As we get past the anomaly which is COVID-19, the flaws of the government are again rearing its head. I saw COVID-19 as an anomaly because we all know something like this does not happen very often. To the Government’s credit, it did a pretty decent job in managing this pandemic, although they tried to blind side the country by awarding a multi-million-dollar contract for community patrols, the blatant disrespect to the lower income families, and the travesty which was the social service grants.
Thankfully they had Dr Roshan Parasram and his team of medical experts to make their efforts seem, as I said, pretty decent.
Prior to COVID-19, the Government was collapsing, as they failed to fulfill several of the promises it made to the people on the 2015 campaign trail. We had the failed attempt at local government reform, which they boasted about. We had Marlene-Gate, the Darryl Smith sexual harassment matter, the shutdown of Petrotrin, Caroni Green and several other companies. They also borrowed millions of dollars in loans for future generations to repay. That’s just some of a host of controversial issues.
COVID-19 then seemingly put the Government in some positive light. However, before it was over the flaws manifested again. Not just something “small”, but issues which could have detrimental impacts on this country.
The visit of Venezuelan Vice-President Delcy Rodrigues to this country. The country was told the purpose of the visit was to discuss the pandemic. Later on we found out it was not from a public health perspective but from a national security one. Several questions arose from this visit. Firstly, why was someone who was sanctioned allowed to come here? This was in breach of the Rio Treaty as we now know.
The PM of this country met with Ms Rodriguez and a team, yet the team she came with was not introduced to ours. Over six people came but only two or three were in the meeting.
What was the purpose of the them coming? How could our government not know who was coming given that the borders were closed and exemptions were to be given for their entry.
Then, the plane which they came in was also sanctioned. And there were many more questions which arose.
We are still waiting for answers on this.
There is now a “war of words” between the Minister of National Security and the United States Ambassador to T&T.
It would seem as though Minister Stuart Young attempted to mislead the population by saying the ambassador did not raise the issue with the breach of the Rio Treaty. That was later dispelled.
Our international reputation is taking a hit and the government continues to be ignorant, lie, and deceive the public.
There was also the sudden resignation of Robert Le Hunte as Senator and Minister of Public Utilities. It’s being said that this was as a result of the restructuring of WASA but I believe it was an attempt at distraction from the other issues. Here’s why:
The resignation of Robert Le Hunte as the Minister of Public utilities is said to be as a result of a disagreement he had with the Prime Minister on a $1.5 billion proposal for the restructuring of WASA, more so the implementation of a water meter for citizens.
This talk about water meter is not new to this country. In 2016 it was reported that “WASA is aiming to begin metering its customers in 2017. In introducing the initiative on a phased-basis, the authority’s chairman, Romney Thomas, believes this can help generate funds for the cash-strapped water company,” according to a newspaper report.
Le Hunte came into the picture in 2017 when the meter system was proposed to start. As we know, nothing has been done. So why? If it was a plan to be started, did Le Hunte stop it then? And why get upset over the issue now? I mean it was proposed to take place.
The timing of this issue is also cause for concern. I’m sure the Former Minister understands the current economic problems facing the country and that money could be put to better use.
Maybe it was a distraction from the Stuart Young issue or government spending during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The blame Kamla song continues to be sung by the PNM government even after almost five years in office. In its latest verse, the Minister of Energy Franklin Khan is saying, the UNC is undermining the country when they raised the issue of the fuel shipment to Aruba.
He said the narrative by the Opposition party could have serious consequences for Paria’s trading business, and, by extension, Trinidad and Tobago’s economy”. How, Minister, is the UNC doing this? By asking questions of on behalf of the public?
In case you may have forgotten, the Opposition is simply doing its job by raising what they see as an issue which could have severe impact on the economy.
Oh, yes, you are the ones in charge. Not them!