I have an invitation for my two great friends the Honourables Sam Condor and Timothy Harris to consider whether it will do them any good to continue to function under the leadership of the Honourable Denzil Douglas. Many people claim to know that all is not well in the relationship between these two gentlemen and their leader and many people claimed to have noticed that in the recent elections both Sam and Tim were campaigning virtually for themselves albeit under the banner of the Labour Party. There are also many rumours about harsh words engendered By hard feelings which have passed between these men, and it is the contention of many that attempts to patch up differences were very obvious during the election campaign. Some people think that these two gentlemen were as disaffected By the Douglas style of leadership as was Mr. Dwyer Astaphan but were reluctant to go public with their disillusionment so close to an impending election. In fact, when a recent news item reported that Dr. Harris had expressed certain misgivings about the leadership of his party, he publicly denounced the report as false, explaining that he was born and raised in the Labour Party and has absolutely no intentions to leave. Some people have read into his remark however, a strong hint to Dr. Douglas. Perhaps Mr. Condor is likeminded. He has tried his best to keep the Labour organization intact but quite a number of people are aware of the strains and stresses, which are part and parcel of his gallant effort. It is believed however, that certain allegations which arose during the recent election campaign may have given these men some reason for concern and many of our citizens, dissatisfied with the explanations which followed the accusations, believe that Mr. Condor and Dr. Harris, both senior members of the Government, have a duty to the general public to probe these allegations for the truth. Some observers believe that they should take a look at the many high profile properties, which their leader has accumulated to satisfy themselves that nothing untoward arose in the process of these acquisitions. A large number of people have time and again expressed their admiration and respect for these two gentlemen and are expecting them to do the probe that is necessary to quiet the misgivings and suspicions of the questioning public. These men are close to the facts than the general public and are therefore in the better position than any member of the public to vindicate their leader after a careful and diligent search for the truth. Accusations against public figures are nothing new in the Caribbean and the wider world. Some of them are motivated By envy and malice while others are not far from the truth. However, whether they are true or false allegations of inappropriate conduct By elected and other public officials need to be thoroughly investigated in order to lift the cloud on those which are false and to do otherwise with those which prove to be true. Public officials, including elected ones, are quite understandably held to the highest level of accountability from their conduct, for the simple reason that the resources which they work with are not their own. The only thing that they have the right to call their own is the remuneration which they earn By their management of the nation’s resources. Because human beings are weak and prone to sin, including dishonesty and greed, and also because public resources offer a strong temptation to be dishonest and greedy, it is incumbent on a nation to put into place such devices as would protect the good name of our resource managers as well as protect these resources from grasping and greedy paws of someone who has dishonesty ingrained in his or her nature. An integrity in public office law is therefore an absolute necessity to ensure that all is well in the public trust but where this important element is absent it gives rise to questions By both the public and other persons connected with the resources of the public. Since this very useful check and balance does not exist in our system we appeal to Dr. Harris and Mr. Condor to provide us with answers. We cannot predict how such a probe will end after the forensic scrutiny of Dr. Harris the accountant and Mr. Condor the economist who also studied banking. But it is to be hoped that when the exercise is over, that all hands will be proved to be clean. The public has been hearing about a business in the United States called Lex Consulting and has seen documents purported to have emanated out of a bank in the United States which seem to suggest a connection of Lex Consulting to both St. Kitts and the rich country of Kuwait. There was also in circulation copies of cheques drawn on an account at National Bank in favour of a Denzil Douglas By a signatory of Lex Consulting. In all reasonableness, and in the absence of a satisfactory explanation, the public must be excused for raising eyebrows and asking questions about Lex Consulting especially when the public learns that the address in the Bronx of Lex Consulting is identical with that of the mother of two of Dr. Douglas’ children. Some people claim to have heard an explanation from Dr. Douglas that his son also carries the name Denzil Douglas but to them this seems to be an inadequate explanation, and they want to know if the Denzil Douglas named on the check is the same as the Denzil Douglas who lives in the Bronx and if checks are drawn in St. Kitts in favour of a resident in the Bronx who is also a student of Harvard University. Members of the public require adequate and vindicating answers to these puzzling questions and rely on both Dr. Timothy Harris and Mr. Sam Condor to probe and find these answers. There is also the matter of rent for the quarters which house the St. Kitts Mission in Washington. Rumour has it that the premises belong to a rich Kuwaiti who ever since the days of the Simmonds Administration decided to rent from our impoverished little nation. According to the rumours however, after many years of free tenancy, the landlord suddenly decided that he wanted his rent and that some two million US dollars were transmitted abroad to pay this rent. Now these are only rumours, but rumours can be either true or false. Somebody must be in a position to pronounce on the truth or falsehood of these rumours and the two people most strategically placed to squash the rumour are Dr. Harris, accountant and Mr. Condor, economist. Mr. Lindsay Grant, leader of the opposing party in St. Kitts took the initiative to uncover some of these rumours. He was dramatic and graphic in his presentation using a projector screen to display information to his audience. The audience showed deep interest in the information he was disseminating and many of them have lingering images of what they saw and memories of what they heard. These people want to hear truth and while Mr. Grant’s contribution might have left some questions unanswered, we can now safely look towards Dr. Harris and Mr. Condor to tie up the ends that give these people the complete and satisfactory answers. If they find anything amiss, they will have a chance to disconnect themselves from the leadership of their party and dissociate themselves from any act of wrong which they may have found. I know that it will take courage for these two gentlemen to face up their leader and demand answers, but if they could find the courage they will do a service not only their country but to themselves. This might very well be the chance they have to slavish their own reputation and self respect and leave a lasting legacy for the next generation of citizens.
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