A recent story in the Nation caught our attention. Dr. Denis Lowe, Minister of Social Care and Urban Development, was reported to be launching a forensic audit after he learned that a $50,000 house paid for by the Government had cost over $10,000,000 paid to friends, consultants, and the usual grifters and thieves that hung around our last government.
UPDATE: Yes folks. That ten million dollars is the correct figure. 100% Correct. Inside source. NO DISPUTE AT ALL. That is just one incident of how bad things were under the BLP, and how bad a situation we now face with an empty treasury. Somebody better go to jail for this – but we don’t think the current government has the courage.
We have heard nothing since and don’t expect we will ever hear of it again even though it is obvious that people should be jailed for this larceny of the public purse.
Then we got another perspective. The following is an open letter from one of Minister Lowe’s staff. He is right when he complains that by hiding all of this Denis Lowe is doing no service to those honest and hard working people around him. From the outside it looks like they are all crooked because we can’t tell the difference.
At the writer’s request we have withheld their identity and changed some of the wording to a different writing style, but we look forward to the day when honest people like this won’t have to cower in fear.
We call on Minister Denis Lowe to identify those that are involved in the investigation. That way the innocent can sleep more peacefully and the guilty will suffer having the public judge for themselves. This would be far better than the way it is being done with no names, no penalties, and no repayment.
Open letter to Mr. Dr. Denis Lowe. Minister of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment and Urban Development
I work for you. I work for the people of Barbados in your office and I have for a long time. I am an honest person. I am the honest man who works for you. I worked here for the people before you were elected and I need my job.
I was proud of you the day you stood up and pointed out that and said that there were big discrepancies that you are finding about employees here and contractors. I know you from way back. You have always been an honest man and hard-working. You come from and the people. Your own ability, integrity and honesty have made you what you are today. And yet you still owe a lot to the people who supported you and got you there.
I hope you are going to be able to clean up a lot of the problems here because you are fighting against a system that is built on greed, hidden dealings, and falsified records and mostly no records at all. “No paper trail” is the motto here.
Many here are honest people like me but we have been depressed because we have no power we have had no power to do anything. When we have questioned double contracts for the same work, no receipts, cheques paid to people that have no contracts with us we have been ridiculed and we have been threatened. Sometimes we have been offered money and because I have a family to feed it is been very hard to say no. But I have always maintained it is better to be honest than rich and I am now looking to you to in the hope that you’re going to fix things up because they keep getting worse around here.
Be careful though. Some people here are saying you’ll never last. Some people say you are ridiculous and they’ll get around you. Some people are saying that they’re going to dig up some dirt on you. And they are serious because that’s how they’ve always done it.
Now that you are doing audits here things are going to come out. I hate to say this you’re going to have to fire some people who are expose them because that is the only way the rest of them will think that you’re serious. Prove that you are serious.
The me as honest man and others like me believe that we can make things better starting now. We should be allowed to ask questions and we don’t get answers you have to get the answers and make them give you the answers. If they don’t that’s when you’re going to have to get tough otherwise you’ll never fix this.
It’s nice to see that you have some accountants trying to figure of what happened in the past but word around here he is you won’t be able to because of the way things were done. Okay, fine, there are still records in the banks of some of the checks that were written. They can’t hide those. Information in my files are missing when you need them. Some have been stolen from me and I can find them. Where have I hope and pray that you are going to be the man to fix this. There is too much going on to list here but in the last two years more money has been paid for getting nothing done than real results.
There was never a place to report this and even if you did it usually ended in being told to shut up and get back to work. There have I think you’re an honest man and there are lots of honest people here working for you. Show us some encouragement and leadership and will help you clean it up.
I am looking to you Mr. Lowe to put this all right. It would be a show of support and encouragement for me and others like me to see the right thing done. We need this as a good start to being able to do things right from now on.
We also need it so that we can hold our heads high as being people who live by the good book and are not among those who steal and cheat the government. Please make us proud.