On February 5th, 2022 on the Observer Media Radio Snake Pit show, false and defamatory statements regarding my business interests were made and I find it necessary to respond to those untruths and seriously libelous allegations made by Mr Sherfield Bowen and Mr Algernon ‘Serpent’ Watts.
The fact, I am the owner of Marl-Stone Industries Limited an Antiguan and Barbudan company. The same ambition and drive that propel me to work hard to provide for my family and contribute to the development of my community coupled with my experience in construction and a natural understanding of aggregates also propelled me to form Marl-Stone Industries Limited.
Further facts, because of my professional and business interests I personally set out to identify suitable and available locations that could produce aggregates of the type currently mined in Antigua. My first application for a lease of a parcel of land in 2017 was unsuccessful but upon finding a location in Bethesda, the same as identified in the live Facebook video streamed by Algernon ‘Serpent’ Watts on 6 February 2022, the company applied to the government for a lease. Lease negotiations ensued and were finally completed in 2020 with terms and conditions akin to similar leases granted by previous administrations including the UPP. Therefore, the lies purported by Mr Sherfield Bowen in the live video that the quarry was discovered by the government and then siphoned off to a private company for enrichment is completely unfortunate and baseless.
The lease entered into by the company was not an opportunity to deprive the Government or the Bethesda Community as stated again by Mr Bowen and Mr Watts, but rather a lease that the company applied for like any other interested citizen whilst making significant investments and risks especially at a time when development and economic activity were uncertain.
Most importantly the deliberately erroneous statement that the company made millions of dollars from the government is total fabrication. The government has not ordered, nor have we provided any materials to the government from the quarry. My involvement in the operations of Marl-Stone Industries Limited has not been to corruptly enrich myself or anyone else. Yet the Marl Stone Industries Limited lease and my involvement was intentionally discussed with fabricated lies. The company and its operations involve hard-work, investment and risk-taking by a young local Antiguan and Barbudan.
Finally, I find it concerningly disappointing that I am personally being attacked for my hard-work and entrepreneurial spirit. I am a young man from Parham Town who was educated through my personal and family sacrifices and have kept my head down and focused to create and realize opportunities for not only myself, but others and our communities. Observer Radio, Mr Bowen and Mr Watts need to immediately retract the false and defamatory statements made about Marl-Stone Industries Limited and myself personally. Instead of crying down fellow Antiguans and Barbudans, focus on identifying and developing realistic opportunities for development and economic growth for Antigua and Barbuda. That should be the focus of your platform and the issues you wish to discuss; not personal libelous attacks.