September 26, 2020

The Editor Speaks: Will all the glue in the premier’s pot be enough to put CHEC back together again?


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With even more revelations concerning bribery (see our lead story today “More serious allegations made about CHEC”) that was sent to us by Jamaica’s Office of the Contractor General (OCG), and the mounting questions concerning the suitability of China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) to construct our port project, the premier’s office issued a statement saying everything is fine and they are happy to continue the negotiations (see our story “Bush is still happy with CHEC”).

But it seems every week more cracks appear in the china with pieces actually falling off.

Hon. McKeeva Bush’s statement contains phrases such as, “our understanding”, “does not seem”, “government believes” and “it is evident” and makes the conclusion, “CIG does not see cause to believe that CHEC is legally or morally responsible for the actions which led to the original debarment of China Road and Bridge Corporation by the World Bank. There is therefore no indication that valid grounds exist for discontinuing our dealings with CHEC.

It concludes with:

“Given the many years of discussing and negotiating the port project, this Government believes that CHEC offers the best value for money to the Cayman Islands; namely because CHEC is the only company to offer the Islands terms that would enable us to attain realistic value for the leveraging of our assets.

“The Cayman Islands Government remains vigilant and will only conduct business with companies that can pass the closest scrutiny. CIG has conducted and will continue to conduct appropriate due diligence before any binding final agreements are signed.”

I am sure this will set all our minds at rest and the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office will equally be impressed ……?

I am just a little worried still. With all this due diligence that has been continually executed, presumably Mr. Bush and, of course, Ellio Solomon- our chief negotiator on the Port project, knew all about these revelations? So, why didn’t this surface before? I get the impression, though, from the premier’s office release they were not previously aware of this. Or, perhaps, Mr. Bush didn’t want us to know?

Sorry. How could I possibly think that? Open government, right? (Knuckles wrapped hard!)

Still, I sincerely hope that huge (it must be extra huge now) pot of glue will be able to put back CHEC together again. Look what happened to Humpty?



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