ZNS staffers slam scheme to make Clint Watson GM
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
For weeks, the rumours about Press Secretary and gospel singer Clint Watson going to ZNS to take over as General Manager have been growing louder and louder on social media.
However, ZNS insiders say “don’t mind the noise in the market, only the price of the fish and what you smelling ain’t what’s cooking.” According to sources, the Prime Minister is on the brink of giving quite a few people the boot come June.
This writer understands that PM Davis has grown tired of the performance of his Press Secretary Clint Watson and his antics at the Office of the Prime Minister.
There have been multiple occasions where Davis and his hardworking government have had egg on their faces because of the blunders made by Watson and his supervisor Latrae Rahming.
Rahming is Communications Director at OPM and Clint’s boss. However, this writer understands that he too is being undermined by the ever scheming Watson.
Watson’s ego is evident as he branded the Thursday Press Conferences as his own show coming out of the Office of the Prime Minister. One need only look at the graphic that opens and closes the meeting on TV with Watson’s face on it and the words “OPM Press Conference with Clint Watson”. Most Americans don’t even know the name of US President Joe Biden’s press secretary however, the egotist Watson has his face plastered on the OPM’s weekly event.
One Cabinet Minister has lamented loudly that the PM has had so many embarrassments from Watson and Co that it’s now an inside joke amongst colleagues that Brave is giving the cat a 10th life before getting the boot. From having the Prime Minister come back to apologise for what Watson had to say about Marital Rape to going to Dubai to shake up on the people’s dime during Expo last year to jet setting around the world behind the Prime Minister with his iPhone to say he’s “covering” the leader of this nation, it’s been nothing but embarrassment after embarrassment.
Watson worms his way into every trip that Brave takes and has on many occasions, taken up a space that could have better been used by a ZNS or Bahamas Information Services team. In fact, Watson has made “Brave” Davis the only Prime Minister to not have a regular coverage team from ZNS and BIS and this has been a concern for the heads of both organisations and the Cabinet since his appointment in 2021.
The chorus to move Watson got even louder when the Prime Minister traveled to Africa last year for CHOGM in Rwanda. Watson and Rahming caused a stir in the media by littering their personal social media pages with images of them going on safari while on the public’s expense. The same thing happened at COP 26 in Scotland and COP 27 in Egypt and countless other trips where those two were all over taking selfies and leaving PM Davis to fend for himself.
This piss poor handling of Davis has allowed the critics of the PM’s travels to have a legitimate argument about all this back and forth and what do we have to show for it other than Clint taking selfies.
The complaints from journalists to PM Davis have been endless with many upset about the way Watson speaks to them at press conferences and the level of gatekeeping that has made the Prime Minister inaccessible to the Bahamian media at times.
This explains why the PM is almost always swarmed at public events by reporters who feel their questions sent through Watson are never answered or that he modifies their questions and at times, brings his own answers back and causes the PM to offer corrections and apologies. All of these factors and more reportedly have the PM frustrated and questioning if Watson understands what his role is.
One senior official opined, “It’s as if there are no adults in the room whenever Watson and Rahming are left to their own devices. Watson has to go. The other one will be fine without him because at least he understands politics.”
For months, PLP insiders have been begging for Watson to be removed as Press Secretary.
One Stalwart with ties to the media asked, “Could you imagine if this were Pindling and this foolishness was happening? Pindling had Obie to cover him. Ingraham had his own team the first time. Ingraham had Clint the second time around from 2007 and Christie kept him on. Minnis had Altovise Munnings. What Brave have? Nobody and its all because of Clint.”
A senior retired senior who is also an influential stalwart promised that the matter will be brought up at the next PLP Council meeting. The senior said she doesn’t care where Clint goes as long as he’s out of Brave’s way. When asked about the ZNS rumour, the white haired lady said “Go where? To replace who? You gotta be talking foolishness. Wait until I see Athama Bowe.”
Bowe is a member of the ZNS board that is said to be behind the move to send Clint to ZNS.
Complicating the matter is the idea that Watson should go to ZNS to replace Acting General Manager Andrew Burrows. By all reports, Burrows has been doing a yeoman’s job in turning the stale, non competitive reputation of ZNS around in the last year since he took over.
The move to replace Burrows is reportedly coming from the ZNS board that is working hard to outdo the board at Bahamas Power and Light as the most incompetent public board in the Davis Administration.
I am told the ZNS board concocted this plan to send Clint in to replace Burrows without the approval of PM Davis or Myles LaRoda, the junior minister responsible for ZNS. Burrows was handpicked by PM Davis because of his unique qualifications for the job and his loyalty to the PM and the PLP.
Clint, many are saying, is an opportunist who only started singing PLP when it was clear the Brave Wave would carry the 2021 election.
LaRoda is said to be deeply suspicious of the board’s motives in wanting Burrows removed.
LaRoda, you will remember, was Public Disclosures Chairman under Perry Christie and was so good at it that Hubert Minnis kept him on. LaRoda knows there’s more to the story and has been getting the inside scoop from residents of Pinewood who work at ZNS.
Minister Myles knows all about the lavish trips the ZNS board takes and the constant interfering and incompetent decision making.
ZNS staff were shocked by claims that they supported the idea of Watson coming back.
They claim nothing could be further from the truth as Watson had few friends in his 10+ years at ZNS the first time around. Nobody was sad to see him leave to go to ILTV.
In fact, on his last day at ILTV before joining OPM, Sebas Bastian told Clint cold that he would have been fired had the PLP not won the elections because he had convinced him to invest millions on a station that wasn’t making enough money.
No one at ILTV shed any tears when Watson left there to go to OPM.
ZNS Staff were so concerned that they have been calling their union presidents to ask what could they do to support Burrows staying on as General Manager. What a time it is when the union is hearing the staff call to offer support for the GM! Usually, they would call to complain or find out when to meet under the tree in some kind of work stoppage.
Stay tuned as things get hot on the hill.