NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Killarney MP and former Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis yesterday blasted the government for what he said is a glaring failure of governance on the “stunning amount of violence” which has left Bahamians in constant fear.
He said while the Bahamian people are awaiting a comprehensive plan to get the nation off track for what could be a “crime Tsunami”, none has been delivered.
“Young men are shooting and killing each other,” Minnis said in Parliament during debate on several financial service sector bills.
“There are bullets flying all over the place, threatening the lives of innocent bystanders.
“We have heard from the government and law enforcement that there are gang-related motivations behind many of these incidents.
“That information does not make any of us feel any safer.”
According to Minnis, Bahamians are living in fear.
He said despite promises from the PLP on the campaign trail that it was “ready to hit the ground running”, it appears “caught off guard and with little direction or focus on crime”.
Minnis asked if the nation is on track for a “crime Tsunami” — words used in 2011 by then Opposition Leader Perry Christie as he asserted that the Ingraham administration had failed to govern on the issue.
Amid the uptick in shootings and murders, Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis held a crime conclave with a cross-section of stakeholders — an exercise that was expected to deliver immediate measures to reduce criminality in The Bahamas.
But Minnis said based on the lack of a plan to date, the conclave appears to be a public relations exercise.
In response, Minister of National Security Wayne Munroe said the Minnis administration did not think about law enforcement at all during its term, and failed to provide the Royal Bahamas Police Force with certain powers to sufficiently tackle crime
But he said it appears the now opposition has had a “miraculous epiphany over the last six to seven months” about things that would have “cured all of the things in The Bahamas”.
However, Minnis insisted his administration’s fight against crime was led by a “respected senior former police officer” (Marvin Dames, a former deputy commissioner of police) and there were holistic plans and strategies in place.
He asserted that Munroe is not “regarded many as the appropriate or best person for the job”.
Minnis added that the lack of a plan is not isolated to crime, but there was no plan to address a myriad of issues, including value-added tax on breadbasket items, increasing the COVID-19 vaccination rate; reducing high unemployment levels and the prices of food, gas and