An outspoken local businessman says he is totally fed up with Prime Minister Freundel Stuart’s leadership style.
Robert Pitcher, owner of Fun ‘N’ Sun Publishing Inc, is therefore appealing to Stuart to urgently announce the date for general elections and to immediately quit active politics without offering himself as a candidate in the upcoming poll.
Pitcher, who wants Stuart to go home and enjoy his pension, made this call yesterday during a press conference at his Rendezvous, Christ Church office at which he took particular issue with the Prime Minister’s handling of the recent dispute at the Central Bank.
“You know that it is strange that even with the ongoing dispute between the Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler and the Governor of the Central Bank Dr DeLisle Worrell, the Prime Minister is not uttering one word,” Pitcher said, adding that it was “a disgrace” to pick up a newspaper or go online to see the two top officials “at war” amid the country’s economic turmoil.
The businessman also vented his frustration with politicians in general, saying they must see themselves as the paid servants of the people and desist from the practice of using their positions of power to look after their interests.
“Future politicians must understand that when they are elected by the people, they must serve the people and the country first and anything else can follow,” he added.
Expressing strong concern over the direction in which the Barbados economy was headed, Pitcher was especially worried about the prospect of a dollar devaluation with this island’s currency said to be under threat due a free fall of its foreign reserves, which declined below the benchmark 12 weeks of import, to less than $700 million at the end of December.
As at January 2017, capital expenditure had also fallen by $36 million and the overall fiscal deficit, estimated at $665 million, was said to $5 million smaller.
While suggesting that the current leadership was the problem, Pitcher lamented that sister Caribbean territories no longer looked up to Barbados.
In fact, Pitcher warned that the country had found itself at “the bottom of the barrel”.
“It is a serious time and a crunch time in this country. When I reflect on the devaluation of the Jamaican dollar, the Trinidad dollar and to a greater extent the Guyanese dollar, I come to recognize the importance of good leadership,” the businessman said.
“I just returned from Guyana and the Guyanese dollar has just moved unofficially from Guy$200 to US$1 to Guy$216 to US$1. For us to have a devaluation of the Barbadian dollar only God then can help us,” he stressed.