Moniz criticises Burch over Cup Match stance
The public works minister abused his power in a Cup Match clash with Somerset Cricket Club over the Governor presenting the trophy, the shadow minister claimed yesterday.
Trevor Moniz, the One Bermuda Alliance spokesman on the portfolio, spoke out after Lieutenant-Colonel David Burch said his ministry would not repair a hurricane-damaged wall at the club if John Rankin, the Governor, was invited to hand over the cup.
Colonel Burch also linked action on the wall to a commitment by the club to put recycling facilities in place at the ground.
Mr Moniz said the conditions “almost amounted to blackmail”.
He added: “The minister has put Somerset Cricket Club in an impossible position.
“That is not acceptable behaviour for anyone, let alone a minister, who should adhere to the highest moral standards.
“The issue of who presents the trophy to the victorious team is a matter for the club and making it a condition of doing some work is reprehensible and an abuse of the minister’s power.”
Mr Moniz said: “If it is the minister’s responsibility, then just get on and do it.”
He added: “How many times does minister Burch have to step out of line before he is censured by the Premier, or does the Premier condone this type of behaviour?
“It is embarrassing to have this loose cannon constantly behaving inappropriately.”
The two-day Cup Match holiday was designed to celebrate the arrival of Sir George Somers in 1609, who claimed Bermuda as British territory, and the freeing of enslaved people. Slavery throughout the British Empire was abolished by a UK Act of Parliament in 1834.
Colonel Burch told the House of Assembly last week: “I think if people look at it historically, this is a celebration of emancipation of slaves.
“So why would we still accept, in 2018, inviting he who enslaved us to come and not only celebrate with us but also be the person who presents the cup?”