HAS KENNY LOST HIS MARBLES?
He has no memory of the Christmastime criminals or the ID-Card law he enacted. Now it’s the latest unemployment figures . . .
On the evening of Sunday, 8 March 2015—with the ostensible backing of a team of imported investigators comprising “a cyber-crime analyst, detectives, a ballistic expert, a data entry specialist and a legal advisor”—a suitably solemn prime minister Kenny Anthony revealed to a local audience and others elsewhere via the Internet that “the crime problem in Saint Lucia is facilitated by corrupt politicians, government officials, business persons and police officers.”
It remains conjectural the full impact of the prime minister’s words on trusting Saint Lucian hearts the world over. As if the evident icing of the IMPACS report were not already more than enough cause for pause, last Friday the President of the Saint Lucia Senate, Mr. Claudius Francis, costumed for titillating show business, planted in the nation’s paranoiac psyche a ticking time bomb that most local journalists considered too dangerous to tackle.
Of course, there were those in the media, social and unsocial, all with their own self-serving takes on what Francis, via his Straight Up show, delivered. In part: “Two Sundays ago, two senior police officers and a couple others met with a certain businessman, gave him certain information, planted stories about Vernon Francois being bought out for five million dollars. The police surreptitiously obtained search warrants . . . these are not people who’ve killed people, or done anything . . . they run government ministries. They [police] entered Robert Lewis’ and Emma Hippolyte’s offices, entered Invest Saint Lucia, and while at Invest Saint Lucia one of the police officers, using the F-word no less, told a computer operator—using the F-word— ’When you see we finish with y’all, Kenny and all of you goin’ down.’” Yes, going down! Additionally: “Somebody told them the Labour Party had received a campaign donation from AIMU [American International Medical University] during its election campaign. And they said, ‘aha,’ because Kenny Anthony had been a lecturer at the university for one semester around 2007. You know, when you think you have somebody, a eureka moment? That’s what some cops thought they had. So they executed a warrant on the man’s premises, took away all kinds of computers, took away checks from a million years ago . . . But they’re not saying they found checks to the United Workers Party . . . All they’re interested in is Operation Remove Kenny Anthony.”
How do the police “remove” the prime minister? It’s not clear, at this point, and doubtless there will be dangerous IMPACS-related speculations!
Francis went on, while fingering paper that may or may not have been letters and checks—possible police exhibits: “Nowhere in the world does a police force have the power that the police force exercised last week, when it wrote Alvina Reynolds, the minister for health, instructing her, Alvina Reynolds, to close down AIMU. I repeat: the RSLPF, assuming unto itself a power that no police force in the world has, wrote to the health minister Alvina Reynolds demanding that she shut down AIMU. And here was I thinking we are a democratic country . . . that when you are charged you remain innocent until proven guilty. But our police force, certain segments within the CID, and at least two other people of high-ranking profile, have decided he [AIMU’s CEO] is guilty.”
Francis assured Straight Up listeners that the prime minister was well aware of the plot involving police officers and local businessmen and he was “waiting to see what he does about it.” He also challenged skeptics to prove wrong anything he had said, in which case he would hand “Kenny Anthony my resignation from the senate.”
On Thursday the prime minister’s office issued a press release as confirmation “that the statements by Senator Claudius Francis are not inconsistent with information which has reached him [Dr. Anthony].”
It is worth noting that while Francis has persistently warned listeners to his show that his remarks while hosting Straight
Up should never be construed as coming from the mouth of the Senate President, the response from the PM’s office says the precise opposite!
The prime minister was reported as saying: “I have listened to members of the opposition calling for the resignation of Senator Claudius Francis regarding statements made on his talk show on Friday, 18 September 2015. As I stated during an interview on MBC Television on Monday 21 September, I was aware of the situation even prior to Senator Francis’ utterances. There was nothing in Senator Francis’ statements which are (sic) inconsistent with the information which had reached me previously. The issues . . . involve a small minority of police officers bent