While blasting Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis’ decision to close beaches and parks during the holiday weekend as “an abuse of power”, Wayne Munroe, QC, yesterday accused the government of being “tone-deaf to the concerns of the ordinary man”.
On Monday, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis announced the closure of all beaches and parks on Grand Bahama, Paradise Island, New Providence and its surrounding cays.
The closure will come into effect on Thursday at 10 p.m. and will end on Monday at 5 a.m.
Yesterday, Munroe told The Nassau Guardian, “It is yet another decision that is taken without any regard for the poor, the ordinary Bahamian. The prime minister and his [friends]and their friends no doubt have pools that they can go to and no doubt have boats that they can go out on.
“The man living Over-the-Hill doesn’t have a pool nor does he have a boat. He generally goes to the beach. So, it’s difficult to understand other than it’s another demonstration that they are tone-deaf to the concerns of the ordinary man.
“All of their balancing act always ends up adversely impacting poor people and benefiting rich people but I guess this is the rich people’s time.”
He said the decision exhibits “clear incompetence”.
“As we like to say: it’s sheer dumbness,” Munroe said.
“They are just a bunch of duncy boys.”
Beaches and parks on New Providence, Bimini and Grand Bahama reopened on June 29, after being closed for more than three months, as an attempt to contain the spread of COVID-19.
When he spoke in the House of Assembly on Monday, Minnis said, “I want to remind this Parliament and this Bahamian populace that we are quite aware of the surge of COVID-19 virus that is occurring in the United States, particularly Florida, Texas [and] Arizona, which I will speak to later. We are also aware what may have contributed to some of the surge.
“We are taking these matters into consideration, so as to avoid such activities in The Bahamas and possibility of introduction and consequently spread. The beaches and parks on New Providence, Paradise Island and surrounding cays and Grand Bahama will close on the 9th July at 10 p.m. when the normal curfew is, closed until the 13th July 5 a.m. on Monday.”
Munroe shot down the prime minister’s justification for the closure of the beaches and parks.
“If he is using, as a justification, the spike in cases in the U.S., one would expect that together with closing the beaches on Grand Bahama and New Providence, we would expect to see the banning of tourists entering from the U.S.,” he said.
“That is in effect what they have done in Europe. Now, it seems that he is just following fashion but he doesn’t quite know how to follow fashion because if you are going to take away people’s liberties and livelihoods, you generally pay them. That is what they do in big boy countries.”