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Kamla: Big deals for Minister’s wife’s firmPM must clear air

Published: 
Tuesday, August 21, 2018
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UNC supporters during the party’s Monday Night Forum at the Chaguanas South Secondary School. Photo by:Anisto Alves

Which People’s National Movement (PNM) Government Minister’s wife is working with a company which has received several Government contacts?

Questions on the alleged situation were raised last night by Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar, who called on Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley and Health Minister Dr Terrence Deyalsingh to clear the air on the issue so the public can be assured the contracts were awarded above board.

Speaking at the party’s Monday Night Forum at the Chaguanas South Secondary School, Persad-Bissessar claimed there was a “Wives’ Club” in the PNM. She claimed this “Wives Club” had benefits and company where the minister’s wife worked had acquired several contracts.

“This company has the contract for several Government projects which includes the Mt Hope School of Dentistry and the Red House Restoration project. It is our understanding that the company is also handling the Port-of-Spain General Hospital reconstruction project,” Persad-Bissessar told supporters.

“I call tonight on the Minister of Health and the Prime Minister to say which PNM minister’s wife works at this company. It’s also alleged that the minister and his wife are friends of the owner of the company.”

She also launched questions at Finance Minister Colm Imbert and PM Rowley on the National Investment Fund bond issue. She called on Imbert in particular to say if financial institutions, among them insurance companies and credit unions, may be in violation of the new Insurance Act 2018 by purchasing the bonds.

Holding up what she claimed were two recent Cabinet documents on proposed amendments to the Financial Institutions Act and the Insurance Act, she said, “Tonight on behalf of citizens who may have invested in the NIF, or who have shares or assets in financial institutions including insurance companies, banks, credit unions, I call on Minister Imbert to tell this country whether it is true, that these institutions are now at risk if they have bought these bonds.

“Would they be in violation Section 89 (1) of the new Insurance Act 2018 now overdue for proclamation? Are they in violation now of the Financial Institutions Act sections 42(1) and 43 (1) and (2)?”

Persad-Bissssar congratulated new Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith, also calling on him to probe the “AV Drilling/Fake Oil” scandal.

Chaguanas East MP Fazal Karim also called on Griffith to ensure that Chaguanas East was one of the first stops on his tour of duties.

Among earlier speakers, deputy leader Jearlean John, who listed the PP governments achievements (and knocked the PNM’s record), alleged that several PNM MPs are now backbenchers after the latest reshuffle.

“(Laventille East MP Adrian) Leonce is ah backbencher, Ancil Antoine is ah backbencher, Nicole (Olliviere)—they call themselves the blackbenchers.”

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