ST JOHN’S, Antigua – A potential storm is brewing within the Antigua & Barbuda Pensioners Association (ABPA), with executive members demanding an account of how monies are spent.
Pensioners, in accordance with their constitution, penned a letter to the president Charles Eddie Hunte requesting a meeting to discuss the finances.
Trustee for the association Hudson Knight said a petition was submitted to Hunte with the signatures of 20 members, and the mandated seven days passed without a reply.
He stated further that a meeting was called last Thursday (February 16), but Hunte notified them that the finances meeting they requested would interfere with a planned week of activities for the pensioners.
Knight said the president was a no-show at the meeting and when the members turned up to discuss their next move they were locked out of the association’s Nugent Avenue headquarters.
“When we went there, the “owner of the place” locked the place. Any time of the week you go up Nugent Avenue you would see that gate opened, and on every other occasion, so the fact is he locked it deliberately,” the trustee said.
Knight said for several years the government and other entities have contributed to the association and none of the members are aware of what is being done with the funds.
He said this sum totaled in excess of $50,000 annually given in subventions from the government.
“As I have said to him more than once the audited statement is different from a financial report,” Knight said
The trustee said Hunte has refused to produce any financial statements.
An annual general meeting will be conducted on Thursday to vote for a new president, but the Knight said though the removal of Hunte is imminent they will not be able to get the answers they seek.
When contacted about the pensioners’ claims Hunte said he was not going to add to the debate as it was “mere rumours.”