Symister questions obvious omissions from alleged PS’ report on Friars Hill property

Leon Chaku Symister, the United Progressive Party (UPP)
spokesperson on legal matters, is critical of an “unofficial” report –
allegedly coming out of the Ministry of Works – in which the sums
spent to refurbish a private property are detailed.

The property, occupied by Public Works Minister Maria Browne and
three of her agencies, is solely owned by Gaston Andron Browne,
son of Prime Minister Gaston Browne, and Symister says the Party
will not accept such nepotism in government.

The “report,” released on the weekend, details the amounts spent on
renovating two buildings and creating a parking lot.

But while it notes that the parking lot remains vested in the Crown,
the report makes no mention of the buildings’ ownership – and
Symister says he finds that strange.

The extensive refurbishing work amounted to over $800,000 in
public funds, according to the report – which, Symister notes, fails to
disclose the current rent the Government pays.

Symister, like others, is questioning the benefit of this rental
agreement to the people of Antigua and Barbuda and wondering
whether there is a set-off arrangement in place.

He is also asking for supporting documentation as proof – and not
just the word of the prime minister or the alleged report of the
permanent secretary.

Symister says the UPP is willing to fight the Browne Administration
on this issue. The people deserve justice and not be victims to
continued creative enrichment schemes.

Leon Chaku Symister, the United Progressive Party spokesperson
on legal matters.