“Why isn’t mummy here?”
This is a question that often comes from the tiny lips of four-year-old Danielle Ramsoomair.
A Newsday journalist who admitted he benefited from contracts in the controversial Life Sport programme has been suspended for ten days while the newspaper does an internal investigation. It is alleged that Walter Alibey, through his company Agro Aggressive Organisation and Maintenance Services Ltd, which was set up in 2011, received contracts from the Life Sport programme. One day after the story broke, Newsday issued a statement assuring its readers that it had begun inquiries into the issue.
It was uncertain when the suspension took effect but staffers suggested it began last Sunday. Editor-in-Chief of Newsday, Jones P Madeira, said yesterday the matter between the paper and Alibey was a private one. In a telephone interview, Madeira said Alibey was not at his desk at the paper, and refused to comment further. “If we are dealing with one of our employees, we prefer that the matter remain between the Newsday and that employee,” Madeira said, adding that the company was still looking into the situation.
President of the Banking, Insurance and General Workers Union, Vincent Cabrera, said the union—which represents workers at the paper—as of yesterday had no information about the situation. “Usually, if a worker is disciplined, he will inform the union, but we have not been informed about this matter,” Cabrera said. Alibey refused to comment when contacted by the T&T Guardian.
The Life Sport programme is currently being audited by the Ministry of Finance after allegations that the programme was being used to fund criminals.