Published On: Tue, Aug 21st, 2012

Combine forces and deal with the many corruption scandals on Bonaire

KRALENDIJK — There are many scandals on Bonaire, such as the Flamingo Paradise, the Warahama-case, the Parker affair, Esmeralda Beach, Klein Bonaire, Flamingo Airport, Sunset Beach, Punt Vierkant, Sorobon, Telbo, Eneco Pier and now WEB/Ecopower. These have deeply wounded the community. Therefore, the entire community must combine forces and deal with this now, said Norwin ‘Nochi’ Willem, chairman of Fundashon Bon Gobernashon, former deputy, former Island Council member and chairman of the union of Bopec-employees, BPWU. “We fear the sewage project could be the next scandal”, said Willem.

According to Willem, the scandals not only give the island a bad reputation but certain Dutch politicians accuse local politicians time after time of corruption. What’s worse is that this will cost the people dearly.

Expensive properties that could have been used for recreational purposes for the population are given away to speculators, while decision-makers line their pockets. Enormous debts are made, which the population is to pay through tax increases, new taxes and price rises of the electricity rates for example.

A review from Willem, one of the writers of the Black Book, to gain insight into the various properties that the community lost due to dubious transactions, shows that the magnificent coastline south of Punt Vierkant and Esmeralda were given away, the beautiful area at Sunset Beach Hotel and the pier in Kralendijk. These are all properties that could have been made recreational areas.

Willem also calculated how much money these scandals had cost the population, directly and indirectly. Willem: “We estimated over 100 million guilders, if Parker alone costs 91 million, Flamingo Airport 1.7 million, Klein Bonaire 3.3 million, Sunset Beach 4 million and WEB 14 million, excluding the legal costs the government had to pay. Much of this money could have been used for the welfare of the population, such as road repair, new roads, maintenance of sports fields and new sports fields, training centers and modernizing the districts.

Willem urges authorities, for instance the lieutenant governor, to monitor the integrity of the governors, the administrative machinery and government companies, and ensure observance of the principles of corporate governance.

He urges the Island Council to introduce enactments to supervise these matters. Social partners, trade unions, the private sector, spiritual groups and journalist must combine forces to halt this evil tendency afflicting the community for years, said Willem.

Willem: “The current situation will definitely lead to destruction of the morality in the community, create social unrest, could affect the public order and even encourage asocial behavior or crime. That’s why we have to take action now.”

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