Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Hubert Minnis, The Political Pariah of The Bahamas

Rejected Hubert Minnis, The Bahamas Most Notorious Political Outcast 

Dr. Hubert Minnis:  "A Politically Persona non grata".

Minnis Falls Far Short of Other Major Parties’ Official Leaders

By Fred Sturrup | GB News Editor | sturrup1504@gmail.com

The Politically Rejected Dr. Hubert Alexander Minnis of The Bahamas
Dr. Hubert Minnis is considered to be a political pariah.  He certainly fits the description of an outcast, much more so than any other leader in Bahamian political history, I submit.  This man has been rejected by the national voters in great numbers, and within the party he hangs on to, the Free National Movement (FNM), it is understood that the great majority wish he would just go away, resign, and get totally out of the picture.  Killarney could very well do with another representative.


The fall from political grace that, in my view, is the largest aspect of his legacy, puts Dr. Minnis in the ignominious category of one.  Given what happened under his watch; the questionable contracts, the inflated budgets, the attitude etc., I know of no other major party leader who bore as much or more public disgrace or shame.


Let’s go through the list of political leaders in the modern Bahamas.  For the now-governing Progressive Liberal Party (PLP), the leaders include Henry Milton Taylor, Sir Lynden Oscar Pindling, Perry Gladstone Christie and Phillip “Brave” Davis.   The first government of the country, the United Bahamian Party (UBP), had Sir Roland Symonette and Godfrey Johnstone.  The Free PLP/FNM’s list is longer, inclusive of short-term leaders.  The prominent chiefs were, of course, founding-leader Sir Cecil Wallace-Whitfield, Sir Kendal Isaacs and Hubert Ingraham.  Then, there were Cyril Fountain, Cyril Tynes, Henry Bostwick, Tommy Turnquest and Michael Pintard (currently in charge).  All of them, their faults noted, were thought to be honourable men.

What about Dr. Hubert Minnis?  The truth be told, there is the view that he sours the FNM.  And, he won’t go away.

In an earlier commentary in GB News, it was predicted that Dr. Minnis would be a great obstacle to Pintard’s leadership.  He seems determined to undermine the younger politician who has been widely accepted by FNMs across the length and breadth of this nation.  Pintard is certainly more dignified.  The antics of Dr. Minnis are disgusting.  He lost the election of 2021 and the FNM opted to change him and go with another at the helm.  That was the logical conclusion.  His decisions in leadership, for the most part, were not sound ones at all.  

Think about it for a moment.  Dr. Minnis could still be the executive leader of this country.  His Cabinet Ministers could still be moving about in the political style befitting their portfolios.  In particular, they could still be earning their salaries.  Cabinet Ministers each lost more than $60,000 because of the decision made by Dr. Minnis to call an early election, September 16, of last year.  He dealt serious blows to his party and the pockets of ministers, other parliamentarians and supporters with lucrative contracts.

Yet he sticks around, seemingly making every effort to upstage the sitting FNM Leader Pintard.  In that earlier commentary, I warned Pintard about what he was likely to face in Dr. Minnis. It is not a pretty scene for the FNM.  On the one hand there is Leader Pintard, trying valiantly to make his party relevant with the voters once again.  On the other hand, Dr. Minnis appears to be disdainful of Pintard and his status in the country as Her Majesty’s Loyal Official Opposition Leader.


The time has come for those who care deeply for the FNM to take a strong stand alongside Pintard, and insist that Dr. Minnis moves on.  If not, a fractured party will be the result and the FNM will not be able to go to the people for voting support as a unified body.


Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) model is the best of the iterations of money in the financial future


By Professor Gilbert Morris

Digital Currency

Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) model is the best of the iterations of money in the financial future; the urgency of which has now arrived.

Four years ago, on a programme called “Essentials”, hosted by Hubert Edwards, I and my colleague - Central Bank advisor Mike Mckenzie, Malaysia - argued this point.

Here is what I contributed: CBDCs are not a panacea, but their role is far more disruptive than it seems even their adherents are willing to admit. The goal should be the absolute elimination of paper money and banks as we know them.

1. It would disintermediate banking and banks as we know them completely
2. It would recalibrate a proper equilibrium between the money supply and goods and services; whilst facilitating efficient multi currency transactions and trade finance
3. Such a platform on bespoke Blockchain could initiate in-system peer-to-peer lending and direct digital utility payments, with more comprehensive, fair and accurate regulation
4. It would require completely new standards for identity and Constitutional protection of both biological and digital identity as a new definition of human personage
5. For states whose currencies are PEGGED to the US dollar, a CBDC would allow for more disciplined aggregation and management of US dollars, since they’d be exchanged upon entry into the country for the digitised currency.

There are some critical issues which require constant monitoring and transparency:
a. Any issuance of a CBDC that runs indirectly through the traditional banking system amounts to an illegal tax; since its purpose would be to stave off conventional banking collapse; this preserving a 200 year old obsolete system that enriches the few.

b. Any conventional bank now building brick-n’-mortar buildings is developing into a false future, the urgency of which is already present and enervating.
c. For the efficient deployment of CBDCs, there would have to be free, reliable broadband, protected by bespoke - multi-redundant - power supply.

CBDCs in their development has been largely naive, thinking that the technological achievement of the CBDC is the accomplishment.

This is false: such innovations must nest in a legal and Constitutional context. As such, CBDCs require proper foundations Constitutional alignment for the following reasons:
a. The Central Bank could collect both data and metadata that would reveal every purchase, amount of purchase, location of purchase, items purchased.
b. This is both unconstitutional and would undermine democracy by robbing the citizen and any consumer of his or her right to privacy.
c. The disclosure of identities would mean governments could target specific consumers and enterprises for political reasons.

These issues are not insurmountable. Estonia has largely solved these problems - as I show in papers written two years ago - and they have done so in a manner that maximises options for broad currency digitisation, whilst enhancing Constitutional protection.

There would be benefits to data collection scrubbed by smart data analytics of all features of identity, perhaps even location: this would generate real-time real-life performance based creditworthiness; eliminating the need for ex-post 20th century backward looking credit ratings.

Moreover, the non-identifying data would produce additional benefits at scale: they would reveal patterns and flow of consumerism, accurate breakdowns of goods and services divides, provide accurate forecasting of taxes, and because of the efficiencies gained in US dollar sequestration, the management of the reserves supporting the zero-value dollar-PEG would become transparent, precise, and the reserves should see an uptick in its baseline aggregates!

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

National Security Minister Wayne Munroe is Out of Order!

Minister Munroe Ought Not Put PM in Position of Dismissing Him

By Fred Sturrup | GB News Editor | sturrup1504@gmail.com

Brave Davis and Wayne Munroe
National Security Minister Wayne Munroe is deemed by many to be out of order for comments made regarding a plea agreement which enabled a man recently convicted of having intercourse with a minor to receive a prison term of just four years.

He was quoted: ”If I was advising the accused and someone gets seven years for raping somebody, I wouldn’t be advising my client to agree to four years for unlawful intercourse. I would say that if we go to court, you would say to the judge, “He didn’t rape her. She consented.” A release from the Ministry of National Security claimed that Minister Munroe was regretful that his comments “caused concern.” His defense continued with the following: “When I provide my analysis of a legal matter, as I have done in recent interviews, I do draw upon decades of experience practicing law.”
Indeed, Munroe is a noted attorney; but in his capacity as Minister of National Security, he does not have the luxury to act or think, only, as a lawyer. Protocol dictates that he functions, in particular while in public, in the interest of his ministry. He seems, based on his comments, sympathetic to the convicted individual, and not very much concerned that a child under the age of 16 has been interfered with sexually, her innocence violated. Quite frankly, at that age, she is unable to give legal consent.

From throughout this country and the wider Caribbean Region, reportedly the outcry against Munroe has been great. He thus sits, it is submitted, as a cancer in the Cabinet of the Most Honourable Prime Minister Philip Davis. Cancer should be removed.

PM Davis is batting on a really fine wicket. His detractors are hard pressed to criticize him with any sense of logic. His cabinet ministers can be his downfall though. Voters have long memories. I suggest that the prime minister takes his mind back to the 2002-2007 first Progressive Liberal Party governance term of Perry Gladstone Christie. The economy was booming, things were going well in the nation; but Christie lost respect when he failed to handle properly, in the view held here, the BAIC (Bahamas Agriculture and Industrial Corporation) debacle and several other national matters of great concern.

The same can happen to Davis four and a half years down the road.

PM Davis, I urge you to remember how Sir Lynden Pindling functioned as prime minister, especially during those early years of a quarter of a century of leadership. I mention for emphasis the names of Simeon Bowe and Ervin Knowles. There was the case of the PVC pipes. It was a huge controversy, although Bowe was not thought to be personally involved. Bowe was a dear friend of the then prime minister and one of the heroes of the eastern district. He stepped down from his ministry post, however, so the government could move forward without that baggage.

In the case of Knowles, a matter regarding a contract for BAIC was his downfall. Just like Bowe, he was very close to Sir Lynden, and not known to have been the culprit. However, it was on his watch and convention dictated the honourable path. Knowles took it.

This controversy Munroe is now involved in, is highly sensitive and he is in a quandary of his own doing. The matter won’t die.

Friday, April 1, 2022

National Security Minister, Wayne Munroe says The Bahamas government is unified in wanting to send the clearest possible message to adults who would have sexual relationships with children

The Bahamas National Security Minister, Wayne Munroe: Our government is unified in wanting to send the clearest possible message to adults who would have sexual relationships with children under 16: your behavior will land you in jail, no matter the child’s behavior  

Bahamas Minister of National Security, Wayne Munroe
“I have spoken several times on the matter of a plea agreement and I deeply regret that my answers have caused concern.  I gave several interviews and I hope that pulling the salient points together in one place can be helpful to understanding my position:

1 Anyone who has sexual intercourse with a child under 16 is disordered.

2 Anyone who does so will go to prison.  The only question is the length of their sentence.

3 Sentence lengths for the offence in question are established by the Bahamas Court of Appeal.  For a first-time offender, the sentence is 7 years if the young woman does not consent, and 4 years if the young woman does consent.  The word “consent” is in the text of the relevant statute – “with or without consent”.

4 Plea agreements avoid court cases and thus help clear the backlog of cases in our justice system.  Additionally, plea bargaining spares the victim from having to give evidence thereby being forced to relive the trauma of the crime.

Our government is unified in wanting to send the clearest possible message to adults who would have sexual relationships with children under 16: your behavior will land you in jail, no matter the child’s behavior.

When I provide my analysis of a legal matter, as I have done in recent interviews, I do draw upon my decades of experience practicing law.  But I want Bahamians to be clear, it is this experience that allows me a clear view of the path to successful law enforcement and prosecution.  The goal in cases like these is to punish predatory behavior and to deter others from engaging in such behavior.”



Tribune Staff Reporter


NATIONAL Security Minister Wayne Munroe suggested yesterday that a 40-year-old man convicted of having unlawful sex with a 14-year-old girl received a sentence that was too severe, saying had he defended the case he would have argued it was not rape and that the girl consented.

His remarks prompted swift backlash from Free National Movement Deputy Leader Shanendon Cartwright and others.  Some activists have called on him to be fired.

Mr Munroe said he did not have all facts of the case, but told reporters he did not understand the controversy surrounding the sentence and anger about subsequent comments made by a prosecutor about the case.

“If I was advising the accused and somebody gets seven years for raping somebody I wouldn’t have been advising my client to agree to four years for unlawful intercourse because I would say that if we go to court you would say to the judge ‘he didn’t rape her - she consented’.  The fact is in law her consent is neither here nor there.  If I was the defence counsel I wouldn’t have accepted a plea deal with that high a level of penalty and we would have gone to court,” he told reporters.

Earlier in the interview, Mr Munroe said sentencing guidelines for rape differ depending whether the victim is a “virgin” or a “prostitute”.

“If you were to rape a virgin, if you raped a prostitute, both are rape, you’re likely to be awarded a higher sentence for raping a nun than raping a prostitute,” the former defence attorney said.  “That’s just what the case law says because you consider the impact of the offence and considering the impact of the offence you consider victim impact.  So that’s a part of sentencing.”

His comments came when he was asked by reporters about Acting Director of Public Prosecutions Franklyn Williams’ statements about a plea deal the convict received, which resulted in him getting four years in prison and three years’ probation upon release.

When contacted about the case, Mr Williams told a reporter on Wednesday: “We have a generation of highly sexualised young people, whether through media or association, and who because of parental inattention, lack of parental oversight and in some cases, tacit encouragement and acquiescence, engage in risky behaviours.  The facts of this case dictated the course taken.”

He later said he was not victim blaming, however.

Mr Munroe said he was trying to understand “controversy” about the case.

When told the offence was unlawful sexual intercourse, he said: “Which means that it’s not rape.  Which means you are punished because as a big man you shouldn’t be having sex with anybody under 16.  If the person under 16, if you force them, they would still charge you with sex with somebody under 16 but the sentencing court would say that you forced this person, they didn’t initiate it, so you will get a higher sentence than somebody who initiates it with you.  The general sentence for rape where the person isn’t consenting is seven years.”

Some observers accused Mr Williams of “victim blaming” and called for his resignation.

Asked to respond, Mr Munroe disagreed with that interpretation, saying “How is that victim blaming?”

He also said: “Yes she can give consent.  You can consent from seven years old.  It’s just that law says if you are under 16, if you read the offence having sexual intercourse with somebody under 16 with or without their consent which tells you that the person can consent.  Just that in law, we say it doesn’t matter.  If it doesn’t matter having sex with (a) 16-year-old whether she consents or she doesn’t consent that being the case since that offence has those two possibilities, the victim consent or the victim doesn’t consent.  Who would believe that the sentence should be the same whether the victim consents it should be same when the victim doesn’t consent.  One would hope that you would get a higher sentence when the victim doesn’t consent.”

According to published reports about the case, the girl and the man met on Facebook and met up to have sex multiple time over the course of several months.  Police found the girl at the man’s home after an anonymous tip in early 2020 and met her putting on her school uniform.  The child was examined at the hospital and where it was discovered she was pregnant.

In a statement issued yesterday, the FNM’s deputy leader said Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis needs to rein Mr Munroe in.

“I join with all right-thinking Bahamians in condemning the utterances of Minister of National Security Wayne Munroe with regard to how the law should be interpreted with regard to adults who prey on underage girls,” Mr Cartwright said.

“His opinions on consent are repugnant and have no place in a civilised country.  What the minister should be doing as a lawmaker is advocating for stronger laws to protect children, and a no tolerance approach as the minister of national security, as opposed to alerting child predators as to how they can beat the system.

“If he cannot advocate on behalf of protecting children and law-abiding citizens, then he should reconsider his current career choice.”


Shanendon Cartwright, Deputy Leader of the Official Opposition - Free National Movement - FNM, Condemns National Security Minister Wayne Munroe public utterances on how the law should be interpreted with regard to adults who prey on underage girls


Shanendon Cartwright - FNM MP - St. Barnabas Constituency
I join with all right-thinking Bahamians in condemning the utterances of Minister of National Security Wayne Munroe with regard to how the law should be interpreted with regard to adults who prey on underage girls.

His opinions on consent are repugnant and have no place in a civilized country.

What the minister should be doing as a lawmaker is advocating for stronger laws to protect children, and a no tolerance approach as the minister of national security, as opposed to alerting child predators as to how they can beat the system.

If he cannot advocate on behalf of protecting children and law abiding citizens, then he should reconsider his current career choice.

The prime minister must urgently reign his national security minister in.

Shanendon Cartwright, M.P.
Deputy Leader
The Free National Movement

Thursday, March 17, 2022

1,000 students have been fully absent from Public schools in The Bahamas for two years

The Bahamas Education Minister said close to 1,000 students have not returned to school!

Education in The Bahamas
Education Minister Glenys Hanna Martin said yesterday that an initial search has revealed that nearly 1,000 students have been fully absent from school for nearly two years prompting “major concerns” over potentially widespread learning loss phenomenon.

During her contribution to the mid-year budget debate in Parliament, Hanna-Martin said “thousands of children of all ages “fell off the radar” in a completely virtual learning environment in the last two years.

“We now know from global research that the effect of this is significant learning loss which unless arrested will have a severe impact on the individual lives of the thousands of children concerned and to the qualitative progress of our nation as a whole,” she said.

“It is a serious matter to find these “missing” children the Ministry took a squarely pragmatic approach.”

Educate our Children
The education minister explained that a national multi-agency committee was formed with governmental and non governmental participants. The committee was tasked with mapping out a strategy for finding and bringing these children back into the safety net of education.

“In the first task, administrators, teachers, clerical, security and janitorial staff, and managers and union leaders and representatives and various NGO’s and I might add, even myself hit the streets door to door in communities nationwide, simultaneously, in search of these young people,” Hanna-Martin said.

The Key is Education
“The exercise yielded the location and identification of almost 1,000 children who had been fully absent from school for two years. In our inaugural walkabout and launch of this initiative on January, 11th, in Freetown alone, almost 60 children were identified. Within days of that walkabout Uriah McPhee Primary School saw an appreciable increase in student attendance.”

She continued: “I reiterate the commitment that relying upon our database and upon any other information received we will seek out every child. We ask parents and guardians to work with us as there is no acceptable barrier that should separate children from a firm education. It is a human right and it is their hope of a happy and decent existence.”