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New Providence Representative
The Free National Movement
Deputy Prime Minister and Deputy Leader
The Free National Movement
Deputy Prime Minister
The Free National Movement
Member of Parliament
Bachelor of Science Degree with Honours
Politics and Law
Bahamaspress.com » Roberts brands ZNS Use of Board Member’s Company as Conflict
This matter is very similar to the relationship between the Airport Authority and a company that was partially owned by Mr. Brent Symonette and family members, which company was contracted to perform work at Nassau International Airport while Mr. Symonette served as the Chairman of the Airport Authority which granted the contract.
When The Progressive Liberal Party exposed this blatant conflict of interest, Prime Minister Ingraham required Mr. Symonette to resign from the board of the Airport Authority.
Fred Mitchell Uncensored.Com For June 2001
Mr. Roberts charged that Brent Symonette, son of the UBP's Premier Roland Symonette and Chairman of the Airport Authority; Frank Watson, Deputy Prime Minister and James Knowles Minister for Agriculture were in involved in corrupt activities.
In Mr. Symonette's case, he owns a company that he gave the contract to pave the road around the Nassau International Airport of which he is the Chairman of the owning authority. Then the fool went to the press and agreed that he did own the company and did in fact award the contract it, but said that his brother was the majority shareholder not him. A distinction without a difference. A clear conflict of interest. BRENT SYMONETTE IS GONE... BRENT SYMONETTE IS GONE Last week, we carried the headline that highlighted three members of the Ingraham Government that were alleged to be corrupt. Bradley Roberts Chairman of the PLP demanded their resignations: Brent Symonette (pictured), Head of the Airport Authority; Frank Watson, Deputy Prime Minister and James Knowles, Minister of Agriculture. Brent Symonette has resigned. He went down like a fly. He must now bear the label corrupt. He took a parting shot in his resignation directed by the Prime Minister on Wednesday 20th June. He said that he hoped that Mr. Roberts' allegations did not come about as a result of his efforts to collect moneys owed to the Airport Authority by a company which has a lease at the airport in which Mr. Roberts has shares. Stupid man! He does not get the point. Mr. Symonette who is the son for the first Premier of The Bahamas Sir Roland Symonette learned nothing from his father's political experience. On Thursday 21 June, Brent Symonette, still not realizing the magnitude of his folly, issued a statement in which he said that after he is vindicated he would return to active politics. This followed the story in the Bahama Journal that the Chief Slave Hubert Ingraham has decided that Brent can no longer run for the UBP's seat in Montagu, a basically all white constituency. Of course, the ethics don't matter to those people who are FNM in Montagu. The only thing that matters is the colour of his skin and the fact that he is an FNM. But interestingly enough it confirms what we had been saying that William Allen, the hapless Minister of Finance and present Montagu representative is out and Brent is in. Wouldn't you have liked to have been a fly on the wall when Lady Symonette, the dowager Queen of the United Bahamian Party (UBP) got the call that her Chief Slave Hubert Ingraham, the man they had bought and paid for was going to fire Brent Symonette her well beloved son. The uppity overseer has the temerity to fire the Mistresses' son. But the public must really see through this scam. The key to all of this is the orchestrated resignation of Brent Symonette. In the middle of a news conference on Tuesday 19 June, Mr. Symonette announced that he was resigning as Chairman of the Airport Authority. He had been invited to tender his resignation by the Minister of Transport C. A. Smith. Now the reason why Mr. Smith invited Mr. Symonette to resign according to Mr. Symonette: "… Was my failure to have communicated the issue of this contract to the Board of Directors of the Airport Authority. Mr. Symonette who is already a rich man could not be satisfied with what he has. He and his family want more. This is the same man who accused the PLP of playing the race card when the PLP denounced his awarding a contract to Americans to run a parking lot at the Bahamian airport in Nassau. Mind you he went to school at St. Andrew's when the school was a whites only institution. But there's more. A day hadn't gone by when Wendall Jones' Bahama Journal published a story indicating that Mr. Symonette would not be getting the Montagu nomination because of the crooked deal that he had done. Now the uppity Negro Chief Slave had gone too far. If Brent Symonette had to resign because he was involved in a conflict of interest with the allocation of a Government contract, then certainly Frank Watson (pictured in this Tribune photo) must go as well.
BahamasUncensored.Com Archive - August 2002
BRENT SYMONETTE ON BEING WHITE AND FNM...
BRENT SYMONETTE ON BEING WHITE AND FNM Brent Symonette is one of only three whites in the Parliament of The Bahamas. He is the lone MP elected for the FNM from New Providence. He is the son of a former Premier Sir Roland Symonette. The FNM is looking around for Leadership. He is independently wealthy with a net worth declared of some fifteen million dollars. Naturally some people have asked the question whether or not he is the person to whom the FNM should look to get itself out of the political doldrums. Mr. Symonette discussed the question on radio Tuesday 6th August. He said that there ought to be a leadership convention soon for the FNM. He did not say whether or not he would run. But he did acknowledge that many people had put his name forward. He then raised the question of race. Said he: "It has to be clear, if there's a strong feeling against me as Brent Symonette, either because of my father being a former Prime Minister or my father being a UBP, or me being white or me being independently wealthy or me living in Montagu, there's no point in fighting that uphill battle." Things that make you go: hmmm! All we would say is don't sleep on this fellow. He is aggressively ambitious and wishes to succeed his father to the office, white or not. You can bet that this salvo on the radio is part of a strategy that he is employing. He knows that in order to conquer the stigma, he has to broach the subject head on and be able to get the discussions on race going in the Black community.
We go further than the Prime Minister; the FNM wants the Bank of The Bahamas to go to Brent Symonette, the former Deputy Prime Minister who is a major shareholder in a competing bank Commonwealth Bank.
BahamasUncensored.Com Archive - December 2002
Brent Symonette, the FNM's Member of Parliament for Montagu (pictured) is not known for elegance of language but seemed inspired as he spoke near the end of the debate on a tiny bill put forward by the Government on Thursday 29th November in the House of Assembly to amend the Business Licence Act.
Nothing of course warms the heart of an FNM more than foreign businessmen, but notwithstanding our cheek, Mr. Symonette had a point. His point was that in an economy that requires foreign investment to survive, one should not be sending out signals from the front bench that the Government does not welcome foreigners to the country. In this regard, he said that all of us had better pray that there is some big job down the pipeline because when that job comes it creates jobs for Bahamian workers. And right now he said there was nothing in the pipeline to create projects that will provide jobs. The Prime Minister on his feet expressed similar concern to that of Mr. Symonette. He admitted in the House that we need those jobs in the pipeline. And he said that the issue of protecting Bahamians is one that the Parliament should not divide on. We all know of the problems we face with foreign contractors competing with Bahamians. But the question that was rightly asked is whether or not this was the way forward. The Bill now goes to Committee. The Parliament was rightly sobered by Mr. Symonette's warning. Interestingly, Mr. Symonette can talk about fitness to be a Minister when he was removed as Chairman of the Airport Authority for being in a conflict of interest when he awarded a contract to do repairs at the Nassau International Airport to a company that was in part beneficially owned by himself. Mr. Allen, we believe, has seen the move being played out by Brent Symonette, the man with a plan and purpose to become the next leader of the FNM. We have been told that we should watch Brent in the House of Assembly as he goes head to head with the PLP. We are also informed that Brent has grown tired of the inactivity of his party. This week, to our surprise, he was reportedly able to pick up two endorsements; one from a local clergyman and another from a high ranking cleric whose view is for our democracy to be strong. BRENT SYMONETTE ON LYFORD CAY... BRENT SYMONETTE ON LYFORD CAY What brought the Prime Minister to the House was a comment by Mr. Symonette that some 75 people had resigned as members of the Lyford Cay Club. The Prime Minister said that by leaving the matter hanging as it was Mr. Symonette was giving the clear impression that it was the policies of the PLP that had led to the resignations of the Lyford Cay Club members. One Grand Bahama FNM power travelled to the 'Same Ole Place' restaurant in Nassau this week with his message of Brent Symonette for leader of the FNM: "They have had there time," he was told.