CORRUPTION combined with crime could ruin this country to become a place no-one wants to live in, warned Dr Lovell Francis, Minister in the Ministry of Education, speaking in yesterday’s (Wednesday’s) Lower House debate on the Whistleblower Bill.
“If we continue to do things as we have, this country has no future. That is assured.
“That history and culture of corruption tied to a rising tide of criminality, because they are not separate, will drown all of us.”
Francis said that while culture is the hardest thing to change, it can be done with the right structures and interventions, confessing that he had taken to wearing a seatbelt when the fines were made hefty. He related several personal anecdotes of being offered bribes to help desperate constituents to expedite their property affairs, which in each case were otherwise resolved satisfactorily, as he refused any bribe.
Francis also related that thugs had targeted every single contractor linked to the building the $70 million Moruga Road, including those building box drains, most who were too afraid to report this extortion.
“They actually found a way to meet the contractors before they reached on site. They have so intimidated all contractors and all workers that people are afraid to say ‘I’m being extorted. My equipment will be damaged if I don’t adhere to this criminality’.”