I was very concerned when the Prime Minister, Dr Rowley, revealed in Parliament, 10 days ago that the Opposition Leader, Kamla Persad-Bissessar, had allegedly tipped off Marlene Mc Donald, that she was being investigated and her arrest was imminent. What was even more disconcerting was the fact that Ms Mc Donald corroborated Dr Rowley’s statement in Parliament, that at least a month before it happened, Mrs Persad-Bissessar could have warned her that she was to be arrested.
This raises many issues which the public and those with the requisite knowledge and authority are only now fleshing out. Among these are the issues of police leaks to members of Parliament and of course the issue regarding the legality of, firstly receiving this information and then transmitting it to the person being investigated. I have even seen Mr Subhas Panday suggesting these actions may have constituted a crime. However, what is most worrying to me is the deafening silence on the part of Mrs Kamla Persad-Bissessar on this matter. Having heard from all other relevant parties, her lack of response is most bewildering and I am compelled to ask why?
I juxtapose this with the recent case of Mr Dennie appearing on a UNC platform and accusing Dr Rowley of asking him to fire East Indians from the SIA. Immediately and without hesitation Dr Rowley refuted these claims, calling Dennie a liar.
As the days passed and Dennie backtracked, other individuals came forward to deny, condemn and completely rebut the seemingly false assertions the individual alleged. Now I am convinced that Mr Dennie’s story contains enough holes to strain rice in it and the Prime Minister did enough to immediately demonstrate, on a serious accusation, that it could not have been the way as presented on a UNC platform.
However, in this case, with an equally serious accusation being made against the Opposition Leader in Parliament and corroborated by Ms Mc Donald, we get nothing but prolonged silence from Mrs Persad-Bissessar.
As a public official, in the same way she would have demanded a response from Dr Rowley, it is in the public’s interest to hear what Mrs. Persad-Bissessar has to say on this matter. It is worrying to me that an immediate denial has not come and it’s even more so now, that legal minds are suggesting that there may be issues with the law.
As a politically-conscious citizen, I will refuse to “move on” on this matter, as Mrs Persad-Bissessar once suggested the media do when in office and confronted with a major scandal. The public demands a response and in this situation, silence will not suffice.
Editor’s note: Mrs Persad-Bissessar told a UNC meeting on Wednesday night that the Marlene McDonald matter is subjudice and she will not speak on it. “All I would say about Marlene-gate is this: the matter is subjudice.”
Chaguanas, via email