DNA leader: Symonette’s resignation is nothing more than a “smoke screen”

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The resignation of Brent Symonette from the Cabinet of the Bahamas is nothing more than a smoke screen expected to pacify Bahamians, said leader of the Democratic National Alliance (DNA), Arinthia Komolafe on Monday.

“The Bahamian people will not be pacified by an arranged resignation or a gentleman’s agreement between the prime minister and his Cabinet minister, following serious allegations of conflict of interest, political favoritism, cronyism and nepotism in the awarding of contracts to the detriment of ordinary Bahamian businesses and the struggling masses,” Komolafe alleged in a statement issued yesterday.

Brent Symonette, the member of parliament for the St. Anne’s constituency, tendered his resignation on Sunday as Minister of Financial Services, Trade and Industry and Immigration. The resignation was effective July 1, but no reason was given for his departure.

Yesterday, Komolafe alleged that this was not the first time that Symonette has resigned. She said the party is therefore demanding  a proper explanation on the matter.

“We demand a thorough account from an administration that pontificates transparency and accountability but has failed woefully in this regard,” she said. “The unexpected resignation of a key member of the current administration and major financier of the Free National Movement should not be swept under the proverbial carpet.

“We demand retribution and repayment of all taxpayers’ funds that have been siphoned into the coffers of cronies and party loyalists.”

Komolaffe further noted that the Prime Minister’s decision to place so many important sectors of the nation’s economy in Symonette’s portfolio in the first place was questionable and she added that the appointment of Elsworth Johnson as Symonette’s replacement, “perpetuates this bad decision and imprudent practice.”