By Anthony W Astaphan SC
ROSEAU, Dominica – There are very few times in the history of a nation when the political options are as dangerous as they now are in Dominica. We have in this land a leader of the opposition, United Workers Party (UWP), Lennox Linton, whose fractured track record is one of deception.
If confirmation is needed, there are judgments of the High Court and Privy Council. This record also includes public display of anger and insults to young people (the prostitutes), women in the media, a female minister of government, and those most vulnerable in our society (the “greedy”).
We can for the moment leave out the constant threats of violence. Then came the $1.2 billion con-job in the parliament of Dominica. The leader of the UWP made no prior inquiries. Also, he made no reference to (i) the regulations in force since 2014, (ii) any request for information as a member of parliament, (iii) any meeting or request for information by the public accounts committee, which has not met since 2015, (iv) the budget addresses on the Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programme since 2015/6, and/ or (v) any contractual arrangements with the government or developer and investor including the rigid control of escrow accounts.
Having ignored all of the indisputable facts, Linton, cherry-picked one Gazette, and pulled out his calculator. He then fabricated a fictional figure of US$50,000.00 and multiplied the number of citizens. Having created this fraudulent figure he asserted in the Parliament and thereafter that US$1.2 billion was missing and in fact stolen by the prime minister. This extraordinary stunt was done notwithstanding the absence of evidence, and public signing of contracts for the construction of hotels and social housing since 2015/2016, the actual construction of the hotels and housing, and public statements by the financial secretary and others.
To date Linton has not said when or how this will o’ wisp $1.2 billion could in any event have gone missing or stolen. The government and escrow accounts are at the National Bank of Dominica (NBD). No prime minister or minister is a signatory to any of the CBI accounts, escrow or otherwise. Additionally, this mind-boggling allegation of missing funds and theft, if properly understood, would have required collusion with senior bank officers, senior public officers, investors and the developers. It would also have required the corrupt participation of the clearing (US banks) and receiving banks, whoever they be, hypothetically.
How this could have occurred is left blank by Linton. Instead, he jumped on the Zamboli train; however, Zamboli application has nothing to do with the “ sale of passports.” Its sole concern is five percent of development profits.
Nevertheless, the government does not sell passports. The law, development agreements, escrow accounts, etc make this absolutely clear. The investment funds are monies invested in particular hotel projects by investors under a contract. They do not belong to the State. What belongs to the State under this option are the fees.
Further, Linton invoked the name of Bala, and Congere in alleging the developers were stealing simply because they earn profits as every developer does in the over 80 countries with CBI programs. He then nose-dived into swamp of gutter politics when he sought to denigrate Gregor Nassief in racial terms because he exposed Linton’s ignorance.
Linton’s shameless hypocrisy lies with the invocation of Bala and Congere. It was Linton, and not Gregor, or any of the developers who (i) travelled with Edison James (back then) selling programs for Kalin and Henley and Partners, a white man and firm seeking profit, (ii) was on the front line of the UWP’s 2005 campaign funded by white mercenaries introduced by white friends of Henley and Kalin, all seeking passports and profits, (iii) was an integral part of the 2009 UWP campaign managed by white men from Strategic Communication Laboratories (SCL) and paid for by white men who wanted the control of our land and citizenship program, and (iv) was the only non-white face of a descendent from Africa on CBS’s 60 Minutes who sought to destroy his country’s good name.
It therefore seems to me that the person who did, or may have been doing, Massa’s binding or wishes was Lennox Linton.
This convenience of ignorance and hypocrisy is a dangerous red flag and must be taken very seriously in any decision concerning the future of our children and land.