by Eulana Weekes
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): Following weeks of silence on the Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis saga, the matter is now headed to the courts.
During the Monday, November 20th sitting of the National Assembly, Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis Dr. Terrance Drew gave an update on the former General manager, who has reportedly sued the Bank.
“In recent weeks, our beloved country has faced revelations that demand our attention and more importantly our commitment to justice and accountability. I therefore must inform you that Mr. Lenworth Harris, the former General Manager of St.Kitts and Nevis has filed a lawsuit against the Bank alleging wrongful dismissal. This legal action seeks hundreds of thousands of dollars in compensation for his termination. As your Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, I assure you that the bank is treating this matter with the utmost seriousness. The Development Bank plays a crucial role in our nation’s economic development and any legal dispute involving its former General Manager is a matter of public concern. I want to emphasise that the Government is committed to upholding the principles of transparency, accountability and the rule of law in this situation as in all situations.”
Prime Minister Drew said the Bank in return will defend itself from the claims of the former General Manager and will seek to recover its financial losses.
“In my capacity as the Minister of Finance, I guarantee you that the Development Bank will vigorously defend itself against Mr Harris’ claims. The Bank has also counterclaimed to recover the large sums of money missing from the Bank’s accounts and lost due to practises that were in breach of the Development Bank Act. The legal proceedings that will unfold in the coming weeks are aimed at addressing the various matters involving the gross mismanagement of the Development Bank that have come to light recently Madam Deputy Speaker. The Government is steadfast in its commitment to recovering every penny lost and taken from the Development Bank. The truth behind the financial irregularities will be fully ventilated in the High Court and will pursue all available legal avenues to hold those accountable for their actions, Madam Speaker. It is disheartening to see the misuse of public resources and the breach of trust that has occurred in this situation. Our focus remains on ensuring that justice is served and the Development Bank is made whole again.”
It was previously disclosed by Prime Minister Drew that the accounts of the Development Bank had been short of 20 million dollars. The Government sought the services of an audit firm from Barbados to conduct a second round of audit.