The constant allegations of government corruption are being heard far and wide and Premier and Minister for Finance Dr. the Hon. D. Orlando Smith is pleading with persons in the Territory to desist from unnecessarily claiming that there is corruption in the BVI.
The Premier made the appeal as one of the things he would like to see changed in 2019; Dr. Smith told the House of Assembly on 28 December that people outside of the Territory are taking the corruption announcements seriously and this is affecting the reputation of the BVI.
“It has a very serious effect on the country as a whole when all this stuff is heard by everybody else all over the world and trust me Madame Speaker everybody else all over the world listens what goes on in the BVI,” he noted.
Hon. Smith said that even officials in the United Kingdom are hearing the corruption allegations and believing what they hear: “The people in the United Kingdom listen and hear all these rumors and hear all these things about corruption and they believe it even though there is nothing proven that there is corruption here; despite the investigations that’s been going on. We have to be careful.”
Additionally, the BVI Leader said that the negativity has caused him to stop reading online news and blogs. In explaining why, he took this approach the Premier said, “If I want to continue to do what I have to do for this country I cannot fill my mind up with all these negative things.”
Hon. Smith said he wants all in the Territory to be told that they should try to be more positive in the new year, even the media: “I think that it is important that we all take that message out to the rest of our colleagues in the Territory…and to the people who take the news to us that we need more positive messages. The negativity doesn’t just affect our attitude but what it is does, it prevents us from growing and doing what we have to do.”
This is not the first time the Premier has complained about corruption accusations. In fact, during the 2015 Swearing-in ceremony for his government on June 23 Premier Smith had repeated a call for persons to desist from making statements about corruption. In fact, the Premier stated that anyone with evidence of such actions should present it.
Hon. Smith said: “It disturbs me that, even as we are making real progress in making the BVI safe and respected right around the world, there were, during this campaign allegations of corruption without even a shred of evidence.”