Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar has responded to Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley on allegations that she had no knowledge that Marlene McDonald was to be arrested, telling UNC supporters last night that she had “no pip”.
She spoke at a UNC meeting at the New Grant Government School in Moruga yesterday.
Persad-Bissessar accused the Prime Minister of deliberately creating distractions away from national issues and encouraged supporters not to be “distracted.”
“I can assure you I have no pip,” she said, adding that she had no further intention of talking further about the matter, which she deemed “Marlene-gate”.
The Opposition Leader said the matter is sub-judice and being a lawyer herself, she told supporters she did not want to put her “mouth in that matter.”
But it didn’t stop her from taking a jab at the Prime Minister.
“Let me give you a tip-off Dr Rowley, call the election now and see”, she said.
She added that there have many allegations levelled against her over her many years in politics but still “I rise.”
During debate on the Firearms (Amendment) Bill, 2019 earlier this month, Dr Rowley alleged that Persad-Bissessar communicated with Mc Donald about her possibly being arrested.
“I didn’t know Marlene Mc Donald was going to get arrested but one month before she was arrested the Leader of the Opposition could have called her to her office and tell her she was going to be arrested,” he said.
At a news conference last Thursday he called out Persad-Bissessar for her silence on the matter.
“If you had grown up the way I had grown up, raising yard fowl, you would know there is something called pip. And when the fowl has pip, it can’t feed. So it is not all the time that people like Mrs Persad-Bissessar can talk, sometimes they have pip and if she has pip she can’t talk,” he said.
Since the issue was made public, Police Commissioner Gary Griffith addressed the matter by saying “it is absolutely impossible that anyone could of made such a statement and be accurate about it because several weeks before there was nothing remotely close to going ahead to confirm any MP was to be arrested.”
MP McDonald also told Guardian Media she had “no doubt” in her mind that the Opposition Leader was speaking the truth and she had no reason to doubt her.
On August 7th, officers of the Fraud Squad went to McDonald’s home at Valley View, Maracas, St Joseph, where they executed a search warrant and took away several items.
This was in connection with a six-year investigation into the alleged siphoning of over $1 million from a government ministry to three organisations linked to family and friends of the then Public Administration and her husband.
Four days later Mc Donald was charged with seven criminal charges, including misbehaviour in public office, conspiracy to defraud and money laundering.
Mc Donald, her long-time companion Michael Carew, Wayne Anthony, Victor McEachrane and Edgar Zepherine appeared before Chief Magistrate Maria Busby-Earle-Caddle in the Port-of-Spain Magistrates’ Court, on Monday morning to answer a total of 49 charges.