For the second week in a row, an Opposition Parliamentarian—this time a Senator—was put out of the Parliament chamber.
Last week it was UNC MP Barry Padarath who was evicted from the Parliament chamber by the House Speaker for insisting on raising water shortage in his constituency. Yesterday it was Opposition senator Taharqa Obika for an offensive remark.
The situation occurred when Obika asked Foreign Affairs Minister Dennis Moses about Ugandan nationals who were terminated from T&T’s High Commission in Uganda and if they were paid terminal benefits in accordance with their terms and conditions of employment.
Moses said eight Ugandan nationals were terminated from the High Commission and the locally recruited staff were paid terminal benefits according to contract. Obika probed on whether there had been complaints—from Uganda—or any person—on the issue. Moses ducked replying, only saying Government had met all its obligations. Obika attempted to ask further queries to get more information, but wasn’t allowed by the Senate President .
Obika muttered in French in Moses’ direction that he was a catastrophe. Senate President Christine Kangaloo, however said, “I heard that.” She called on him to leave the Chamber until 2.30 pm. Obika packed up and left, but returned at 3 pm for debate on a bill.
Also yesterday on other termination issues, Works Minister Rohan Sinanan replied to questions about the rationale for the recent dismissal of 13 workers employed to provide concessionaire services on the Galleons Passage. He said they were employed by Nidco through a contractor to service passengers on the Galleons Passage.
He said Nidco hired the independent contractor on an interim basis to provide services for the boat. He said any decision by the contractor regarding employment or termination of its staff remains between the contractors and workers.