Throughout his campaign and into the second year of his term, Haiti’s president Michel Martelly had a constant companion: his cousin and fellow musician Richard Morse.
Morse said he saw evidence of workers filling drainage canals before the rainy season, which resulted in flooding. When he alerted the minister, nothing was done, he says.
“If you are creating disasters, it can only be for aid money,” he said.
As for corruption in the palace, Morse says he saw evidence of “fake cheques – people getting paid who no longer worked there.”
Morse said he flagged that issue too, and nothing was done.
“Rather than fight the corruption,” he said, “I feel like they have embraced it.”
Both Communications Minister Regine Godefroy and Finance Minister Marie-Carmelle Jean-Marie handed in their resignations this week. In her resignation letter, obtained by the newspaper Haiti Libre, Jean-Marie said she decided to leave after her attempts to introduce transparency reforms were rebuffed.
“I can fight against adversity and against external hazards that affect our country with regularity,” she wrote in French, “but not against the lack of solidarity with my own peers.”
None of this is good for the Martelly government, which had a very rocky start with a revolving door of prime ministers and much international criticism for delaying elections to the Senate. In recent months, Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe has made fighting corruption a flag-waving issue.