Prime Minister of St.Kitts-Nevis is once again lamenting what is being described as the wanton spending and squandermania of the previous Dr. Denzil Douglas led administration.
In the latest edition of his Monthly Press Conference Prime MINISTER Harris highlighted the gross mismanagement of the Small Enterprise Assistance Fund (SEAF) Programme which was run by Former Ambassador and Director of SKIPA Rozlyn Hazelle. Over $11 milllion was squandered through the programme according to Prime Minister Harris.
“We regret the former government squandered EC $11million in SEAF project, which was managed by Rosalyn Hazelle at SKIPA. It was a pre election gimmick to win votes. No serious effort was made to hold beneficiaries accountable for repayment. There were cases where candidates, their families, friends were preferred to get funds purported to open businesses, and for other purposes. A candidate, his sister, his aunt, his nephew and niece were all offered large sums,” said PM Harris .
PM Harris went on to state nothing was put in place for the recovery of loans and loan payments.
“No viable business is there to show for their largesse to any of these beneficiaries. Collections have been horrible. We intend to recover the people’s money. We are not opposed to publishing the names of those owing and are yet to make proper repayment arrangements,” declared Dr. Harris
PM Harris continued “While SEAF collections were disastrously non-existent, we are hard pressed to rationalize the need to pay persons already in the public sector hefty sums while they presided over our SEAF that was neither meeting the test of accountability nor transparency. We have difficulty with the payments to such public officials as Ambassador Steve Wrensford of $50,000 and Rosalyn Hazelle of $76,000. We thank those who since the new day dawned on February 16, 2015, have begun repayments, and we invite those who are delinquent to urgently take steps to repay before the strong arm of the law takes hold.”
As of Tuesday, October 06, 2015, only 75 out of 300 persons had repaid any of their indebtedness. These repayments are a mere $171,130 from $11m disbursements.