Money came directly from taxpayers with no help from UK; VI taxpayers also maintain upkeep of Government House & pays staff to provide services to Governor
In the midst of a COVID-19 pandemic, when the average resident is without a job, can’t pay for higher education and some are still going to bed hungry, the unelected UK-appointed Governor Augustus J. U. Jaspert has landed himself a brand new, fully loaded, Range Rover.
It has cost taxpayers some $90,000.00 plus, with no help from the United Kingdom. The post of Governor, like the Premier’s and the Speaker of the House of Assembly (HoA), comes with a vehicle and a driver.
Other public officers also drive Government vehicles negotiated via their employment, as well as some Ministers of Government.
Poor judgment by Governor?
Critics of Mr Jaspert; however, have said it was poor judgement to allow such a huge amount of money to be spent on a vehicle at this time when the country is ‘hurting’ and there have been little or no help from the United Kingdom.
It also confirms that the office of the unelected governor is now more a liability to the Territory than an asset, having had to go to the Consolidated Fund to make this purchase. Many sources close to the situation said “it was so bad that they had to move money around to make this purchase possible for a vehicle in these hard times.”
It should be noted that VI taxpayers also maintain the upkeep of Government House and pay staff to provide services to the Governor.
The controversial governor’s popularity has hit rock bottom following the election in 2019 of a new government. Under the former National Democratic Party (NDP) regime, he was running the country. Governor Jaspert has reportedly told many persons that he “will not be sidelined” and now holds many press conferences like an elected official.
Governor above the law?
The senior UK public officer has been under fire for alleged violation of the constitution, thinking he is above the law, his selective attention to good governance and turning a blind eye to some issues under his portfolio.
The Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF), a subject under his remit, has been under scrutiny for using excessive force on civilians, and public internal spats within the ranks; however, the Governor has not addressed any of these vexing issues but found time to issue a statement on a cartoon, an action many said trivilised his office.
Symbol of colonialism?
Mr Claude O. Skelton-Cline, a radio commentator, has been educating the public about the Governor’s role and that his office signifies that the Virgin Islands has been and continues to be colonised by the British.
When a call was made to the governor today, July 17, 2020, about his lavish spending on a vehicle, we were told that he is on a ‘Staycation’ and could not be reached.
Hon Julian Fraser RA (R3), the veteran legislator, brought a motion to the HoA in late May, 2020, to reprimand Mr Jaspert for his violation of the Audit Act, having submitted the report on the NDP Government’s Financing of BVI Airways a month late to the HoA.
Speaker of the HoA, Hon Julian Willock has also publicly sparred with the Governor over his attempts to interfere with the legislative branch.