NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Junkanoo organizers yesterday said they have lost all trust in Youth Sports and Culture Minister Lanisha Rolle over alleged attempts to interfere with management of the upcoming parades.
The Junkanoo Corporation New Providence (JCNP) said Rolle announced the inclusion of a new Junkanoo group “The Immortals”, and plans to restructure the parade’s management committee without consultation or agreement.
Rolle made the announcement at a presentation to announce seed funding to the Junkanoo Groups for the 2019-2020 Junkanoo Season.
The group said its members were stunned, and insulted, and called on the prime minister to intervene in a press statement released last night.
“The JCNP finds it highly insulting that The Government of the Bahamas, seven weeks before the parades will attempt to undermine several aspects of the agreement without consulting the JCNP and its members,” the statement read.
“The JCNP is a non-profit certified company that is responsible for all its expenditures which includes the payment of Value Added Tax (VAT). The JCNP and its members publicly ask the Prime Minister a Junkanoo himself to intervene and restore order back to the management of the Junkanoo Parades as the JCNP has lost all trust in the Minister of Youth Sports and Culture.
“Junkanoos demand Respect.,” it added.
Organizers thanked the government for seed funding to the Junkanoo Groups for the 2019-2020 Junkanoo Season: $30,000 for A groups, $15,000 for B groups, and $1,500 for individual association participants.
The JCNP claims its members had voted and rejected the application by “The Immortals” due to its late submission, adding the group would not be judged or participate in the order of entry drawing.
“The Government of the Bahamas and the Minister of Youth Sports and Culture cannot dictate, nor demand to The JCNP which group it may or may not accept membership from and in doing so have interfered in the affairs of a partnering organization,” the JCNP statement read.
“Secondly, the Minister expressed The Government of The Bahamas intention to restructure the Parade Management Committee (PMC) giving the PMC control of critical aspects of the Parade Management such as oversight of the Judges Course, Rules amongst other things without consultation nor agreement from the JCNP.
“This is the height of disrespect.”
The group warned Rolle’s proposed actions will negatively impact the upcoming parades, adding the roles of the government were clearly outlined in its management agreement.