Prime Minister Harris refutes allegations of roofer kickbacks

    Roofers repair a hurricane-damaged roof.
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    (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister)

    BASSETERRE, St. Kitts -– Claims by members of the Opposition, who are peddling reports of kickbacks and bias in the administration of the Hurricane Repair Programme are false, Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris stated during his Nov. 14 press conference. He said the Hurricane Repair Programme, initiated by the Team Unity Government in April 2018, has to date assisted more than 2,000 households in St. Kitts and Nevis.

    “Despite the added comfort, convenience and safety that this programme has brought to the lives of so many families, the Hurricane Repair Programme has come under attack by members of the Opposition,” Dr. Harris said. “The Opposition has an agenda to destabilize and to create doubt,” Dr. Harris emphasized.

    The Prime Minister said there are proper channels that can be utilized by anyone who has genuine and credible evidence of impropriety in the administration of the programme. He said they can take the matter to the proper authorities.

    “If they have evidence [of kickbacks] they should take it to the police and stop scandalizing the programme for selfish political reasons,” Dr. Harris said.

    Despite the calculated attempts by the Opposition, persons whose roofs have been repaired are emphatic in their public praise for the programme, which has positively impacted their standard of living.

    “I was personally moved by the testimony of Pastor Pinto Williams and the huge improvement our programme brought to him and thousands of others,” the Prime Minister said. “According to the pastor, he does not have to ‘sleep with pots and pans’ on his bed anymore, ‘thanks to the Harris-led Team Unity Administration.’

    “His story is being repeated by many others across the length and breadth of the country [including] Petrona Thomas of Middle Island; Starshield of Sandy Point; Yvonne Chumney in East Basseterre; Carol Freeman in St Paul’s; William Jefferson in Parson Ground; Lionel French of Saddlers, Petronella Eddy of West Farm and Donna Dasent of Lime Kiln,” Prime Minister Harris said.

    “Never before has any government responded so excellently to the felt needs of ordinary people for housing solutions in the aftermath of hurricanes,” the Prime Minister said.

    Under the Hurricane Repair Programme, the government is providing the roofing materials and financing the labour costs to those affected by the 2017 hurricanes through the Office of the Prime Minister, with support and guidance from the Ministries of Social Development and Sustainable Development.

    More than 400 persons have gained employment on the project since it started.

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