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Walwyn responds: Governor trying to interfere with electoral process

Walwyn

Just a few short months away from the territory’s next General Election, Governor Augustus Jaspert has been accused of abusing the privilege of his office to meddle in the electoral affairs of the British Virgin Islands.

Education Minister Myron Walwyn levelled that accusation on Friday following reports that Governor Jaspert has gotten police involved in the controversy surrounding the perimeter wall that was erected around Elmore Stoutt High School.

“I find it unusual that no communication was sent to the Ministry of Education, indicating that the police was looking into the matter, particularly since there was no dishonesty raised in the Auditor General’s report … The people of the territory needs to see this for what it is, a blatant attempt to interfere in the electoral process of our country, and this is wrong,” said Walwyn, who stated that he has been made to understand that the police was handed the matter ‘several weeks’ ago.

Governor’s timing suspicious

He asserted that the Education Ministry should be told exactly what the police is looking into.

The education minister further said the timing of the governor’s action puts his (Governor Jaspert’s) motive into question.

“Elections are due within a few months and a statement of this nature — without stating properly any allegations — can prejudice the outcome of the elections … The effects of making such a statement in our community, particularly at this time, was raised verbally and in writing to the Governor which again, he completed ignored,” Walwyn argued.

Governor Jaspert got the police involved based on the ‘special report’ from the Office of the Auditor General, which stated that there were a number of “procedural issues and irregularities” in how the Walwyn-led ministry executed the wall project.

Gaping difference in cost estimates of wall

One of those so-called irregularities was the fact that the Auditor General, following the audit, said the near million-dollar wall’s ‘true cost’ is about $371,007.72.

Walwyn described that cost estimate as “grossly inaccurate” and criticised the Office of the Auditor General for not consulting the Department of Public Works or project manager SA Architect during the course of the audit.

Notably, three other entities gave vastly different cost estimations to that of the Auditor General.

According to Walwyn, the Public Works Department assessed the valued of the wall at $871,942.34, regional quantity surveying company BCQS costed the wall at $857,353.08, and a cost valuation from local company James Todman Construction priced the wall at $873,085.48.

“As recent as our last Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, December 12, I presented information to the Cabinet — the cost valuations from Government’s Public Works Department, James Todman Construction and BCQS. To me, based on the Governor’s recent statement, these were all seemingly ignored. I trust that the Governor shared this extensive documentary and professional evidence with the police and all the other relevant Government departments,” Walwyn said.

I respect Office of Governor but I respect my office too

‘I respect the role of the Governor as Her Majesty’s Representative. I respect the role of the Auditor General. But, I also respect myself and the office I was elected to by the people of the Virgin Islands. I also deeply respect my staff at the Ministry of Education and Culture who I know have been baffled by all that has been going on about the controversy surrounding a wall that is necessary for the protection of students and teachers of our largest public school, the Elmore Stoutt High School,” added Walwyn, who had violated the law by publicising the findings of the Auditor General’s report on the wall before it was tabled in the House of Assembly.

“While I have apologized for releasing the audit report prematurely, and I should not have done that, I hope now the public can see where my mind was at the time of that release. I had no faith in the process because of how it was being conducted, and the results now are evident.”

He continued: “I said to my staff at the time when the audit report was being conducted, that they should fully cooperate with the Auditor General’s Office, and I know they did. I am asking them again, to fully cooperate with the police and all other relevant government agencies, because we have absolutely nothing to hide. Justice delayed is justice denied, and so I call upon the Governor to ensure that there is an early resolution of this matter.”

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80 Comments

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  1. BVI! says:

    That’s not interference in elections…that’s taking control to get things done as incompetent politicians are unable to. Stop crying and get another career Walwyn!

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    • Biggie says:

      Did he really say he “apologize for releasing the audit prematurely?” What does that mean? Does he mean that he is apologizing for us finding out?
      Look Walwyn, if you tell us the truth now, you will save everybody a lot of time.
      We ELECTED you to a four year term now I think it fair that they SENTENCE you to a four year term unless you come clean now. If you confess later than you should serve two four year terms or eight years.

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      • Hottie says:

        … has gotten …
        … the police was looking …
        … the people needs to see …
        … as recent as out last cabinet meeting …
        While I have apologized …

        • Big Hottie says:

          “procedural issues and irregularities” We look forward to a Professional Police Investigation. The results of this will highlight the stability of that institution.

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    • Massa says:

      It’s blatant INTERFERENCE!! We will never learn…
      V*P and this smear campaign…

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      • To Masa says:

        The Governor and police and their investigatoon have nothing to do with the VIP nor NDP 2. You do the crime then be prepared to do the time.

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  2. 5th District Voter says:

    Do not back down Hon. Walwyn! They are trying to tear you down at all costs but we got your back! How can the AG report that there was overspending without getting proper advice.

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    • T@ 5th District Voter says:

      This here should have the opposite effect of what they are seeking, the destruction of a strong leader.. So, let’s rally our people around one of our strongest and smartest leaders. We must unite! We must unite, as they are aware of and are continuing to use our divisiveness to keep us down and divided. Let us begin today to fight that curse by uniting! Let’s support our capable and strong leader!!

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      • Please says:

        Honourable Walwyn has his full support. The devil always
        strikes when you’re on to something great. Glad to know that
        you’re not backing down minister.

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      • Say What? says:

        Are you suggesting that we unite around Mrs. Luce Hodge Smith? If so, I agree. She is honest, smart and understands our culture.

        We need to take a look at how we are represented. We need someone who can help create a long term vision for us and our country. We need someone who understands us and can represent us globally on a professional and ethically reliable basis. We need some new ideas. What we have now hasn’t worked. Our schools are broken. Our infrastructure is in shambles, our dump in on fire, our current Ministers don’t have anything under control.

        We need new leaders we can trust.

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        • Oneal says:

          I like that idea! Luce can turn it around and make this a better place for all of us.

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          • Lol says:

            You got to be kidding. What have she done with the little she was given? Head of culture for many many years and it’s only yesterday since the minister was elected that anything was done concerning culture. Was it her idea for the territorial dress or song? Please…she has no vision. With her we will go NO WHERE!

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        • Oooh says:

          Luce is not the answer. Wise up people. Do your homework. I would put mark back in a thousand times before I ef with Luce.

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          • Really says:

            What has mark done in the EIGHT YEARS he has been in. Oh yeah s—– money from the 8th district for pier park. Bought himself a y—-. And in the mean time thanks to hurricanes Irma and Maria who showed up our crumbling infrastructures. Mark really. You sick.

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      • What? says:

        @t@5th district voter, if it is proven our current leader has
        broken our laws then we need to find a new leader. We can’t continue this cycle of foregiving and re-electing people that have taken advantage of us.

        What’s our Country’s motto? It’s right there on our flag. It means monitor.

        Are you read to help us monitor and engage in our future? Are you satisfied with what you and your family have? Don’t you and your family deserve more?

        Our country deserves the respect of the rest of the world! We have the most beautiful country on the planet. If we focus on making learning fun and educating our children to the highest global standards the BVI will become a place that we are all
        proud of and your children will be regarded as lucky to have been born here. Look, our population is really small. If we invest in and create the greatest learning environment on the planet for our children we will be the best place to live in 20 years.

    • People says:

      Stop condonning wrong actions by W——. He is trying to interfere with the investigation and that is illegal. He can be arrested for these actions. So advice him correctly and stop encouraging his irresponsible behavior.

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      • 2 cents says:

        His actions are under investigation and he needs to be separated from his ministry until the matter is resolved. Only in the BVI. In Other places even in the Caribbean region he would have been removed. People have to be thinking that we really stupid

  3. Balsam says:

    Don’t drop the soap when it goes down big boy.

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  4. Hmmm says:

    Wall-Win humble yourself or you shall be humbled. Under the Constitution, the Governor using his reserve powers or even as head of the public service really does not need to give you an explanation.
    Why waste time going into details providing all this evidence to the public? – give it to the Police and be done with it. If all the evidence adds up, it will prove you innocent. End of story!
    Hire a professional consultant to help you cause the more you try to defend yourself the more guilty you look.

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  5. Doggy says:

    Dude!!!! Hey!!!! You too disrespectful!!!! This damn M—- always have a problem with people above him. Don’t ever forget how disrespectful he was when he won the elections. The people are above you punk not below you. You got no respect for the queens representatives. Duncan and jasper tired of your sh-t. You ducking up the government purse and not following procedure is the damn problem. Dam cry baby.

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  6. Wowww says:

    Oh please Myron you will say anything to get yourself out of humiliation, you know what you did. A child could watch that wall and say that doesn’t cause no million dollars. Your a good manipulator I’ll say

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  7. Hmm says:

    Myron the manipulator.

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  8. Ndp heckler says:

    Wha he bawlin fah?

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  9. Resident says:

    what is done in darkness always comes to the light

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  10. Clown says:

    The police should tell the education ministry what they are looking into? They are looking into the fraudulent and misappropriation of public funds, including your acts of political b——–y, especially as it relates to the construction of the wall, you clown. Sounds like you shatting your pants, wha happen? People in all ministries and the high school principal better talk because we know who was the ring leader behind this whole scandal. Better start thinking of settling for the plea bargain. You know it serious now that it is in the police’s hands. There is sufficient evidence to launch a criminal investigation. Just waiting to see the headline that you have been formally charged. Outta effing place man! And keep off the governor and the auditor general!

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  11. Haha says:

    You really think that anybody will believe that the Governor is playing politics?

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  12. US says:

    Don’t worry Walwyn. This to shall past.

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  13. Eyespell says:

    Man talk stupidness, the Governor has a process to follow. Man built a wall round the school for a million dollars b—ing votes when money needed spending on schools building and desks and book. Strupes man think we are all stupid. You do wrong you answer, and this was wrong.

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  14. Couple things says:

    1. Do you see anyone tipping of other persons when there’s a criminal investigation? Inform the Ministry for what?

    2. Interference what. Stop behaving like a brat. A report came out in August, was laid in the house and if criminal activity is found what should happen – ask you when to investigate?

    Each day this man shows why he should not be a leader.

    About time this country finally demonstrates that no one is above the law. It’s called due process. Geez.

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  15. Just Curious says:

    The honourable minister who is an attorney I would assumed that the mere fact that the police receive a copy of the report then it stands to reason that there might be some element of criminality that was seen and as such the it would warrant the police to take a deeper look into the matter. I don’t think the Govenor have to give the MOE or the minister any reasons or to even outline to him what breaches or possible breaches of the law was infringed. If the minister is confident that he has done nothing and everything was done “accurately” which I can’t say was done base on the number of breaches that were identified then he need to just let she process take place. I don’t think the timing was bad for the report. If the HOA that was terminated because of its illegal sitting I believe the end result wouldnhave been the same. The governor never ordered the auditor’s report but his predecessor. What Gus is doing is carrying out the instructions received when he took over the office. This has nothing to do with interfering with the political affairs of the BVI. What this is, is the showing of transparency that the NDP government failed to show the people of the Virgin Islands.

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  16. Rock says:

    Lawde u cry too much and I thawt u knu da law but den agen u feel u above da law. Da paper was only given to da necessary departments which includes da RVIPF to do their own investigations. Police persue matters once de have evidence n can build a case. If u have nothing to hide den b quiet and concentrate on ur campaign. Beginning to really look crooked wid da bickerin if u ask me

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  17. Meet Your Match says:

    MW you have met your match. For quite some time now you have been able to scare of everyone but not this Governor who you thought was an easy push over. It is about time someone has stepped up to the plate and not be afraid to do what needs to be done. Now that the Governor has opted to involve the police regarding the nonsense you have done you trying to convince the puplic that he (Governor) is playing politics and pretty much trying to undermine you. Well, well, how crafty you are. You have tricks all up your sleeve but soon the truth will be revealed. You can’t think that you can rob hardworking tax payers money and not be held accountable or maybe you did!

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  18. Political Observer (PO) says:

    No election interference here. The Governor is fulfilling his responsibilities, as the MEC is his, and letting the chips fall where they may. If the Gov had delayed forwarding the report to the RVIPF for investigation after 16 April 2019 and violations were unearthed, the Opposition probably could have accused the Gov of playing politics. The Gov was between a rock stone and a hard place and used his judgement. Further, if the MEC did nothing wrong and everything was above board, why not let the RVIPF conduct its investigation? Why lambasted the AG and Gov if the MEC did nothing wrong? Would the AG and Gov be wonderful people if diffrent findings were arrived at and no referral was made to the RVIPF?

    Moreover, before we lash out at agencies, would it not be better to exercise some discipline and let the process(s) play out. Why burn bridges before the facts come out? Is this lashing out at the AG, Gov…etc an attempt to taint the investigation and preparing base to doubt the fairness of the processes? As an attorney, the MEC knows that in some cases no defence is needed if the other side had no evidence, facts. Sometimes silence is golden.

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  19. Lookie Here says:

    MVW your time should be up…first we had to Zolfo Cooper contract which allegedly subcontracted the SSB cases to a law firm to which you were connected…then we had the contracts with th HoA and the Att Gen going get up and say the dealings was not a contract…now we have the wall…ehy does the Gov need to tell you ‘exactly what the police is looking into’ when they are still carrying out investigations. Might as well they tell the drug dealers and other suspecyes of committing a crime ahead of time that they are being investigated. Like really?!!

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  20. Wall WIND says:

    I question why that wall had to be so big like a maximum security prison. It didnt have to be so thick…Walwyn the thing itself look shady…the Governor dont need to tell you…you should know…they need to send the pier park and airline reports to the CoP too…these need a special prosecutor or commission of enquiry or special overseas white collar crime trained detectives to deal with these matters. ALL politicians in this country need to wake up and know that the days of mismanaging the people money gone with Irma!!!

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  21. Maybe says:

    Maybe the AG wanted Myron and he rebuff her advances.

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  22. Plan B says:

    So if the Minister gave 70 people an equal amount of our $ to build individual sections of the wall and considering that the wall wasn’t really completed, its only fair that we are told which person was responsible for each section of the wall. That way we can see who ran away with our $ and we can assess the quality of everyone’s work. It’s our money we have a right to know.

    I suggest that Walwyn post a sign next to each portion of the wall with the name of the person who received our money for constructing it.

    Everyone agree?

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    • Tell Mi says:

      So, Sa Architects under Wally Wyn’s directive, paid out lots of $$ to people who didn’t complete the work and Wall Wyn now say de Gowernor playing politics?

      What was Wally Wyn doing wid de wall, ain’t paying Politics?

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    • Oneal says:

      Great idea! Show us who was responsible for each section. We have the right to know!

  23. LOL says:

    Walwyn just shut your mouth and stop cry, you made a mess of things already just like your self. you need a new career, this place will be better without you

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  24. voiceofthevoiceless says:

    The more Myron talks the bigger a hole he digs for his political career. I mean why would he think that the Governor’s move is political? The Governor running for Office? Is the Governor not acting on an audit ordered by the previous Governor which if it was not for Hurricane Irma it would have already been completed months ago. So it coming on the eve of the election is just pure coincidence. He opened his mouth before the audit had the time to go through the requisite process and although that may have angered the Governor I do not believe he is acting on a personal vendetta but on the facts of the case at hand.

    Now the Governor after reviewing the facts felt that it warranted a Police investigation. If he is innocent should he not just keep quiet and let the investigation run its course?

    One thing for sure is that if Myron is charged, I believe his party’s campaign will be in big trouble because that case will most likely not proceed until after the election. Penn Oneal had a charge over her head the last election and looked how that panned out so I understand his concern.

    He needs to be patient and humble and allow the process to run its course. Not sure he is capable of this.

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  25. Wake the h**l already!! says:

    You bloggers continue to hate on your own and don’t pay attention to what these people are doing to your country. When you wake up it will be way to late. I see clearly what they are doing. They are undermining your confidence in your own elected people without any proof of anything which plays on our emotions and make us think that only them can handle things properly. With that they come up with sophisticated methods to exclude locals like the RDA. Wake up and pay attention!
    Governor Jaspert is dead wrong to do what he did! They do it all over the Caribbean. It was done to Mckeba Bush beciayee they couldn’t control him. It’s the old play book.

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    • Col Jessup says:

      You can’t handle the truth! Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be built by men, 70 men. Who’s gonna do it? You? I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it! I would rather you just said “thank you”, and went on your way.

    • @Wake the h**l already and Just Saying says:

      You are both awoke and right in your assessments, and are quite aware of our enemies tactics of destroying our strongest leaders. Nothing new. Refer to history for confirmation of this… Another example of why self determination must be forth coming. They are also trying to derail the leader because he to is a proponent of self determination. Believe it or not!!

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    • No says:

      The confidence was already gone long long time.

  26. Just saying says:

    Stand up for your rights myron. The auditor general needs to do better. I had a chance to read the report and I am confused. How can she have that long and high wall costing 372k. That makes no kind of sense. Fraser wall down Sea Cow’s Bay cost more than that. The high school wall must be made of paper! If evidence that the audit is wrong was brought to the Governor he should have looked at it and act judiciously. To proceed as if nothing has happened smacks of someone with an ulterior motive.

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    • Justice says:

      The point is that The Minister Of Education didn’t have the authority to award and personally authorize payments for a contract much less 70 of them. We have a process that he didn’t follow. Besides which the wall isn’t complete and yet he authorized payments stating the work has been completed.
      Then there are the issues of possible kickbacks or pay to play payments. All it takes is one of the 70 to come clean.

      Tick tock……

  27. Hmmmm says:

    Looks like they want Walwyn out of the way. I wonder why?

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  28. Real people says:

    I know Myron ain’t no punk. That’s who I want to represent me. If I ever got into problems out of all those politicians I would go to Myron first.

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  29. ndp heckler says:

    We don’t want mark and myron controlling our finances because what a disaster that will be

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    • @NDP Heckler says:

      Stop inserting we. You cannot speak for everyone. And as far as finances, you would be the first one to dip your hands in the Cookie jar if it presents itself. You probably don’t have two pennies in your pocket to rub together or control.

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    • Governors Govern! says:

      The MCW must b s…ing his pants all now.

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  30. marlon says:

    “THIS IS CRIMINAL”

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  31. BAZOOKA says:

    People in jail probably got paid to help build this dam wall.
    Boom Boom KaBoom.

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  32. Brad Boynes says:

    And the internal cannibalization continues.let it rip.

  33. ndp heckler says:

    LOCK HIM UP! LOCK HIM UP! LOCK HIM UP!

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  34. Shame says:

    From the blogs and the like button you can tell this is political. You all don’t have to make it that obvious.

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  35. Sam the man says:

    We all know what has happened its whether there is any proof against Mr Teflon – usually most stuff doesn’t stick with the ministers as they cover their tracks pretty well…after all none of the ridiculous number of favoured contractors that over priced this ridiculously expensive wall are going to admit it! At least we did get something for a million dollars unlike the dodgy Dr who managed to produce zilch for the $7.2m he “gave away” to the bogus airline !

  36. $$$ says:

    Calm down guys it’s not a crime to pay somebody before they do or complete the job. That doesn’t make him a criminal it makes him the best boss ever. Remember the NDP motto $$$ Chi Ching Ching $$$.

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  37. Grease hand says:

    Alot of these jobs are only granted to people who agree to the grease hand or kickbacks. I’m not talking scandal but I know for sure

    If the whole wall was painted it would have been 2 million plus so we get a discount

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  38. PWD 2 says:

    So wait wait wait. This say Walwyn get estimate from
    PUblic works 2? Can’t be the cost of the wall that audit looked into. What I missing here buddy. Somebody help me. I not no math-tic Ian. Fahie help me here nuh.

  39. USA says:

    It is not hard to see that. Someone got to someone to turn up the heat. Why is this wall thing the soul focus when others in Government have done worse. The whole thing is political. You can smell it,feel it and taste it.

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  40. Blue J says:

    So I’m sitting in one of my favorite spots enjoying a glass of my favorite red, when a little bird took a seat next to me. The little bird whispered in my ear that the — was pressured to push the report to bring Walwyn down.The whole thing is politically motovated. Someone is on a mission to bring Walwyn down.

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  41. NYC says:

    Political beheading. It is plain as day, that someone is trying to bring Myron down. Myron, you hang in there,hold your head high and continue to do what you do. Let the haters continue.

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  42. ***** says:

    Something about this whole thing is not adding up. I have a strong feeling who the culprit behind this is but for now,my source and I will sit back and watch this person and see how this plays out. When you lay a trap for someone to take a fall, someone is laying yours. You bloggers should be ashamed of yourselves.

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  43. Forgive!! says:

    Andrew the same government that save you from going jail is the same one you are trying to bring down. Play those tapes. The world is round. I am fed up of this whole politics no morals, we have gone from being our brother’s keeper.

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  44. $$ Tired of Wasting $$ says:

    It is about time they hold people to account over the wasting of our public money. After all we do not print money down here.

    Kudos to the Guv for standing up for the weak and vulnerable. Thank heavens they can’t touch you. They can only use their big mouth to bark and try and intimidate you.

  45. Diaspora says:

    This is a self-inflicted chest wound. The MEC could have managed the outcome, for all it had to do was to strictly follow the in place construction procurement process. It didn’t and things went awry. Politics infected what should have been a simple, straight forward project. Instead of being a simple construction project, it was a political project. Some 70 contractors on a small construction project. Wow!

    With so many contractors, how do you effectively manage the project? No wonder things went off the rail. The Auditor General and Governor are just messengers. Don’t shoot the messengers. Let the RVIPF conduct the investigation and if there is nothing to see, there is nothing to see. The MEC should welcome the transparency if there is nothing to hide. The olde people say when you fling a rock after a pack of dogs, the one that gets hit hallow. Ah yu know that sound.

    Moreover, it is an open secret that government pays more for goods and services than it should. The taxpayers are raped blind. As such, the estimated inflated prices that contractors come up with are not the market rate; they are what government is willing to pay without question. If the money was coming out of individual pocket, there would be some serious concern (they would be screaming from the mountain top).

    Taxpayers are not paying fair and reasonable prices for goods and services; they are consistently ripped off; they are not getting value for money. The inflated prices, lack of due diligence, lack of value for money……..etc are a key factor why the cost of governing is ballooning and skyrocketing. Who is looking out for the taxpayer? Apparently, no one.

    WANTED: A government that will look out for taxpayers interest. A government that will exercise fiduciary responsibility. A government that will employ exemplary stewardship of limited and scarce resources. A government that is committed to good governance: transparency, accountability and responsibility. A government with a leader that will run a no nonsense, professional, tight ship on ministries and the people’s affairs.

    Which party can meet the criteria, ie, PUP, PVIM, NDP, UP, VIP or a coalition. Fellow Virgin Islanders, we get the government we let run wild. If we want better governance, we must get agitated, get engaged…….etc. We (masses) have the power; the many, not the few, must rule. Don’t give up the power for a bowl of porridge. We cannot let political and economical patronage ruin the BVI; it is in the incipient stage so let’s arrest this poison.

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  46. @agree says:

    The haters and the ones behind it will fall one by one.

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  47. Strupes says:

    Bald Fraud at it again….

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  48. Hmmmmmm says:

    So this minister feels the need to be informed. Tell him to inform the teachers and students of the mold testing results on particular schools. He knows of cases of sick teachers but HAS DONE NOTHING to remedy the situations but his cronies do a good job of trying to discredit the sick and suffering. No trust…no vote.

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