Former government minister Jack Warner said the Prime Minister’s latest Cabinet reshuffle was a victory for the “cabal”.
“What the changes have done is to show that the cabal has again won the day and she has given them more time to rape the treasury of this country in ways unimaginable,” Warner said yesterday in a telephone interview with the Express.
Warner said the Cabinet reshuffle was “the blackest” day in this country’s history as he expressed surprise over the appointment of Gary Griffith as Minister of National Security.
“I remain speechless and I want to digest that first to see if I can wake up from some kind of slumber. I will say more tomorrow after I have overcome the shock that has now enveloped me.”
Warner noted that Griffith had this year resigned from the United National Congress (UNC) and before that had resigned from the Congress of the People (COP) and now he was in charge of the country’s national security portfolio.
Griffith, he said, had asked him last week for the list of crime initiatives developed under his tenure, which he sent to him.
Warner said one can only wait and see what Griffith’s performance would be.
He criticised the Prime Minister’s decision to keep Suruj Rambachan as the Works and Infrastructure Minister. Rambachan had previously also held the Local Government portfolio, which has now been shifted to Marlene Coudray.
“To keep Suruj in Works and Infrastructure is to bastardise every contractor in this country who, as late as last Sunday, he threatened that they have nothing to get from him as long as they do not toe his line,” Warner claimed.
“What can she do with Chandresh Sharma (shifted from the Transport Ministry to Tourism) except send him home, but she refused to do that and put him in Tourism to damage the last vestige of tourism that Tobago hopes to enjoy,” he added.
Commenting on the PM’s decision to place Emmanuel George as Minister of Justice, Warner said one would have thought that this ministry demanded a lawyer at its helm.
During her statement, the Prime Minister extended an olive branch to all opposition groups, including Warner’s Independent Liberal Party (ILP), in working together in the interest of the country.
“If the Prime Minister was serious and sincere about any olive branch she wouldn’t have appointed that mirage of a Cabinet as she has done. She wouldn’t have insulted the intelligence of the people,” said Warner.
The Prime Minister, he said, has dashed the hopes and aspirations of the young people of the country through her “cosmetic changes”.