NASSAU, BAHAMAS — A well-known QC yesterday accused the government of having ‘no coherent policy’ in the implementation of its COVID-19 restrictions, while warning that it can not continue to shut down businesses and expect an economic rebound.
Attorney Wayne Munroe told Eyewitness News that he has been ‘inundated’ with persons seeking to challenge the Emergency Powers Order and regulations, as he again called into question government’s rationale behind many of the restrictions it has imposed.
Munroe said: “My position hasn’t changed since the first iteration of the lock-down. How often can you shut down people’s business and expect things to just bounce back. It just makes no sense.”
Opining on the public furor over the weekend wedding of an American couple at the Coral Sands Hotel on Harbour Island, Eleuthera Munroe said, “Had they in fact stopped their wedding and had they come to me I would have recommended that they sue the Ministry of Tourism in the United States on the basis that they would have misrepresented to them what they could do in The Bahamas.”
Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis has ordered a police probe after the wedding on Harbour Island which received his authorization did not appear to adhere to COVID-19 protocols.The Office of the Prime Minister confirmed that permission was granted by the competent authority to allow two weddings – one in Harbour Island and the other in New Providence – to be held over the weekend with more than five guests despite the nationwide lockdown amidst a significant surge in coronavirus cases.
“I take the view that not only those weddings should have happened but every other planned wedding should have happened,”said Munroe yesterday.
He added: “The government’s policies are misguided. They don’t want people in large gathering but what they are doing is causing food stores to be crowded with people which is the very thing they are trying to curb. I just don’t understand the rationale is. I don’t know that the Prime Minister has the power to give special exemptions for instance to a particular restaurant group or these two weddings. It proves the point that they have no coherent policy.”
Munroe who is preparing to mount a legal challenge to the Emergency Powers (COVID-19) Order, 2020, which has included a nightly curfew, certain restrictions on businesses, public transport and gatherings.
Munroe told Eyewitness News, “There is a team of us and as more lawyers find out about it more persons are volunteering to assist because it’s quite a task collating all of the evidence. The group keeps growing just about everyday,” said Munroe who is preparing to mount a legal challenge to the Emergency Orders and the regulations.
“We’ve been inundated by persons whose rights have been infringed by this. People just keep coming and coming. I have taken the position that we have to just cut it and get started with the legal challenge. Someone called and said their wedding had to be postponed and they want to see if they can challenge. There’s a guy who was injured and as a part of his rehab it was recommended that he do some activities in the sea but the government has closed the beaches. Some people have therapy they have to do in the salt water,” said Munroe.