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. Brian Tomlinson says:

    If John John gets prosecuted, every MP and past MLA should get the same for having private roads and driveways paved.

    • Anonymous says:

      The difference is not so smart Jon Jon left a paper trail to come back and bite him in the arse.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Donkey Man spends $5000, Matt Hancock blows 23 billion on PPE provided by his Tory pals. The issue isn’t about the money, it’s about the fact that they all know that there are, and never will be, any consequences for their actions.

    The simple fact is this will never change on Cayman. It is so deeply entrenched in the culture that they can all do it so blatantly, openly and without a hint of shame or regret.

    The holy grail of election or re-election overrides any possible sense of duty, integrity, service or accountability. The current cabal of MPs may change very slightly in April but not to the degree that would invoke wholesale changes and challenges to the frankly sickening culture of ‘you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours’.

    They are bound by family ties, the lodge, the church, business interests, and the desire to keep their manky linen out of the public eye. They all have dirt on each other and will therefore protect each other to ensure they keep their position and skeletons secret.

    World class civil service? Give me a break. Certainly up there though with the world’s best chancers, liars, and charlatans. To steal a local phrase..da wha you get Cayman.

    • Anonymous says:

      This comment is so painfully honest and fully descriptive it boggles the minds of many, but who stll keep their mouths shut and do sweet FA about it.

      When things finally blow up (and I pray to all the gods including the Karma one) that things will all come to light, similar to T&C’s man Michael Misick, they will still get the Lodge Get Out of Jail Free Pass available to all properly connected Caymanians.
      We could only hope that if the results are scathing enough one would try to flee to Brazil and we can pay a buttload more money to get them extradited to face some music.

      Or not. Who cares. So, yeah. Whatever.

  3. ELVIS says:

    Relax, nothing will come of it.

    • Anonymous says:

      I see there is going to be a fundraiser for an Ambulance!!!
      Should the illegally transferred money to buy votes be reassigned to a donation for the ambulance..?

  4. Anonymous says:

    He buy votes by doing big Bodden Town beach parties, giving out free Bud-wis-sa and BBQ chicken to the drunks and bums of Bodden Town. They all do it, just different venues for the class or standard of his people in the district. Middle class people go to the Pedro St James, the rich invited to go to The Ritz or Panama.

  5. Truth says:

    This minister has been buying votes from day one. Right now there are persons under his campaign who drive around to peoples home in his district asking the people what they need. Some have already recieved their “Gifts” and are told to make sure they vote for him in the next election.

    Straight up vote buying. I dont care how you sugar coat it or attempt to deflect.

    Its WRONG……

    His ass, and those doing this for him need to go to jail and pay huge fines….

    • Anonymous says:

      Then all it takes is one honest person to record these interactions and report it to the proper authorities or make it public. But I’m not seeing anyone come forward. Makes you wonder just how many honest people with integrity there are in Cayman. Not many it seems.

      • Anonymous says:

        Report it to the proper authorities? As if they will do something? You jest!

        Experience has long taught Nebraska that rather than simply doing nothing (which would be preferable) they almost immediately whisper to those concerned they you have reported on them. Good luck with the repercussions from that.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Not the first time. Not the last.

    What other uses has our hard-earned money gone towards?

    What other inappropriate outputs, which are questionable, at the very least, has in fact been approved in the budget in 2019?

    It’s there. Need to know where to look. CPA and Auditor General, it might be worth having a glance.

    Has government employed fiscal responsibility? What might be there? Does it have shock value?

    The more you look, the more you find!

  7. Apolitico says:

    The cash may be genuinely needed to fix the roof, but why isn’t there a level playing field for all others in need? At that amount it would be a huge bill for others in need.

    I would have thought they would have obtained at least two quotes for repair of the roof? Was that done? Was the construction quote an itemized breakdown? Did the contractor kicked back any funds to the house owner on the basis of being rewarded for the job? Just saying. 🤷‍♂️

  8. Anonymous says:

    Aheerm! I wrote unna a lil poem and I can fix your roof for free! vote for your full moon candidate 😉

  9. Anonymous says:

    Imagine anywhere else in the world Minister of Health authorizes funds to fix roofs of private citizens.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Ok- it’s a transfer payment account and therefore essentially under the ministers control. But it’s also a payment of public funds and one has to ask what is the Chief Officer doing , or going to do, to stop this and highlight the error???

  11. Anonymous says:

    It’s obvious what this is and buying votes -or attempting to do so- with gifts etc is illegal under the Elections Law. But what is Wes doing about it !? Nothing.
    Just like we all know the MPs are going around with their hams and turkeys on people’s doorsteps. Everyone knows this is happening and it’s blatant. But no one is doing anything to stop it and hold people accountable.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Look on the plus side, if this guy, who is an actual idiot, can become the minister of health then literally any Caymanian can rise to high office without regard to ability, intellect or integrity. We truly have a level playing field (tho Jon Jon seems to always find a way to go downhill).

  13. Anonymous says:

    His facial expression in the picture above says it all. “No body’s home!”

    • Anonymous says:

      Alden, your teaming up with this guy is not going to inspire confidence in your political judgement.

    • Anonymous says:

      God stood me up
      And I don’t know why
      Lights are on
      But nobody’s home

  14. Anonymous says:

    It hurt and disgusted me when I saw the letter said that (healthy/safe/humane????) living conditions should be provided for all Caymanians. Why say that? Why not say all people? Why do only those who were born here deserve adequate living conditions? Oh and then I remembered. Only Caymanians can vote and keep these people in power and in their jobs with massive salaries, free medical and huge pensions (and big backhanders too I hear). I am sure every waking moment at the moment must be concerned with their thoughts about how they can get re-elected and continue living in their luxury for the rest of their lives, and therefore Caymanians, being voters, are the only people they give a damn about. But only because they vote, not for any other reason.

    • Anonymous says:

      @3:36pm Do you need a pacifier for your tantrum? What do you not understand in regards to being in a country that is not your own? In the USA or any other country in the world the same would be said that they would want to provide for all of their “citizens” born and bred or have status. And why would you have an issue with only “Caymanians” being allowed to vote in their own damn country? No one can just go to someone else’s country and decide they want to vote…it does not work that way. Yes common sense all people need to be provided with better living conditions etc etc but the Cayman Islands Government needs to put their people first. Get used to it.

      • Anonymous says:

        @3:53 – Aaaaah is this an example of the ‘Caymankind’ that Caymanians like to brag about?

      • Concerned says:

        Firstly it’s not a country and never will be because despite all the bshit about independence you don’t have the balls to do it and if you did you would soon realise the money in this place comes courtesy of expats. Secondly you are governed by the UK that at a stroke of a pen can enforce constitutional change. What don’t you get?

    • Anonymous says:

      You can go back to where you came from and should have the same rights. No need to reprimand the government for assisting its people. His actions are questionable because of how the transaction was handled and not merely because he gave it to one of his Caymanian constituents.

    • Anonymous says:

      3:36 You do realize you are now in Cayman right? Therefore Caymanians absolutely SHOULD be the priority! Every country should put their own citizens first! Besides, if you’re in a foreign country and can’t provide appropriate housing for yourself, it is best to go to your home country and get their help….as a citizen of that country.

      As far as only Caymanians being able to vote…..well, DUH! You know of any countries that allow non-citizens to vote? Let me help you answer that….nope!

      • Anonymous says:

        Name one country? How about the UK. Irish, BOTC and Commonwealth nationals are entitled to vote if resident. So you can vote in the UK but a UK national can’t vote here.

      • Anonymous says:

        Australia- British citizens registered to vote before 1984 can vote

        Barbados- Commonwealth citizens can vote

        Belize- Commonwealth citizens resident for over a year can vote

        Brazil- certain Portuguese citizens can vote

        Chile- foreigners resident for more than 5 years with a clean criminal record can vote

        Colombia- foreigners resident for more than 5 years can vite

        Cyprus- EU citizens may vote

        Czech Republic- foreigners permanently resident may vote in local elections

        Denmark- foreign residents resident for 3 years may vote in municipal and county elections

        Dominica- Commonwealth citizens may vote

        Estonia- all permanent residents may vote irrespective of nationality

        Finland- all permanently resident foreigners may vote in local and municipal elections

        Grenada- Commonwealth citizens may vote

        Guyana- Commonwealth citizens resident for over one year may vote

        Iceland- all foreigners resident for more than 5 years may vote

        Ireland- EU and British citizens may vote

        Jersey- all persons resident for at least 2 years may vote , irrespective of nationality

        Etc. etc. etc.

        So yes, I do know of a number of countries which allow non-citizens to vote, and your “help” only displays your ignorance.

        Maybe also worth noting that as Commonwealth citizens, Caymanians resident in the UK are entitled to vote in local, devolved and Parliamentary elections…

  15. Anonymous says:

    Great cartoon signature. I hope the voter and all her family vote for his opponent since they have now been dragged into the muck. Assisting her with the NAU application would have been too difficult a task for the MP I guess.

    • Anonymous says:

      So we are all judging and passing verdict without hearing the other side.

      But we would cry fowl if someone did that to us.

    • ANONYMOUS says:

      This signature of seymour is the modern equivalent of the cross “ X “ that in olden days illiterate sailors used when signing on as crew, because they couldn’t sign their own name……

  16. Anonymous says:

    Wonder how many quotes they got for comparative purposes?

  17. Anonymous says:

    Jon Jon, the gift that keeps on giving.

  18. SSM345 says:

    Who is running in the upcoming Elections with “I will rescind all laws and regulations of the Cayman Islands and if I cannot, we will ignore them all anyways” on their manifesto….?

    They all might as well; no?

  19. Anonymous says:

    Donkey riding man on full moon need to go

  20. Anonymous says:

    What’s wrong with the cayman islands voters ? Why they don’t have any common sense, is they all drunk or weeded up or what ?

    • Anonymous says:

      The lunatics have taken over the asylum.

      It only takes a few idiots to vote these idiots in. The later idiots can largely depend on family members or a few well placed financial gestures to secure a sufficient number of votes to get them over the line. That is how the so many will always be guaranteed to get their nose in the trough.

    • Anonymous says:

      1.39pm Some are simple,some drunk and some weeded up. However the biggest problem since 2003 Status giveaway is most voters are now from another country. They have never voted at home and are only interested in what they can get free thereby ruining Cayman even further.

  21. Anonymous says:

    The hit by the boomtown rats comes to mind 🙂

  22. Anonymous says:

    So Anti Corruption Commission. Where you is?

  23. Anonymous says:

    He is terrible…

  24. Anonymous says:

    #worldclass!

  25. SSM345 says:

    Can we have his explanation on one of his 50 spoken tongues/languages?

  26. #Fedup says:

    Bureacracy is killing this country, even the MPs are frustrated if they have to resort to these lengths. The problem is the MPs have no clue how to fix so they gotta be replaced.

  27. A civil servant says:

    Whether it is ineptitude or corruption on Mr. Seymour’s part, we might not have learned about it where it not for whoever leaked the letter so, thank you for having the courage to do so. Wish more of us would do the same.

    • Anonymous says:

      If appropriate, did any civil servant processing or otherwise dealing with this request file an SAR? Would they be under any obligation to – or do the rules they write only apply to the private sector?

  28. Anonymous says:

    CNS – you forgot to mention in the article whether the Anti-Corruption Commission is investigating. Seems like a smoking gun – no brainer.

  29. Anonymous says:

    No roof, no vote.

  30. Anonymous says:

    why hide it? it has been proven time and time again, rules do not apply to him, or any other person in office here.

  31. Anonymous says:

    This sort of thing was deemed illegal and unethical by the ppm when McKeeva’s ump did the same vote buying scams in 2009-2013
    The hypocrisy in local politics will never end until we get rid of the dinosaurs and crooks in office now.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Bad enough when you take money out of your own pocket to buy votes, but out of government money? Unbelievable!

    • Anonymous says:

      Hang on, what? they’re the same thing. Government money, is our money. Unless i’m missing your point?

      • Anonymous says:

        To 2:50 – that is why I said, taking it out of government money, is unbelievable, it is Not his money he is using.

        So you did miss my point!

  33. ANONYMOUS says:

    Time the Pineapple on the Island’s Coat of Arms is replaced with “ Crossed Bananas Rampant “

  34. Anonymous says:

    So, Minister Seymour hasn’t yet embraced his “MP” designation?

  35. Anonymous says:

    Not excusing because on the face this seems like blatant corruption. But it has been happening for so long and by so many politicians over the years, perhaps they think it’s normal!!

    Disgusting!!

    Betcha nothing happens except voter gets a new roof! BTW, my own roof repair estimate came in this week. Wonder if my rep will pay for it, now it’s election season! Bet he would if I asked and promised 5 votes!!

    Disgusting!!

    Classic case of Cayman politics since Jim Bodden – not what you can do for us as a community but what you can do for me and mine!!

    • anon says:

      11.57am Please don’t besmirch the name of our first National Hero, he was a financial wizard who managed to die owing money to just about every bank on the island, and was handy with a bulldozer too.

  36. Anonymous says:

    All you haters need to shut up. Honorable Seymour is a great Christian man who is only helping his fellow Caymanian. The contractor shown is also a upright company who always do a first rate job and are always going the extra mile. You people just always try to find something wrong with what Honorable Seymour does, shame on you.

    • Anonymous says:

      11:47, honorable, are u drunk, or just being foolish or both ?

    • Anonymous says:

      Honorable men usually hide in bushes to beat people up? Honorable men talk down to women? Honorable men poke fun gay caymanians? Honorable men put everyone at risk by allowing their wife to let in a personal trainer during lockdown? Glad you got your new roof though.

    • Anonymous says:

      did he give you a turkey or ham?

    • Anonymous says:

      Lol, and that everyone is a snap shot of the the thinking of the average voter and why we have numpties in power.

    • Anonymous says:

      Who owns the company doing the roof work?

  37. Anonymous says:

    Guess she didnt like his offer or a microwave or a fridge.

  38. Anonymous says:

    Let’s all wait with baited breath for the consequences to the homeowner who sold their vote and the Minister who bought it! (Please don’t do that you will die of lack of oxygen before anything happens to these people.)

  39. Wonkey says:

    Full moon soon. Didn’t want the moonlight to shine in and make them feel sexy.-lol

  40. Anonymous says:

    Let’s watch Alden brush it under the supermac carpet and pretend it didn’t happen. Total lack of accountability.

  41. Anonymous says:

    RCIPS?

    • Anonymous says:

      They are a farce, not a force. They may as well be complicit in much of the crap that goes on around here. Illegal tint seems invisible to them. How are they going to spot potential corruption?

  42. caymanian says:

    Drive around West Bay and see how many NEW drive ways with marl and gravel there are.

  43. Concerned says:

    In an advanced country this would result in his arrest.
    Not only does this show the levels of corruption in Cayman, it also shows the standard of individual running in the election.
    This guy isn’t fit for office and the fact he thinks he can do something like this so openly shows his ineptitude.
    The central issue in Cayman is the ridiculously low number of votes needed to get elected. It leaves the election open to abuse. And they say the US election was rigged, try coming here and watching.

    • Anonymous says:

      11:26 am, your are 100 % right. Corruption running wild in Cayman. They just gave themselves a big raise in pay and another 3 months pay if they lose the election. And they call themselves honorable, ha, what a big joke. The voters are so stupid. They will vote them right back in, sad, so very sad.

    • SSM345 says:

      You get more likes on a FB post than you need to win your constituency that you don’t even reside in…yet voters can only vote for those Muppets in their constituency…..says it all really.

  44. Anonymous says:

    Integrity in Government is a thing of the past in Cayman and sadly the Cayman voters don’t seem to care. the upcoming election will be critical to our future but these criminals have their hooks in too deep for us to get rid of them. Integrity matters so little that it looks like a recently convicted criminal will be unchallenged for his spot in WBW and a habitual drunk driver will be challenging the incumbent in WBN. Then this news about blatant political favors by Dwayne Seymour is enough to make Cayman feel like a bad satirical comedy movie.

  45. anon says:

    I’m sure that photo was taken at a news briefing and he’s thinking “how in hell am I going to answer that question without looking stupid?”.

  46. Anonymous says:

    Dear Anti-corruption Committee,

    Please investigate this ASAP.

    Dear Auditor General,

    Please audit all of John John’s expenditures during his tenure.

    Please help save us from Franz Manderson’s World Class Corruption Service.

    • Concerned says:

      You know, the ridiculous thing is, you shouldn’t even be asking ACC and the Auditors office to investigate. Part of the problem is these quangos let it slip by. I hear the ACC get told what they can and cannot investigate. Kinda dumbs down that agency don’t you think? I mean who is doing the ‘telling’?

  47. Anonymous says:

    my my my…what a surprise….NOT

    • Anonymous says:

      If Mac can do it and get away with it, so can Jon Jon, even if he is using his ministry’s money.

  48. Anonymous says:

    Numpty!

  49. Anonymous says:

    It continues!!!! Vote buying!!!! Is this ethically, morally and legally wrong?

    • Anonymous says:

      Fixing an old lady’s roof might seem to be morally acceptable, but not if for the purpose of procuring her vote in a pre-election runoff where he stands as a candidate in that district. Ethically, and legally it is very clearly not allowed, and he would know that. The question will be if anyone in the Cayman Islands (including those running in opposition on campaign banners of good governance) will bother to report and sign-off on the proper complaint forms to SIPL Committee and Elections Oversight Committees, and whether those members will in-turn, refer this on to RCIPS in a timely manner, and/or disqualify the candidate as should properly happen…

    • Anonymous says:

      With public money especially so yes. Even if he used his own money it would be bad as well.

  50. Anonymous says:

    Yawn – another day in the Banana Republic…….

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