of Customs John Rolle changed the duty on the importation of Mona Vie, a nutritional drink, from 10 percent to 45 percent.

According to information that surfaced at the time, Laing’s sister-in-law, who was one of the importers of Mona Vie, complained to him about the change in duty, and Laing reportedly requested that the Secretary of the Revenue look into the matter. Subsequently, the Comptroller of Customs allowed the lower rate of 10 percent to remain in place until the new budget process.

Due to legal constraints that prohibit press reports on lawsuits still pending before the courts, press scrutiny and further investigation into mushrooming Mona Vie scandal were curtailed after Laing filed a defamation lawsuit against St. Thomas More MP Smith, retired Customs Comptroller Rolle, and Bain and Grants Town MP Dr. Bernard Nottage, then leader of the Opposition Business in the House, who conducted a comprehensive review of the allegations and concluded that “the Minister (Laing) is in a clear position of conflict of interest.”

However, Laing’s lawsuit is still among the backlog of cases still pending.

5 COMMENTS

  1. So should that be the critiera for doing wrong today, K4C ? The FNM said they had a “code of ethics” remember? What of those ethics ? It was less than two years ago when Laing’s brother-in-law was allowed to supercede about 15 customs officers in the department by two ranks. Supercede means (if you don’t know the meaning of the word)that he was given promotions which allowed him to catch up and pass at least 15 of his senior officers. If you were one of those customs officers, what would have been your stance? I spent 15 years in the Customs department (between 1963-1978)and I knew of one officer superceding and that was because the two officers, while they were at the same rank (had the same number of stripes on their shoulders)the one who was superceded was senior in years of service but he had many bad letters of reports on his file and for that reason he was bypassed. Contrary to what you said, this conduct, in the civil service was never prevelent. You are only trying to make excuses for Laing’s bad behavior. But guess what? The FNM lost many votes, in the customs department, at least in Grand Bahama, because of this.

  2. My friend be encourage. Joy will come in the morning. This world don’t understand favor and never will. Let me explain. If your brother in law did a “Favor” for you let’s see what had to happen for this FAVOR to take place. 1 There are over 350,000 Bahamian and out of that 82 persons were selected to represent the two major parties. ( 82 out of 350,000 FAVOR). 2 Then ant least 2001 person out 4000 voters would have to choose him to be their MP (2001 out of 4000 FAVOR) 3 Then he would of had to been qualify to take the post in the cabinet office as Jr Minister of Finance, over about 50000 other qualify person (1 out of 50000 FAVOR) 4 Then he would of had to have fAVOR with the Prime Minister to cause such a decision to be made(Favor). Ok if that ain’t favor then what is. It what is said is true do well. And God speed. I’m sure you mother a PLP steward concelor (Mable Stubbs) would be proud.  I forgot your wife a real woman of God. She had to choose you out of 100000 other single male (1 of 100000 FAVOR)

  3. @K4C……..Murder is nothing new either, not because it have a history makes it all right.

    Damn! where these people come from.
    Blind party loyalty.

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