Funding of the RVIPF is a great start- Opposition Leader
However, Hon Fahie wants to see Governor John S. Duncan OBE, before he vacates his office in August of this year, do more to address other issues such as ensuring the National Democratic Party (NDP) Government produce to the House of Assembly Audited Statements and an investigation into the overspending on the Cruise Port Development Project.
Governor Duncan, in a hastily arranged press conference on the steps of the Government Administration Building on Thursday March 16, 2017, announced that within 24 hours he would be invoking Section 103 of the Constitution and instructing the Account General to release an additional $800,000 to the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF).
War of words when families mourning
Hon Fahie, in a press release on March 17, 2017 pointed out that the Governor cited that, "One of the big problems we have had is the failure to disburse funds. The Premier has been repeatedly given instructions to disburse and they have not been disbursed." Further Hon Fahie took note that within four hours of the pronouncement, Premier Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL) issued a near midnight broadcast and practically refuted the primary reasons cited by His Excellency for his actions.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, this war of words between the Governor and the Premier comes at a time when families are mourning the loss of their love ones to senseless murders. These words come at a time when gun crimes have escalated to untenable heights. They come at a time when my colleague from District Two, our citizens and the wider population are demanding increased monitoring, together with swift and decisive actions by the RVIPF,” Hon Fahie stated.
The Chairman of the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) said persons can excuse him if he is not distracted by these war of words as he has stood on the floor of the House of Assembly on numerous occasions and have advocated for increased funding for the defense of the Virgin Islands people.
“It has been publically stated that the failure to prioritise our National expenditure is alarming and unsustainable. The economy is not robust. There is no transparency. Accountability does not exist. Conflict of Interest is at an all-time high.
$$ for Police a great start; Governor has more to do
Stating that Governor Duncan has announced that it is not proper to vacate his office in August of 2017 without resolving some of the ills developed during his tenancy, Hon Fahie said funding of the RVIPF is a “great start,” however, there are other issues he wishes the Governor to address.
“The House of Assembly has not received audited financial statements in ten years. This is a Constitutional issue that must be corrected before August 2017 and must not be left to succeeding Governors; the Attorney General and the House of Assembly have refused to seek a proper interpretation of what constitutes Conflict of Interest and what contracts would require the permission of the HOA prior to being entered into by members of the HOA. This is a Constitutional issue that must be corrected before August 2017 and must not be left to succeeding Governors.”
Investigate overspending on Cruise Project
Reminding that over thirty million dollars have been expended on the Cruise Port Development Project, in excess of the amounts approved in the House of Assembly, Hon Fahie said this is a Constitutional issue that also must be investigated before the Governor leaves the territory.
“Eight million dollars was diverted from loan proceeds approved by the House of Assembly for the East End/Long Look Sewerage project to the BVI Ports Authority without being deposited to the BVI Treasury or without proper approval. This is a Constitutional issue that must be corrected before August 2017 and must not be left to succeeding Governors.”
I shall not be bullied
According to Hon Fahie, the people of the Virgin Islands will address the other political reckless decisions made by the NDP Government at an appropriate time.
“The seven million dollars disbursed to the airline; the one million dollars spent on a three hundred thousand dollars wall around the high school; the implementation of a sixth form when absolutely nothing was in place for it to function; the sixteen million dollars from Social Security for road works that is still not properly accounted for; schools without sanitary supplies; the public library has now been closed for one year and to date the House of Assembly has not been given the budget for its relocation or the operational expenses required for its operations. There exist some unwritten words at the windows of the treasury of the Virgin Islands – NOTHING THERE!”
Stating that not even the Governor can escape the “unrelenting and bullying wrath” of the NDP for criticising them, Hon Fahie concluded with that assurance that he “shall not be deterred nor bullied because my interest is of that of the safety and security of the people and visitors of the Virgin Islands.”