Harold Lovell, Political Leader of the United Progressive Party (UPP) is calling out Prime Minister Gaston Browne, telling him to come clean on what he sees as “a rip-off of monumental proportions” on the SHARE, Inc. land deal.
According to Lovell, Pointe FM sits on 10,000 square feet of land that was acquired from the People in a disgraceful act of nepotism and corruption.
He says the People’s patrimony, prime waterfront real estate, has a market value of one million, five hundred thousand dollars ($1.5 m). Yet, the Cabinet agreed to sell it to SHARE, Inc., a charity run by the wife of the Prime Minister, MP Maria Bird Browne, for the peppercorn price of $30,000.
According to the Cabinet Decision of October 2015, the land and a building that sits on it were sold to the charity specifically to be used as a centre for health education and community purposes.
However, in Parliament, last week, Prime Minister Browne told Opposition Leader Jamale Pringle that SHARE, Inc. is a shareholder in Pointe FM and Pointe FM rents the building from SHARE, Inc.
Pointe FM is the radio station closely affiliated with PM Browne on which he appears weekly.
“The whole transaction appears to be a fraud,” Lovell says of the couple’s operations.
Recently, PM Browne was chastised throughout the region for bragging – on Pointe FM – about his wife’s wealth at her tender age, at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has impoverished so many. Gaston Browne publicly discriminated against the poor. He ridiculed members of the UPP who did not own a home. Lovell questions whether Browne “the bully” represents the interests of the poor.
Instead of indulging in boasting, lies and gossip on the radio station, Lovell says Browne should concentrate on managing the country’s affairs and alleviating the suffering of the people – including irregular water supply; the absence of a stimulus or relief package to those affected by the pandemic; and the continued late payment of Social Security pensions.
In the meantime, Lovell says, “The Prime Minister should come clean and tell the truth. Did the People get value for money? And where is the health education and community centre?” he asks.
Harold Lovell is beginning to question the desperate motive of Antigua’s prime minister Gaston Browne. Lovell said that besides tainting the island’s image with bribery scandals, corruption, thievery and misbehavior in public office now he has gone to far. Lovell said that he is deeply concerned about Browne, the pathological liar and a disgrace to the office of the Prime Minister and Antigua and Barbuda.
In an impassioned statement UPP Leader Harold Lovell charged that the UPP members are tired with the verbal abuse and bullying from Gaston Browne.