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Stuart’s challenge

HEATHER-LYNN EVANSON, [email protected]

Stuart’s challenge

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Spill the beans, Dale Marshall. That’s the call from Prime Minister Freundel Stuart to Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) spokesperson on crime Dale Marshall who on Saturday alleged that corruption in Barbados had reached startling levels.

Marshall made the disclosure at a BLP press conference where he said “corruption appears to be at an unprecedented level” and said Prime Minister Stuart should have been “ashamed” to defend the 1929 Prevention of Corruption Act as “adequate to deal with today’s problems”.

But last night at the Alexandra School, Stuart tore into Marshall, saying any parliamentarian who could say “empirically” that “corruption has reached unprecedented levels is basically saying not only that corruption exists, but that he knows who the corrupted are, because you can only say it is on the increase if you know who is causing the increase”.

He called on Marshall to take his information to the Director of Public Prosecutions so people could be brought before the law courts.

“I challenge Mr Marshall tonight, if you know where the corruption is and who the corrupt people are, I challenge you to assert the powers of your personal convictions and put your person where your mouth is.

“Do not come to me and I would not advise that you bother the Commissioner of Police with it either. Go to the Director of Public Prosecutions whom no one can instruct and demonstrate to Barbadians, for a change, that you are prepared to stand up and defend the right of this society and protect its values,” he declared as those drawn from the St Peter and St Lucy constituencies cheered him on.

He also urged Marshall to show he was willing to appear before any court to back up his claim that people had been open to corruption.

“I can afford to challenge him because I know the (person) I am talking about,” Stuart said to rousing applause.

“He cannot do it. But what he can do is drop remarks and drop these general statements in the hope that something would stick,” the Prime Minister declared, urging Marshall to take up his challenge.

He further urged the BLP to take the media on a tour of the multimillion-dollar house it was alleging Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler had built in Rolling Hills, St George, since, he said, the allegation, which was circulating on social media, came from the “polluted lagoon” of the BLP.

Stuart however refused to take any questions from the DAILY NATION after the meeting, particularly on the sudden announcement of St John Mara Thompson’s decision not to contest the next general elections. (HLE)