PM Browne says BPM’s tactics hurting fellow Barbudans

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The prime minister is accusing the opposition Barbuda People’s Movement of spreading false information to the international media about the restoration happening in Barbuda.
He said based on news reported by UK news organisations, the BPM has been making allegations of corrupt practices and misuse of funds from donors to help rebuild Barbuda.
Most of the infrastructure in Barbuda was damaged when hurricane Irma hit in early September.
The prime minister said the BPM has not provided the media or anyone with any evidence to support the claims being made.
“They have said, for example, that we have diverted funds from the relief effort to build a new airport. I have been accused as well of having equipment on the airport site, as well as, heavy equipment that is doing the clean-up in Barbuda,” he said.
“I do not even know who the operators are but these are the types of things that members of the BPM are spreading. They’re spreading propaganda designed specifically to undermine our fund-raising efforts,” he added.
The prime minister was speaking on his own radio station when he said the requirements to restore the damaged properties in Barbuda is a tough task.
He said US $18 million is needed for that part of the restoration process alone and the government is not in a position to borrow more money now.
PM Browne said the BPM is hurting, more than it’s helping, its fellow Barbudans.
He said the government has already accounted in Parliament for the portion of donated monies spent, which is $600,000. According to him, a number of pledges were made but not all the money has been given to Antigua.
Additionally, in some instances, more assessments have to be done, plus materials would not arrive until December for some of the work.
The prime minister added that the government has incurred millions of dollars feeding Barbudans who relocated to Antigua after the sister isle had to be evacuated in September.

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