Minister signs off public cash to mend voter’s roof

| 23/02/2021 | 161 Comments
Cayman News Service
Health Minister Dwayne Seymour

(CNS): The health minister has personally signed off on a $5,000 payment for home repairs for a registered voter who lives in his constituency of Bodden Town East, according to a letter leaked to CNS. Although Caymanians can apply for government assistance to help with critical repairs to properties they cannot afford to undertake themselves, those in need usually go through an application process via the Needs Assessment Unit.

Letter from Dwayne Seymour re payment for house repairs, 18 Feb 2021 (Click to enlarge)

In this case, however, it appears that Dwayne Seymour is using transfer payments from his own ministry to cover the cost of roof repairs for the constituent, made clear in the letter dated Thursday of last week.

The correspondence appears to have been hastily copied and cuts off one or two words on the margins, but the content is still clear. It is addressed to a construction company doing the work at the constituent’s property and the minister clearly asks the company to contact his ministry’s finance team to collect the cheque for the work they are doing once it has been prepared. Seymour also notes that he and his ministry are pleased to help with the repairs.

While the minister is responsible for the National Housing and Development Trust, this property appears to be a private home in the Belford Estates and not an NHDT property. This means that under normal circumstances, funds for such an expenditure, if approved, should come from the community affairs ministry’s budget.

In 2019, Premier Alden McLaughlin secured around CI$1.66 million additional spending to repair the homes of the most vulnerable in this current budget cycle. At that time he said that those needing public cash for home repairs must go through the proper process.

Speaking in the Legislative Assembly, he said that government had to be careful that the money allocated to this programme was not being abused and that certain criteria had to be met to access the money.

Public Accounts Committee Chair Ezzard Miller told CNS that this letter appeared to indicate an irregular use of the ministry’s transfer payments. He explained that when transfer payments are made to a ministry, they are made for specific reasons and any deviation from the voted use would have to be approved by Cabinet and then brought before Finance Committee.

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Category: 2021 General Elections, Elections, Politics

Comments (161)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The same group telling McKeeva to do the right thing, should now be doing the same here.

    I am not defending McKeeva or anyone who has actually assaulted a woman BUT if you’re going to hold leaders morally accountable this type of handling of our funds should not go unnoticed or not subject to consequences.

    At least return the government money!

  2. They’re all corrupt says:

    Batabano will be donating all proceeds raised this year to HSA who can’t seem to afford to replace their own dialysis machine. And yet this is OK?

  3. Anonymous says:

    LOL…this was just of one incident that we found out about.

  4. Anonymous says:

    The people in his district that votes for him are truly the stupid ones,

  5. Anonymous says:

    And just like that thousands of voters will now back the fool again. Who wouldn’t vote for the man who gives the gift of care and support above and beyond what the law allows for? This is Caymanian style politics. Don’t like it then go back to your home where things like that are illegal. Nothing you can do will change things here.

    • Anonymous says:

      Wrong, it is Jamaican style politics being promoted in Bodden Town, Newlands and West Bay.

      • Anonymous says:

        We already have Jamaican inspired criminals, their drugs, their driving and antisocial habits, multiple baby mamas at NAU and now we also have their politics and politicians.
        Wake up Cayman, they are now stealing your way of life.

  6. Anonymous says:

    My car needs new struts from all the sleeping police here..can u help me out John John

  7. Anonymous says:

    So tired of the uselessness. Aren’t you?

  8. Anonymous says:

    He genuinely appears like he might struggle to tie shoelaces.

  9. Anonymous says:

    The lights are on but nobody’s home. Indeed however a useful idiot for Alden.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Grand Caymans very own Robin Hood. Take from everyone and give to a friend.(not a voter selling his vote) because that would be something God talked to him about yesterday.

    • Anonymous says:

      And the recipients of the roof repair gift is a resident of Jon Jon’s district owning 6 rental apartments…according to CMR.
      Stinks don’t it. ?

  11. Anonymous says:

    What the heck?

    Don’t suppose the recipient wanted her name released.

    It will open the flood gates for assistance, if one family can benefit from this ‘fund’ why can’t others?

    • Anonymous says:

      Then she shouldn’t have gotten tied up in politricks! Her situation should have been addressed by NAU and, the bonus is, they would have maintained her privacy.

      • Anonymous says:

        If she owns 6 rental apartments as alleged one suspects she may have struggled to qualify for NAU assistance.

        • Anonymous says:

          Worse yet! If she owns 6 rental apartments, she shouldn’t need NAU assistance. This $hitshow just keeps getting crazier and crazier.

  12. The law requires INTENT for a criminal conviction says:

    According to the Penal Code, Section 7(2) INTENTION: MOTIVE states that “Unless the intention to cause a particular result is EXPRESSLY DECLARED to be an element of an offence constituted in whole or in part by an act or omission, the result intended to be cause by an act or omission is WHOLLY IMMATERIAL.”

    So where’s the alleged vote-buying intent that the Minister is accused of?

    Where’s the letter or the video of the Minister stating that the reason he approved this named voter in his constituency the $5,000 funding for roof repairs is on the express condition that she vote for him?

    If you don’t have an EXPRESS DECLARATION as required by law, then it appears that the intent for the $5,000 roof repair approval was to fix the holes in the roof and ceiling as stated in the letter, NOT to buy her vote.

    • Anonymous says:

      LOL. So your interpretation of the law is that unless the criminal openly states he is trying to commit the crime, they skate?

      Did it ever cross your mind that the express declaration is in relation to the charge brought – the Crown has to openly plead intention to commit the offence – not a requirement that the accused has to have issued an express declaration that they intended to do so. That is entirely consistent with the concept of men’s team – that there must be conscious dishonest or a reckless disregard to the consequences. Whereas your interpretation would be that unless people openly stated that they intended to break the law they couldn’t be charged with the offence, which would be insane. Dwayne may be stupid enough to send the contractor a completely unnecessary letter saying what’s he’s done, but even he is not going to add a line saying he did so with the express intention of buying votes.

      • Anonymous says:

        Listen, the threshold that the prosecution is required by law to meet might not be convenient to your agenda, but the law is still the law.

        It is necessary for the prosecution to ensure that every accused person is given their ABSOLUTE DUE PROCESS, especially in order to seek a conviction on whether the Minister ALLEGEDLY criminally attempted to buy his constituent’s vote by paying for her home repairs, like certain people have defamatorily PUBLISHED FALSE STATEMENTS against him.

        He did something that is within his ministerial remit to do, but certain people have illegally accused him that he did that to buy votes.

        Malicious defamation of vote buying with NO PROOF OF VOTE BUYING could lead you being found criminally liable and convicted of PUBLISHING FALSE STATEMENTS.

        According to the Penal Code, Section 64(1) PUBLICATION OF FALSE STATEMENT, ETC., LIKELY TO CAUSE FEAR AND ALARM TO THE PUBLIC states that “A person who publishes any false statement, rumour or report which is likely to cause fear or alarm to the public or to disturb the public peace commits an offence and is liable to a fine of $5,000 and to imprisonment for 5 years.”

        You just better have proof, along with that letter that you keep referring to, that his intention wasn’t to fix the roof so that his voter could live in premises which are fit for human habitation.

        • Anonymous says:

          Dear God, are you one of those brilliant ‘lawyers’ employed by the DPP or AG?

          • Anonymous says:

            The CAPITALIZATION of sections of the written law to add emphasis would seem to suggest that we are dealing with one of Caymans expert legal minds – one completely blind to the fact that the “letter you keep referring to” is actually attached to the article.

        • Anonymous says:

          To 1:56pm: you must think we are learning-challenged. Why would an MP sign such a letter except in an attempt to bypass the law? How many such letters did he sign before? Do not pretend to insult our intelligence. You could be a lawyer, but we have plain common sense!

        • SSM345 says:

          1:56, Are you John-John’s legal counsel?

    • Anonymous says:

      You’ve completely misunderstood that 12:23. Hope you’re not a lawyer. The section means that, unless the law expressly requires intent to be demonstrated, then intention is NOT relevant to whether the offence was committed or not. So in Jon Jon’s case it doesn’t matter what he intended unless he is charged with an offence that requires intention.

      I think we can all agree he is not capable of forming intentions or other coherent thoughts.

    • Anonymous says:

      You obviously are one of the many that follow the Pirate code. Just like CIG tribe. Your time is almost up. Everyone else in the world is following the laws of man. Don’t like it? I hear they still adhere to the code in Cuba. Plan on leaving for there.

  13. Anonymous says:

    The very first thing that should be done for the new MPs after the election is intense Conflicts of Interests training.

    It is just unbelievable how many of these things are uncovered. And I’m sure even more staggering are the amount of conflicts that none of us know about.

    • Anonymous says:

      Your thesis is that they do this through ignorance of the law or an understanding of ethics, and simply explaining to them that’s it’s wrong would stop it. They know perfect well that it’s wrong – but they do it anyway. Your idea is like giving racial sensitivity training to a KKK member.

    • SSM345 says:

      “first thing that should be done for the new MPs after the election”

      Much better if that be done before Elections as part of their screening process and then after the first 6 months in office (should they make it into the ring).

  14. Anonymous says:

    The man is a genius. Everyone else does it under the table. He puts it on ministerial letterhead when there is absolutely no need to do that. That’s on par with Mac sending the Stan Thomas letter from his office fax

    • Anonymous says:

      You mean Richard Parchment accidentally sending the Stan Thomas letter when Mac honestly, truly, clean-hands-and-pure-heart didn’t ask him to.

  15. Anonymous says:

    I said before: WE put dishonorable people in government with our votes. And this happens everywhere; the honest people refuse to vie for public office and that leaves the seats up for grabs by the MacBeaters, the moon men, the pompous, the zealots, etc. We need qualified and ethical people to run. For example, I refuse to believe that there are not two qualified, hard-working, honest people out of 1,240 voters in WBW to compete for MacBeater’s seat.

    • Anonymous says:

      Look at who votes for the likes of Seymour, MacKeeva and Saunders and then weep for the future of Cayman.

      • Anonymous says:

        I think you shouldn’t classify Saunders in the same league as McKeeva and John John. He has long time to go to get as low as them.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, there ARE eligible, capable, honest and qualified people “on the sidelines?” in every constituency but many of them would never taint their names by the expected backscratching, brotherhood corruption and/or become ensnared in the “hand-out” mentality……(unless enough of that type would be elected and ally).

      That is sad because that doesn’t lead to change, no matter which election. What is does is leads to political “dynasties” and that’s never good.

      Mind you, I’m refreshed to see the re-emergence of some candidates in this election and I believe that some new to the “ring” have their hearts in the right place, so that’s a plus. It would be interesting and positive, I think, if all those were able to be elected and provide what I personally feel could be a good alternative to the status quo, and perhaps seek to make the changes to what’s wrong with the entire system. But would/could they get sucked in and swallowed-up by the system? Personal integrity decides that!!

      Yes, a systematic change is needed, for the better. Hope the “new wave” and the re-entrants are successful. All the best!

  16. Political immunity says the Crown says:

    Truth unfortunately he is not only one I agree it’s certainly much more blatant but in all the districts barring 2 the money flowing and is being doled out fist over hand one candidate in George Town is not even campaigning and is using political handlers with cash in hand to bribe block controlled voters .The handlers themselves are making huge amounts driving around with Wads of cash in their vehicles which is extremely dangerous for potential robbery from a crime stand point. How come Jon Jon gets singled out besides you can’t convict a political menace in a UK territory that has no corruption or supports the Crown. come on Mann you serious! Roper says elections are free and fair didn’t you get the Memo??

  17. Anonymous says:

    He is the perfect representation of a uneducated, and backward facing culture of fools. A Perfect fit. Why change what is working?

    • Anonymous says:

      He’s proof that the uneducated can make it to the top so that’s a win for the Education Ministry and another reason for them not to fix anything in Govt schools because it’s clearly working.

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