By Caribbean News Global
TORONTO, Canada – Building a new Saint Lucia which prime minister, Allen Chastanet constantly refers to has not broken precedence with the confluence of things deemed inept, corrupt and/or unconstitutional.
New revelations June 10, 2021, on the Talk Show “Can I Help You” as reported towards PAJOHS Limited, via letter January 24, 2019, and a Trinidadian Bank dated February 18, 2020, further exposes the need for domestic, regional and international investigations into the financial operations of the government of Saint Lucia.
These activities point to the consistent definition of building a new Saint Lucia on corruption and nepotism. Indubitably, the government of Saint Lucia cannot continue the “denial of plausibility” of the “PAJOAH Letter” to which, a new government following general elections must address, from the standpoint of “ financial impropriety, corruption, conflict of interest, and maladministration.”
Meanwhile, the maladroit Allen Chastanet–led administration operates in an expired term in office [June 6, 2021] their actions and/or inactions infatuated with a second term, makes it palatable to recount and even more reasonable to ‘bring the truth to light’.
The “PAJOAH Letter” as defined in the article, “St Lucia opposition demands PM’s accountability on controversial letter” [April 8, 2019], leader of the opposition Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP), Philip J Pierre, “called on prime minister and minister of finance, Allen Chastanet, to repudiate a seemingly official letter addressed to ‘whom it may concern’ from the ministry of economic affairs signed by minister Guy Joseph, dated November 12, 2018; and if the letter is indeed authentic that he takes disciplinary action against Joseph.
“The letter states that the government ‘has agreed to enter into a contractual relationship with PAJOAH’s Limited’ and purports to commit the government of Saint Lucia to repay a loan of US$62 million or EC$167.4 million at 3.5 percent over a 15-year period for two projects. The projects in question include a street lighting project that had already been financed by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the St Jude hospital project.” And according to Pierre, “This is the latest in an increasing number of irregular and questionable financial arrangements between agents of government and private individuals and companies that continue to sully the image of the country.”
In the copious definition of the government of Saint Lucia and their questionable actions, the public was left to form their own conclusion.
According to the government press release dated May 31, 2016:
“The project, the first of its kind in the Caribbean, will involve the replacement of 21,587 high-pressure-sodium and mercury-vapour street lights with high-efficiency light-emitting diode (LED) street lights.
“Currently, the government of Saint Lucia spends over EC$11 million annually to illuminate the island’s roadways. This expenditure represents over one-third of government’s total annual expenditure on electricity. It is anticipated that after replacement, government’s annual savings will be approximately 60 percent or a little over EC$6 million.
“Therefore, government would have fulfilled its promise to reduce government expenditure on electricity by 20 percent in the public service well before the 2020 target, via the LED Street Lighting Project alone. In addition to significant financial savings, the LED Street Lighting Project will reduce the total quantity of oil imported into Saint Lucia and reduce overall national energy consumption.”
In a further article, “PAJOAH letter scandal symptom of corruption in St Lucia” [June 12, 2019]:
“Pierre cautioned prime minister and minister of finance, Allen Chastanet, to repudiate a seemingly official letter addressed to ‘whom it may concern’ from the ministry of economic affairs signed by Guy Joseph, minister for economic development, housing, urban renewal, transport and civil aviation dated November 12, 2018; and if the letter referred to as the PAJOAH letter scandal is indeed authentic that he takes disciplinary action against Joseph.
Pierre repeated that call to action, stating: “If the signature was authentic and/or not authentic, then this was a serious matter and the prime minister must involve all relevant agencies including a recognised handwriting expert to ascertain the forgery of the letter,’ adding ‘the PAJOAH letter scandal must be addressed and the SLP will not rest until it is investigated.”
With the benefit of commentary, “St Lucia’s PM cannot govern: Too much looseness” [December 11, 2018] noted:
“With expectations of multiple demolitions of historic buildings in Saint Lucia and proposed infrastructure projects on the horizon, the confidence of the government in Saint Lucia’s economic prospects rests on developing a plan that will focus new initiatives. But, the key to capturing the business opportunities and business potential are friends, family and foreigners (FFF) specific to the informal strategy of economic power and political corruption.”
However, more egregiously, many can recall “former minister for the public service Dr Ubaldus Raymond, comments, on a local television programme ‘TALK’ wittingly and/or unwittingly accentuated collective knowledge, publicly confessed, ‘local corruption and skeletons’ stated:“If we have to go down that road, not one of the parliamentarians can stand, not one who can stand. There are those who will do their stuff and are doing their stuff and will never be caught. In fact, some of them have done criminal stuff.”
It is likewise important to revisit Pierre’s annual conference of delegates (open session), October 13, 2019, address entitled: “Our Country is in chaos”.
“The UWP government has placed Saint Lucia in more debt, more corruption and schemes that benefit UWP politicians and their friends, family, and foreigners while our people and our children are suffering. Corruption is coming at a heavy price to the taxpayers of this country … we will stop that blight and I will ensure that the people benefit from the resources of our country,” Pierre said.
Last year, [September 4, 2020] in another article,“opposition leader admonished government maladministration” questioned the silence “on the allegations of corruption and misdemeanours” – for example, the Pajoah letter, the Assenza Airport scandal, the WiPay mess, inflated contracts awarded without tender, and now, ‘the Condo scandal’ surrounding Dr Gale Rigobert, minister for education, innovation, gender relations and sustainable development.”
Time after time, Pierre’s declarations, training and expertise has exposed Guy Joseph usual arrogance and useless bluster of trying to deflect, stating: “Joseph never speaks truth and reason to my mind” – what’s more – “I want to explain that the PAJOAH letter scandal is just an extension of the behaviour of Joseph.”
If unconvinced, the subliminal lies in a social media comment: “Where are the Christians, the Adventists who support him?”
Repeatedly, the cliche to “building a new Saint Lucia” continues to resonate in “corruption and nepotism” a parallel that consistently meets the characteristics of the Chastanet-led administration.