Friday, December 15, 2017

Rowley: Sport Minister should be fired for this scandal

Sport Minister Anil Roberts should be fired and a forensic investigation must be launched into the LifeSport programme, says Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley.

Rowley was speaking at a news conference at the Parliament building yesterday following the tabling in the House of the Finance Ministry’s audit report into the LifeSport.

Rowley said it was unacceptable that Roberts who created LifeSport continues to serve in the Cabinet and be protected by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar.

The Prime Minister has forwarded the audit report to the Commissioner of Police (CoP), Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and Integrity Commission.

However, Rowley said the Prime Minister after turning a blind eye to the problems in LifeSport continues to fail in her duty by passing the report to these institutions. He noted that other scandals such as Emailgate and allegations of impropriety have also gone to the police for investigation and nothing has been heard about these matters since.

Rowley said Roberts must be held responsible for the “monumental scandal” of LifeSport.

“The Prime Minister should fire him. I’m not asking him for any favour of stepping down...he has been responsible for a ministry which has generated national security problems, serious loss of public money and probably destruction of some young people who never would have been exposed in the way they were. There are people who have enriched themselves from this programme under his guidance,” said Rowley.

Rowley said there were persons in Persad-Bissessar’s Cabinet who were “untouchable” because they are holding secrets for the Prime Minister.

He said there were red flags about the wastage of funds in LifeSport from the Auditor General report from June 2013 which alerted to the breakdown at the Sport Ministry.

Rowley said the Auditor General report was laid in the House on May 9, 2014 and yet no action was taken on the part of the Prime Minister to address the problem.