Tuesday 23 July, 2019

Kamla: CoE into $500M land acquisition a 'distraction'

Bring it on: Opposition leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar speaks at a media conference on Thursday following the announcement of a Commission of Enquiry into the $500 million acquisition of land for the Solomon Hochoy Highway extension to Point Fortin.

Bring it on: Opposition leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar speaks at a media conference on Thursday following the announcement of a Commission of Enquiry into the $500 million acquisition of land for the Solomon Hochoy Highway extension to Point Fortin.

Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar has described the announcement by Government of a Commission of Enquiry (CoE) into the acquisition of land for the construction of the Solomon Hochoy Highway to Point Fortin, as nothing more than a distraction.

On Thursday, Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister Stuart Young revealed that the Ministry of Works and Transport submitted a report to the Cabinet which showed that the People’s Partnership administration spent $500 million to acquire property for the highway.

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Speaking at a press conference on Thursday afternoon, the Opposition Leader said she had no problem with the CoE into the $500 million land acquisition process.

However, she raised several questions about the probe.

“Will they include the land acquisition for the Curepe interchange? Will it include gun-toting children? Would it include million-dollar rental contracts to family members of the government? Would it include fake oil? These and many other issues are worthy of Commission of Enquiries. I have no problem with any commission of enquiry, but we are on the doorstep of you way out,” the Opposition Leader.

Persad-Bissessar further described the announcement as a distraction by government.

She added that it was no surprise that the announcement came days after international credit rating agency Standard and Poor’s downgraded T&T’s sovereign credit rating.

“This Rowley government is once again resorting at attempts to distract the population from the very serious issues that are facing our country. They are also seeking to distract from their own incompetence and their inability to govern. They keep looking in the rear-view mirror. They keep looking backwards. Four years later, they are still up to the same blame game. So, I see it as another distraction on their part,” she said.

The Opposition Leader called on the government to ‘bring on’ the Commissioner of Enquiry.

“So bring on the Commission of Enquiry. I have no problems with that. If anybody did wrong they did wrong, deal with them in law. I am a believer in the rule of law and should they be able to find any such thing, go ahead,” she said.

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