By Capil Bissoon
Rowley: “Those who are accused take steps and go to any bounds to escape the consequences of their actions. The prime minister is guilty of dereliction of duty, of obfuscation, and she stands accused of consistently hiding and defending wrong doing in her government”
Let’s look at how PNM’s Political Leader Keith Rowley’s leadership:
1. CALABAR FOUNDATION
FACT NO 1:
On May 12, 2010, 12 days before the General Election, Marlene McDonald, then PNM’s Minister of CD and GA and currently MP PoS South and Opposition Chief Whip issued a cheque to CALABAR FOUNDATION.
It is a fact that the PNM gov’t wrote a cheque on May 12, 2010 for $375,000 to a non-existent foundation; the foundation was registered on Aug 24 and the cheque was cashed on Sept 09, 2010
FACT NO 2:
The Companies Registry lists Calabar Foundation directors as Michael Carew (Marlene McDonald’s common-law husband), his brother Lennox Carew and Victor McEachrane. The registered office for Calabar Foundation is the same as Michael Carew’s listed address on the documents.
FACT NO 3:
WHO AUTHORIZED PAYMENT TO CALABAR FOUNDATION (A Ghost Company at that time):
Head of the Public Service and PS to the Prime Minister shed some light on how cheques to contractors are paid. “The PS is the accounting officer for the ministry but they work closely with the minister and cannot issue a cheque without the minister’s say-so. The PS takes instructions from the minister”.
2. McEACHRANE’S RENTAL AND TRANSPORT SERVICES (MRTS)
FACT NO 1:
Marlene McDonald’s Ministry authorised over $TT2.7 million for work on two community centres in east Port-of-Spain that were never built. MRTS was paid three cheques totalling over $2.7 million from Feb to May 2010, for work on the Bon Air Gardens Community Centre and the Marcano Quarry Community Centre, in Laventille.
WHO AUTHORIZED NOT ONE BUT THREE CHEQUES TO McEACHRANE’S RENTAL AND TRANSPORT SERVICES WHEN NO WORK WAS EVER DONE?
FACT NO 2:
Etienne Mendez, former MCD’s technical director of the Self-Help programme; responsible for the construction of community centres from 2007-2010 under McDonald: “No contracts were awarded up to Sept 2010, no company should be paid a “mobilisation fee” unless it was awarded a project”. A contractor could not have been paid for the projects without a formal award in place”. He said no company should be paid a “mobilisation fee” unless it was awarded a project.
These are not allegations… they are documented facts with a paper-trail.
How does the PNM Political Leader Dr Keith Rowley respond: IT IS NOT AN ISSUE!!!!
Compare the Leadership of the UNC/PPG Political Leader and Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar:
1. There have been allegations being made by the current Director of the PCA, regarding the Attorney General.
2. The Attorney General has vehemently denied the allegation.
3. It is alleged that the MNS, upon the advice of the AG, telephoned the Director of the PCA.
4. While I am not in a position to determine neither guilt nor innocence in this matter it is of grave enough consequence to warrant serious consideration and immediate action.
5. I cannot and will not sit idly by while the Office of the AG and that of the MNS and the head of the PCA are being compromised and brought into disrepute by such allegations that have warranted a police enquiry.
6. Those office holders preside over the administration of justice, law and order and so cannot remain in those positions while these investigations into allegations are made.
7. I cast no aspersions on the capacity or performance of those that hold these positions but cannot have these offices be so embroiled in conflict and controversy eroding public confidence in the institutions which they lead.
8. Without prejudice to the outcome nor denial of any party to due process and a fair and just determination in the matter, I have asked for and received the resignation of both the Attorney General and the Minister of National Security.
9. One has to be mindful that public office is not used for private gain.
The Prime Minister responding to serious allegations… although not in a position to determine neither guilt nor innocence; casting no aspersions on the capacity or performance of those that hold these positions; and not prejudicing the outcome nor denial of any party to due process and a fair and just determination in the matter…relieves the Attorney General and Minister of National Security of their portfolios!
She did not dismiss the issue as Keith Rowley flippantly did with Marlene McDonald’s… She demonstrated leadership, courage and personal fortitude to do what is right whenever it is necessary to so do, regardless of the consequences.