January 30, 2023



OP-ED “The more I find out…”

By Sidney Rovan from St Kitts and Nevis

Prime Minister Dr. Terrence Michael Drew and Gurdip Bath

PHYSICIAN DR TERRANCE MICHAEL DREW rode the popular political wave and ousted accountant Dr. Timothy Harris as St Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister in the August 5th polls this year.

There were high hopes following Drew’s win.

He drew the sentiments of Kittitians and Nevisians, wearied by the foibles of the seven-year Harris administration, towards his talented Labour government.

But inexplicably, PM Dr. Drew seems willing to squander the political capital secured by him and his team on August 5.

He raised eyebrows with the inclusion of Gurdip Bath, a St Kitts and Nevis diplomatic citizen, as part of his official team at the just-concluded United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York. Mr. Bath was there in the capacity as PM Drew’s Advisor. The public didn’t see this coming.

There was never any public announcement by either PM Dr. Drew, or his Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Marcus Natta about Bath’s role in the new Labour government.

Suspicions swirled around Bath since his arrival in the Caribbean, having beaten some serious allegations.

Kittitians and Nevisians and other senior regional figures have been blind-sided by the man’s surprising appointment.

Is the PM’s strange silence linked to the fact that the former Indian national had a similar role under the Dr Timothy Harris Team Unity administration? 

Has the Drew government gagged itself because of mortal fears of an expected public backlash?

Bath, we recall, was Harris’ advisor at the time the then PM was ensnared in a litany of corruption allegations resulting in several of his ministers quitting the coalition in disgust triggering the precipitous collapse of his seven-year-old unity government.

Despite his reluctance, the former St Kitts and Nevis PM reluctantly called early polls and was runner-up to Drew.

Already there are rumbles in Basseterre that Bath, has craftily adopted chameleon characteristics and has hoodwinked the ‘rookie’ prime minister Dr. Drew in his net.

Many fear the worst and begin predicting an impending disaster for the 39-year-old independent twin-island Federation and are also forecasting many troubles for PM politically, and personally.

Knowledgeable persons express anxieties that Bath is helping shape vital domestic and foreign policies for Basseterre and are frightened by the real prospects of looming political and economic catastrophe for the CARICOM state.

For many, Drew’s appointment of Bath defies logic.

“This is a questionable matter. The people of St Kitts and Nevis need to know the truth. No possible common sense can be made of this,” a citizen alarmed by the development, complained in a recent interview.

“It certainly has a number of negative ramifications for not only this young new government but the country as a whole,” the concerned resident noted.

What’s in it for Bath the holder of a St Kitts and Nevis diplomatic passport?

What’s in it for Basseterre?

What calculations have Drew made causing him to settle firmly on this obvious risk?

Reliable sources confirmed that Bath is also integrally involved with the operations of the financially-sound Citizenship By Investment (CBI) programme which helps rake in valuable resources to spur the country’s national development thrust.

Given Bath’s high-profile appointment, one must ask: Who is helping PM Drew vet his appointees?

Although there is no information available as to whether Bath was charged and or convicted, the Drew government can ill-afford characters links with characters bearing such questionable histories. He can prove a lightning rod for the new labour administration.

Here are our initial queries for PM Drew.

1.      What is Bath’s expertise and what specific areas does he provide advice for the relatively new PM?

2.       Is it a five-year contract? When did it take effect?

3.      Why has the PM kept the public in the dark about the ‘Bath advisor contract’?

4.      Was the PM aware of Bath’s history? Who is helping the PM scrutinise potential appointees?  

5.      Since the UNGA meeting, what has the Cabinet Secretary still mum on Bath?

6.      Is Bath luring PM Drew down the same ‘rabbit hole’ Dr Harris wandered along like a lamb to the slaughter which eventually triggered the spectacular collapse of his administration a mere two years after his reelection? We, the people, want to know. But the “more I find out, the less I know” according to the popular Johnny Nash anthem.

PM Drew owes the people of the Federation an urgent explanation about Bath’s appointment and a justification for his administration’s silence on the matter so far.

Nothing else is acceptable.