Bjorn Bjerhamn (l) Mark Maloney (r)

What Fifty years of “Independence” is Barbados Really Celebrating?

Submitted by David Comissiong

After reading the damning revelations contained in Auditor General Leigh Trotman’s report about the outrageously preferential taxpayer-funded contracts granted to a coterie of elite white business-people by the Government Ministers of our country, I am forced to come to the conclusion that the “Old Colonial System” is still very much alive and well in supposedly independent Barbados!

Similarly, after digesting Mr. Mark Maloney’s defiant assertion that his Rock Hard Cement company will be (and is) forging ahead with its construction at Spring Garden highway in spite of the fact that some six months ago the Chief Town Planner had served the company with an order to cease construction, I am compelled to recognize that the same old colonial power elite continues to exist and to call the shots in our supposedly independent country!

Clearly, some 50 years after we hauled down the British “union jack” flag, Barbados’ primary purpose as a society still continues to be the colonial-style facilitation of a lifestyle of opulence and comfort for a privileged few at the expense and on the backs of the masses of ordinary Barbadians !

Take, for example, the case of one Bizzy Williams, who, when asked to comment on the fact that Government’s imposition of a “tipping fee” for refuse delivered to the landfill had brought about a substantial reduction in the garbage processed by his Sustainable Barbados Recycling Centre Inc. (SBRC), boasted that whether his company processed the garbage or not, it still had to be paid by our Government.

Bizzy Williams’ exact words (as reported in the Nation Newspaper of 3rd May 2016) were as follows:-

Financially, though, it is not hurting us. It does not make a bit of a difference to us because we have signed on a contract with the Government that we have to provide the facility to process 1,000 tons a day minimum. So whether the material comes or it does not come, that is what we signed on to.

For those citizens and taxpayers who may not be aware, let me bring  the following to your attention: in June 2009, the current Democratic Labour Party (DLP) Administration entered into a so-called “Take or Pay Contract” with Mr. Bizzy Williams’ Sustainable (Barbados) Recycling Centre Inc. (SBRC), and under that contract, we, the taxpayers of Barbados, are obliged to underwrite a guaranteed minimum payment of $22.6 Million per year to SBRC over a 20 year period for the processing of solid waste, whether or not the company is actually called upon to carry out work of the requisite minimum quantity!

Thus, under this contract alone, we Barbadian taxpayers are saddled with a “minimum” payment of some $452 Million dollars to Bizzy Willliams’ SBRC over a 20 year period!

But this is not the only such Government contract that the several companies associated with Mr. Bizzy Williams enjoy !

Under the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) administration of Mr. Owen Arthur, another Bizzy Williams associated company known as Ionics Freshwater Ltd was granted a contract by virtue of  which they were mandated by our Barbados Government to construct a desalination facility at Spring Garden, St. Michael; to operate and maintain the facility; and to be paid for  supplying  the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) with a minimum of 27,000 cubic metres of desalinated water every day over a 15 year period.

When, however, several years later, the Auditor General’s department carried out a special investigation into the workings of this outrageously preferential contract, they discovered that:-

  1. The BWA had agreed to pay a price for the desalinated water that was substantially higher than was merited ;
  2. The BWA had contracted to secure more water per day than it had the capacity to receive, and therefore had to pay the company – on an ongoing basis – for work that the company did not have to do; and
  3. The BWA had entered into a contract that virtually guaranteed the company a massive 18 per cent return on its investment !

So here again, we Barbadian taxpayers ended up underwriting tremendous benefits for a private company– benefits that were contractually affixed for an extensive fifteen year period !

The sad truth is that successive BLP and DLP administrations have placed our nation in a deep financial hole by entering into unjustified, outrageously privileged contracts that oblige us – the citizens and taxpayers of Barbados – to make annual payments of hundred of millions of dollars for decades into the future.

Let us look at another example! There is the April 2013 so-called storage tank lease contract entered into by our Government with the Mark Maloney and Bjorn Bjerkham owned and/or managed company known as Storage Solutions Limited.

Under this contract, our Government-owned (and taxpayer-funded) Barbados Agricultural Management Co. Ltd (BAMC) is obligated to pay Storage Solutions Limited the sum of $2, 150,000.00 plus VAT every year for 20 years for the privilege of using three molasses storage tanks at the Bridgetown Port. Thus, under this contract, our Government (and ultimately the taxpayers of Barbados) are saddled with a payment of some $50 million over the 20 year period!

Yet another such contract is the so-called housing construction contract entered into between this current DLP administration and the corporate entity known as Housing Concepts SRL – also owned and/or managed by the said Mark Maloney and Bjorn Bjerkham.

Under this contract, Housing Concepts SRL was leased a massive parcel of Government land at Coverley, Christ Church at a pepper-corn rent for the purpose of constructing houses for sale to the Barbadian people at prices ranging between $289,000.00 and $396,000.00!

But what makes this contract truly remarkable is that our taxpayer-funded Government has entered into a legally binding contractual obligation to purchase from Housing Concepts SRL any house that the company is unable to sell to members of the public! Thus, once again, we taxpayers are left holding the bag!

There is also the outrageously privileged contract that the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) entered into with Innotech Services Ltd for the design, financing and construction of the new BWA headquarters, and the lease of the premises to the BWA for 13 years. Our Auditor General, Mr. Leigh Trotman, recently detailed so many deficiencies with this outrageously preferential contract that we would require a separate article to list and discuss them!

And – truth be told – I could go on and on listing many other similarly outrageously preferential contracts that our compliant political directorate has conferred on a small group of elite white Barbadian business-people. It is no wonder therefore that our country now possesses a national debt that is as large as our entire Gross National Product!

Face the truth Bajans : the “Old Colonial System” is alive and well in our country, and will continue to remain alive and well so long as you continue to elect hollow, pride-less, self serving men and women to the House of Assembly and ultimately to ministerial and prime ministerial office!

And so our first order of business must be to vote out the self-serving charlatans ! But that alone will not be enough. We will also have to go on  to reform the Constitution  of our nation in order to establish structures and  mechanisms that we – the people – can use to hold our MP’s and Ministers accountable in the future.

Are you prepared to take on this crucial battle, or are you content to continue to be used and exploited for the benefit of a privileged few?

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237 Comments on “What Fifty years of “Independence” is Barbados Really Celebrating?”

  1. Well Well & Consequences June 1, 2016 at 6:56 PM #

    Someone posted on here yesterday that the government had a contract for a marine engineer, did not put out tender for any marine engineer on the island, but gave the contract to Bjerkham.

    …Bjerkham is not a marine engineer, so naturally he subcontracted the job to a marine engineer in Trinidad, not Barbados…can anyone guess how many millions of dollars this contracting and subcontracting will cost the taxpayers….

    That’s the level of corruption perpetrated by the government ministers…they can never do anything themselves, despite that being the reason why the taxpayers pay them a salary…their bribers and corrupters must always be involved so that the taxpayers have to shell out millions of dollars for decades with no accountability…..I dont know how MoneyB cannot see something very wrong and criminal with that arrangement.

    Like

  2. David June 1, 2016 at 6:56 PM #

    Please continue comments by clicking on the following link.

    https://barbadosunderground.wordpress.com/2016/06/01/bizzy-williams-and-the-old-colonial-system/

    Like

  3. Tee White June 2, 2016 at 3:04 PM #

    Thank you to David Comissiong for bringing this out in the open. Come on Bajans. In 2016 how can we put up with this bare faced teefing by the white elite and the corrupt black politicians they buy and sell. It’s time for a change not just of the party in government but of the very system of government. We need a system which prevents this kind of fleecing of the people.

    Like

  4. Disgusted Voter July 9, 2016 at 11:26 PM #

    Barbados Gone to the Dogs

    Like

  5. Disgusted Voter July 9, 2016 at 11:26 PM #

    “I can assure that few people in Barbados will ever get to the level of corruption of these people who the tax payers pay their salaries.

    To show the scale of corruption Southern Golf (Barbados Golf Club) in Durants Christ Church got 2 million $ loan in free tax payers money under this DLP government where his wife Betty June Leacock is the CEO, not a cent has never been repaid appearing regularly in the Auditors General Annual Reports.

    CHARLES LEACOCK: release not automatic. (HLE)
    CHARLES LEACOCK
    Charles Leacock and his two sons plays for free, an annual membership is about BD$6800 annually and have been doing this for years, they also play using a cart which is over $3000 annually totalling around BD$10,000 per person in free perks each year; $30,000 in free perks to this one family every year.

    These people ALL need locking up.

    To the Barbados Fraud Squad Unit I am also someone you tried to coerce and extort. I am very familiar with Miss Pinder as she is called, you are a crook along with a number of fellow officers and have robbed me personally.

    You and your team creates false Statements to get suspects to sign and then in Court when disclosure is given you again create another false Statement changing it to suit your purposes.

    Anyone ever dealing with these sub-humans never never ever sign a Statement they prepare and always get a lawyer which these crooked bastards hate with a passion as they like to violate an individual constitutional rights. Anonymous and alleged”

    Like

  6. Past Zone July 27, 2016 at 2:58 PM #

    WAIT TO WUNNA FIND OUT WHAT THE DLP SOLD (SORRY GAVE, FREE OF COST) TO MALONEY IN THE DAYS LEADING UP TO THE 2013 IN EXCHANGE FOR HIS CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTION, BDS1.75M? THIS IS THE MONEY THAT FOUND ITS WAY ON THE STREETS AND ALLEYWAYS ON ELECTION DAY 2013 TO BUY VOTES?

    Like

  7. Camile Alleyne September 9, 2016 at 12:32 PM #

    WOW!

    When I see or read things like this, I can’t help but think what a wasted sacrifice our ancestors made. Two centuries and counting and blacks are still held ‘in their place’ by the whites but more painful is the fact that the blacks with opportunity and privilege facilitate this wicked imbalance.
    Bought. Sold. All over again, but this time by blacks – in government.
    $1.75M doesn’t come for nothing and than ain’t cheap. The rich gets richer and; look how poverty has escalated in Barbados.

    Like

  8. Camile Alleyne September 9, 2016 at 12:46 PM #

    @MoneyB
    David Comissong is not an Entrepreneur. However, he is African descent.
    While you are ranting, understand that what others are trying to say, is that even he (Comissong) might and in fact could create successful enterprises if given the facilities that the few elite whites get. He has the brain; ten times.

    I hope you are not Black. You must be ne of those who get a salary from the named enterprises or Entrepreneur. But know that they depend on those like you to betray their kinfolks – for a few pieces of silver – then ultimately get rid of them

    Like

  9. Observer September 16, 2016 at 2:07 PM #

    This country is returning to the late 40’s where the white man expected the black man to tip his hat to them when they pass the road. Unfortunately the very black man is who selling us BLACKS out lock stock and barrel. At my age I’m too old to fight it now but I’m sure this young generation will not stand for the crap we stood for back then. B’dos is on the verge of a big eruption

    Like

  10. Money Brain September 21, 2016 at 4:37 PM #

    Camille Alleyne,
    You say that “blacks held in their place”?????????
    All of the Parliamentarians are not White!!!!!!
    Therefore, it is NOT white people selling out Bajans. It is the same people that sold wunna out in Africa to the Slavers. All races have absolutely despicable members who only care about their Net Worth Enhancement! Do you think the Whites in control of the UK 3-400 yrs ago gave a wet, smelly excrement about poor Whites? Some of my relatives received a Free Trip to Bim as a result of the Monmouth Rebellion against the King’s BS!

    None of this is Racial as many would like to convince non thinkers of. It is about controlling the populace and becoming rich and not caring about Bim or ANY of us!

    David C looks very MIXED racially to me, it is just his politics that leans to the “African” side.
    What action has he taken to really improve the lot of the poor Bajans? Several are agreeing how easy it is to run businesses and garner Govt $$$$$—–so why dont DC and others develop Political contacts and ACT? Why not choose to be Rich? Why not help to create work for hundreds or even thousands of Bajans?

    I dont benefit financially BUT I am trying to explain what others are missing or expose the lack of detailed critical thinking.

    Like

  11. Money Brain September 21, 2016 at 4:51 PM #

    Disgusted Voter,
    I like straight talkers like you who appreciate that it is people of all shades that are messed up and not just Whitey.

    Like

  12. Lashaun Farah October 4, 2016 at 8:42 AM #

    Invaluable article . For what it’s worth , people are wanting a HUD-51000 , my colleagues filled out and faxed a blank document here https://goo.gl/OvcT5s

    Like

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