Tuesday, February 20, 2018

He should never have been a minister, says Rowley

Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley is not impressed with the Prime Minister’s removal of Glenn Ramadharsingh as Minister of the People and Social Development, following allegations of disorderly behaviour on a flight from Tobago.

Speaking at a public meeting in Arouca on Tuesday night, Rowley said: “Even in their moment of shame they want to take credit,” he said. Rowley said the country will be regaled by the Prime Minister and her friends about what a wonderful Prime Minister she is because she got rid of Ramadharsingh...because “the Prime Minister will not tolerate it and tolerate that”, he satirised. “It sounds good but it is not real. It is only when water more than flour, that they start to mix the dough,” he thundered.

“When I saw Sat Maharaj jumping out in front, calling for the removal of Glenn Ramadharsingh, I took careful note of the fact that this is not normal for Sat Maharaj. He normally defends UNC ministers, the UNC government and the Prime Minister even when they are glaringly wrong and unacceptable. And I listened carefully to what he said to understand what was driving him on this occasion. He said maybe what was displayed on that plane is not all that there is to his (Ramadharsingh’s) misconduct or similar words. And I said he (Maharaj) knows more than they are telling us,” Rowley said.

Rowley said numerous chairmen were also fired only when it became embarrassing to the Government. “And then you ask yourself, what is going on behind closed doors? “If this is what you know, what it is that you don’t know? Rowley asked. “If the grass is so green in town, yuh come imagine what is happening in the country!” he said.

Rowley said Ramadharsingh should not have been a minister in the first place. “If they had gone back to his record at UWI, they would have known...And If Bhoe Tewarie (Planning Minister and former UWI principal) is the man he says he is supposed to be, he would not have been in the Cabinet in the first place.” Ramadharsingh had been accused by mismanagement of the UWI Guild finances, an allegation which he denied.

He said when he heard “Shoppin Toppin” (Vernella Alleyne Toppin) “talking about her bedroom secrets”, shortly after the incident with Glenn Ramadharsingh became public, he thought Ramadharsingh would have said it was “something in the water in the Ministry (of the People and Social Development) that all of them drinking” that caused him to behave that way.

Rowley said ministers of Government in this administration have been consistently behaving in the worst way and getting away with it. He said a few months ago a woman in a ministry sought out a People’s National Movement (PNM) lawyer claiming she had been sexually abused in her office. She came to a lawyer who was a PNM parliamentarian with her husband, who was a policeman, to press charges against the minister, he said.

Rowley said when the matter was drawn to his attention, he advised his colleague not to take the case because it would immediately be viewed as political. He advised that the lady be directed to another lawyer.

He said however the minister started offering the complainant a piece of government property and the next thing the complaint was dropped. He said the woman was now living in an HDC house.