By Fred Sturrup | GB News Editor | [email protected]
National Security Minister Wayne Munroe is deemed by many to be out of order for comments made regarding a plea agreement which enabled a man recently convicted of having intercourse with a minor to receive a prison term of just four years.
He was quoted:”If I was advising the accused and someone gets seven years for raping somebody, I wouldn’t be advising my client to agree to four years for unlawful intercourse. I would say that if we go to court, you would say to the judge, “He didn’t rape her. She consented.” A release from the Ministry of National Security claimed that Minister Munroe was regretful that his comments “caused concern.” His defense continued with the following: “When I provide my analysis of a legal matter, as I have done in recent interviews, I do draw upon decades of experience practicing law.”
Indeed, Munroe is a noted attorney; but in his capacity as Minister of National Security, he does not have the luxury to act or think, only, as a lawyer. Protocol dictates that he functions, in particular while in public, in the interest of his ministry. He seems, based on his comments, sympathetic to the convicted individual, and not very much concerned that a child under the age of 16 has been interfered with sexually, her innocence violated. Quite frankly, at that age, she is unable to give legal consent.
From throughout this country and the wider Caribbean Region, reportedly the outcry against Munroe has been great. He thus sits, it is submitted, as a cancer in the Cabinet of the Most Honourable Prime Minister Philip Davis. Cancer should be removed.
PM Davis is batting on a really fine wicket. His detractors are hard pressed to criticize him with any sense of logic. His cabinet ministers can be his downfall though. Voters have long memories. I suggest that the prime minister takes his mind back to the 2002-2007 first Progressive Liberal Party governance term of Perry Gladstone Christie. The economy was booming, things were going well in the nation; but Christie lost respect when he failed to handle properly, in the view held here, the BAIC (Bahamas Agriculture and Industrial Corporation) debacle and several other national matters of great concern.
The same can happen to Davis four and a half years down the road.
PM Davis, I urge you to remember how Sir Lynden Pindling functioned as prime minister, especially during those early years of a quarter of a century of leadership. I mention for emphasis the names of Simeon Bowe and Ervin Knowles. There was the case of the PVC pipes. It was a huge controversy, although Bowe was not thought to be personally involved. Bowe was a dear friend of the then prime minister and one of the heroes of the eastern district. He stepped down from his ministry post, however, so the government could move forward without that baggage.
In the case of Knowles, a matter regarding a contract for BAIC was his downfall. Just like Bowe, he was very close to Sir Lynden, and not known to have been the culprit. However, it was on his watch and convention dictated the honourable path. Knowles took it.
This controversy Munroe is now involved in, is highly sensitive and he is in a quandary of his own doing. The matter won’t die.