PM Minnis, Bannister quiet on Adrian Gibson corruption
Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis and Deputy Prime Minister Desmond Bannister have remained silent on allegations of corruption surrounding Water and Sewerage Corporation Chairman Adrian Gibson despite promising to root out corruption if the Free National Movement (FNM) was elected in 2017.
Minnis and Bannister also appear to endorse corruption by not taking action in light of the overwhelming evidence against Gibson, who has been accused of awarding half a million dollars in contracts to his fiancée Alexandria Mackey, his first cousin Rashae Gibson and his Long Island campaign general Joann Knowles.
On July 16, 2017, Bannister said “there must be consequences” for wrongdoing.
“The Bahamian people want to see consequences for actions. If something has happened that is wrong, it is important, first of all, for us to share it with the people. They want to know.”
“They want to know if somebody was sitting in elected office for years and accepting kickbacks.”
“If someone was sitting in office and doing something that was wrong, they want to know that.
“Then the second step comes in: they want to know what are we going to do about that,” Bannister said.
However, it turns out the Minnis Administration won’t do anything about the wrongdoings of Free National Movement members of parliament.
Voters are also wondering what happened to the grand speech Dr. Hubert Minnis made at Government House about firing corrupt ministers.
On May 15, 2017, Minnis sent a stern warning to his ministers after the remainder of his Cabinet was sworn in, promising they would be immediately fired if he caught wind of any of them being involved in anything unethical.
"I want to send a message to my ministers, that should you engage in unsavory or (make) unethical requests to the permanent secretary and I discover or find this out, you will immediately be fired.”
"And I say to the permanent secretaries, should you not report such behavior and allow it to fester, you, too, shall be fired. It's now the people's time."
This turned out to be nothing more than hot air.
Minnis and Bannister are hoping the scandal involving Gibson will go away. However, more damning information about the blatant conflicts of interest at Water and Sewerage have to come to light.
According to WSC documents obtained by the Gallery, Elite Maintenance Incorporated Ltd. received a series of payments, totalling over $500,000 between November 2018 and January 2021 from Water and Sewerage. The biggest payments were $232,206 on January 7, 2021, $131,601.12 on July 7, 2020 and $15,600 on November 6, 2018.
Alexandria Mackey, who is an attorney, and Rashae Gibson, who is a marketing manager, are listed as directors of the company, which was formed in June 2018. Their contract was signed with WSC in August 2018.
Joann Knowles signed a $248,000 contract with WSC on November 18, 2020 for the painting of WSC’s head office on University Drive and Sommerset House as director of Baha Maintenance. On Friday, Knowles also signed Adrian Gibson’s nomination papers as one of five witnesses a political candidate is required to have on Nomination Day.