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Nassau then and now

Published: Aug 19, 2017

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Dear Editor,


It is often times good to look at the past to see how far we've gone and what has happened along the way.

When I was in my mid-teens, I was photographing players like Kendal Isaacs (later to become Sir Kendal) at the Gym Tennis Club competing against a team from Jamaica. I was talking to Inspector of Police Albert Miller (later to become Sir Albert). He was telling me how Nassau was really going to the dogs. He went on to say that there was one murder in the court system for the entire year!

That was then. Now it seems we have several murders a day! Times change. But why?

We all know Gussie Roberts, one of the great photographers of the then Development Board. Well Gussie had a father who was also called Gussie, but he was a policeman, an inspector with the Royal Bahamas Police Force, who later became assistant commissioner of Police.

One afternoon Inspector Roberts was on point duty with a number of young policemen checking licenses on West Bay Street. One of the young corporals came to Inspector Roberts and said, "Sir, we have a problem in front."

Inspector Roberts said, "What's the problem young man?"

The young officer said, "Well Sir, there is a woman up front who does not have a license."

Inspector Roberts replied, "Book her."

The young officer said, "But Sir you don't understand, the young lady is your sister."

Inspector Roberts replied, "Young man you don't understand, I said book her."

That was Nassau many years ago when there was discipline, law and order.

Let's fast forward to today.

Hundreds of young men and women are investigated, charged and brought to court. Some of the crimes are petty. But the offending parties are investigated, arrested and if found guilty, go to jail.

Apparently, it is now the standard that when a politician is investigated, charged and brought to court it's a "witch hunt".

How come? As I remember, and granted I'm getting old, there's not a PLP law, or an FNM law, or a white man's law, or a black man's law, or a poor man's law or a rich man's law, it is the law of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas. It applies to everybody.

I was surprised to hear both a PLP and an FNM lawyer hurling threats at each other. "If you don't watch out I'll tell on you," they shouted to each other. Two so-called lawyers! Don't they both know that it is against the law to withhold acts of criminality from the police? That, I believe, is called obstruction of justice. It is a crime. That's jail talk.

Furthermore, it is blackmail. Again against the law. Again jail talk.

And we want to know what's wrong with our society?

A friend who I have a tremendous amount of respect for has suggested to Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis that when he is digging one hole, he should dig two. I don't agree. Instead he should dig three because two may not hold all the crooks that seem to be running around!

I read somewhere that a PLP has asked why Minnis does not investigate the sale of BaTelCo for just over two hundred million dollars.

If my memory serves me right it was the PLP who promised the people that if elected they would investigate the sale of BaTelCo. They won and true to their promise the PLP appointed a committee that met, investigated and came to a conclusion.

They never published their conclusion. It seems that they may have been covering it up. Now why?

The only reason for an investigation was not to determine whether or not it was a bad deal, or if it was sold for too much or too little, but rather, to determine whether or not there was some wrong doing? We were never told, or maybe I missed it.

We were, however, told what the committee got from the deal. It was quite impressive but unusual.

As I recall, they got the buyer to give back a percentage of the sale, plus extra. Was that from the goodness of the buyer's heart or had the buyer been involved in some shenanigans - like buying off a politician?

I don't know. The PLP committee knows. Why were the findings not published? Why ask Prime Minister Doctor Minnis to investigate? The PLP committee has already met, investigated and come to a conclusion.

What was the conclusion? Publish it! We're entitled to know.

It is time we take the future of our children and our country seriously.

Let's dig three holes and fill them with all crooked politicians, PLP and FNM!


– Pierre V. L. Dupuch

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