Trinidad and Tobago is anxiously awaiting Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley’s dismissal of Noel Garcia as Chairman of Urban Development Corporation (UDECOTT).
Apart from his indictment by the Commission of Enquiry into Las Alturas in the scandalous waste of $80 million of taxpayers’ funds, Mr. Garcia has now crudely attacked the commissioners appointed by His Excellency the President.
This fiasco is taking place against the backdrop of Dr. Rowley’s commitment last Sunday to a government “where integrity and morality in public life would be of the highest priority.”
The Commission of Enquiry found Mr. Garcia directly responsible for construction of public housing on highly unsuitable land, and recommended that civil liability action be taken against him.
Mr. Garcia’s blatant response has been a vile personal attack on the distinguished Commissioners. The crude and crass verbal assault is an all-time low point in civility toward individuals and institutions. Such behaviour is most unbecoming of the leader of a State Corporation.
Mr. Garcia combines the toxic brew of raw incompetence and barefaced arrogance.
In addition, he is now threatening to take legal action against the Commissioners, ignorant of the fact that, under the Commission of Enquiry Act, they enjoy immunity from such suit. The law specifically states that “no Commissioner shall be liable to any action or suit for any matter of thing done by him as such Commissioner.”
Mr. Garcia’s rant and threat of legal action have no foundation and, like Alturas, will also collapse.
Dr. Rowley is duty-bound to remove Mr. Garcia as Chairman of UDECOTT, one of the largest and best-funded Government corporations.
The Prime Minister has a timely opportunity to justify his boast last Sunday of “good, honest, equitable and transparent Government.”
Dr. Roodal Moonilal
Member of Parliament for Oropouche East
Former Minister of Housing and Urban Development