Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley yesterday insisted that the now infamous Darryl Smith matter is over and that he as Prime Minister had done all he could, including demoting and eventually dismissing Smith from his Cabinet.
The Prime Minister insisted he did not have the authority to do anything else since his power over Mr Smith stopped at the point of his membership of the Cabinet.
Dr Rowley spoke about the issue in Parliament, replying to Opposition questions on the status of investigations into the DarrylSmith matter. Opposition MP Rodney Charles sought answers, noting recent claims by a member of the investigative team who accused two senior Cabinet members of misogyny.
Government appointed the team last year to look into former Sports Ministry employee Carrie Ann Moreau's termination and a $150,000 settlement. Allegations of sexual harassment were involved and there was also the signing of a non-disclosure agreement between Ms Moreau and the ministry.
When the issue broke in April 2018, Dr Rowley shifted Mr Smith to a junior ministerial position then fired him from Government a day after claiming new information had surfaced. He then appointed the probe team.
Their report was submitted last year. In October, Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi and Dr Rowley both said the report couldn't be used because Mr Smith wasn't allowed to defend himself. Rowley yesterday also said he knew of no one in the Cabinet who is guilty of misogyny.
The Prime Minister seems to miss some central points that leave a bad taste in the mouths of citizens and for which his answers have so far not provided significant cause for comfort nor closure.
The fact is that to date the country does not know the definitive story that led to the payout of $150,000 of taxpayers' money to settle a case brought by Ms Moreau which included allegations of sexual harassment against the former minister.
To date, the country does not know when the Prime Minister first heard of the ongoings at the Ministry, which from all accounts involved more than one senior public official and the Prime Minister's lawyer.
The country does not know what actions are in place to prevent a recurrence of what is alleged to have taken place and there has not been a real sense of outrage or condemnation of the behaviour that led to the action by Ms Moreau.
What is also unacceptable is that a probe was announced and the findings found to be unusable and there appears to be little or no appetite to determine what happened.
Mr Prime Minister the country demands to know the truth about what happened and how we goy to the payment of $150,000 of taxpayers' dollars to a citizen who made serious allegations against a member of your parliamentary team.
To say he is no longer in government so the matter is closed is to be insensitive to the concerns of citizens. How do we know that Mr Smith is not, in fact, a victim? You selected Mr Smith as part of your party's process. You campaigned for him and you put him in your Cabinet. Was this an error of judgement?
Continued failure to push for transparency in this matter will continue to open you and your government up to allegations of a cover-up.