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Hon Penn accuses Gov’t of victimisation; Hon Fahie fires back

Hon Penn accuses Gov’t of victimisation; Hon Fahie fires back

Opposition Leader, Honourable Marlon A. Penn (R8) has accused the Virgin Islands Government of victimisation, alleging that the post of Events Coordinator held by Rosemary Cindy Rosan-Jones being made redundant by the BVI Tourist Board (BVITB), a statutory body, was because she is a staunch critic of the sitting administration.

Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) has; however, refuted the claims of the Opposition Leader, but also used the opportunity to point out that it was the National Democratic Party (NDP) Administration that had developed a reputation for glaring acts of victimisation against its own Virgin Islands people.

While giving his contribution to the Budget Debate during the Second Sitting of the Third Session of the Fourth House of Assembly (HoA) held at Save the Seed Energy Centre in Duff's Bottom, Tortola, on Monday, December 14, 2020, Hon Penn read excerpts of the letter given to Ms Rosan-Jones by the BVITB on December 11, 2020, remarking that the BVI Tourist Board “just so happened” to be restructuring and Rosan-Jones “just so happened” to be the one let go.

“This is the same person who cut our behind when we were in power the last time, never got a letter, never was intimidated because of democracy. In a democracy, people have a right to express their views in a democracy. And then we use our young Virgin Islander to do this dirty work?” he said, referring to the new Director of the BVITB Clive McCoy, whose signature is affixed to the letter as the author.

Hon Penn continued: “Is this what BVI Love is? Is this what BVI Love represents? A mother of three in the heart of a pandemic is sent home? We couldn’t find anywhere else for this person to work and earn a living in her country because of her outspokenness? This cannot be BVI Love? Are we saying that anyone who speaks out against the government in any way should be in fear of losing their job or being victimised? So is the Governor really telling the truth? This cannot be the direction that we are going as a territory.”


Hon Marlon A. Penn  has alleged that the post of Events Coordinator held by Rosemary Cindy Rosan-Jones being made redundant by the BVI Tourist Board (BVITB), a statutory body, was because she is a staunch critic of the sitting administration.

Freedom of speech


The Opposition leader then pointed out that the Virgin Islands Constitution makes provision for free speech.

“We are talking about constitutional review; there is freedom of speech in the constitution. Persons shouldn’t be fearful of losing their livelihoods because they have a say in their country of their birth! Is this the tenor we want to look at with this constitutional review?

“At the same time, we see in the budget $8 million for other consultancies. We have consultants on the ground from all walks of life from all over the place, up to now you cannot get a report on what them do, you cannot get a report on their contract or their level of engagement, but this daughter of the soil with immediate effect is sent to the street,” he lamented.

Penn further said he is waiting to hear that this is ‘Fake News’.

He explained: “Because we know whenever these things come up we get a bulletin full speed saying its fake news. So I am waiting for the fake news stamp.”

“This is not right Mr Speaker; we cannot treat our people this way. How many people have felt the same fate, Mr Speaker, we have to do better. Persons should have the right in a democracy to speak responsibly but speak on the issues that affect their country, that affect them, their families. Ms Rosan deserves to earn a living in her country just like anybody else in this territory; she is a daughter of the soil. We are bringing people from all Timbuktu and hiring them in the government services with very healthy consultant engagements, ain’t make them redundant to fulfil a political agenda,” he noted.

Rosan-Jones’s post was made redundant with immediate effect.

The letter, which was shared with the media, indicated that it was the outcome of a “recent review” of the BVITB’s operational requirements.

Rosan-Jones is also a talk show host of the television show, ‘Cut Deep.’


It should be noted too that another BVI Tourist Board employee, Ms Esther N. Fraser, has also been consistently critical of the VIP Government; however, her position was not made redundant.

‘I ain’t touch a soul’- Premier Fahie


Briefly responding to the claims by Hon Penn, Premier Fahie said he heard the Leader of the Opposition talking about victimisation; however, he was not getting involved in the victimisation “of no one and they could check. I ain’t touch a soul.”

Hon Fahie; however, reminded the Opposition Leader of what existed during the NDP regime of which he [Hon Penn] was a part of.

“But let’s not forget Gethsemane. The same Opposition talking there now, I could feel the pressure on them saying why he got to go there. I going because they went there first,” Hon Fahie said.

NDP got rid of Hon Fraser’s wife!


He continued: “I asked the Member for the Third District [Hon Julian Fraser RA] already, how could he sit down through them? Because his wife at the time was with the [Virgin Islands Party] VIP and when they got in they took her out as Accountant General one time!”

Mrs Kharid T. Fraser was instantly removed without reason as Accountant General when the NDP took office in 2011. Mrs Fraser would eventually retire from the Civil Service.

Ms Anna Rabsatt, another local, was then made to hold the fort until the then NDP government appointed an Anguillan, Ms Kalleesha C. Mendie to the post in early 2013.

Hon Fahie stated that if Mrs Fraser was allowed to remain in her post, audited financial statements would have probably been produced as she was a woman who knew ‘what she was doing inside there.”


Former Accountant General Mrs Kharid T. Fraser, left, and now Health Minister Hon Carvin Malone (AL), right, were two among a long list of persons victimised by the former National Democratic Party (NDP) Administration over their last two terms in office.

Hon Carvin Malone was also a victim of NDP victimisation


The Premier stopped short of giving more examples, saying he received a WhatsApp message from someone telling him to say nothing further, “but if they continue I will bring more.”

Members of the House; however, asked for one more example.

“They fired [Hon] Carvin Malone from the Sewerage Project because he wasn’t with their government and they brought in this other entity, now I have to pay out millions to this entity, just like we lost nearly every court case because of their actions,” Hon Fahie responded.

There are also many other cases of NDP victimisation, some of which are still costing Government millions of dollars.

It should be noted too that another BVI Tourist Board employee, Ms Esther N. Fraser, has also been consistently critical of the VIP Government; however, her position was not made redundant.

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