Saturday 19 October, 2019

Kamla to Rowley: Release new info which led to Smith's firing

Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar is calling on the Government to immediately release the “new information” on former Sport Minister Darryl Smith which led to his firing one day after he was reassigned to Minister in the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, Persad-Bissessar recalled that four days ago Dr Rowley had confidence in every member of his Cabinet and one day ago, opted to reassign the Minister to a junior post despite the swirl of allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct.

She says the Prime Minister’s action raises more questions than answers.

“What is the “new information” the Prime Minister received that changed his mind on Darryl Smith?  

“In the interest of transparency and accountability, we call on the Prime Minister to immediately to release this "new information" to the public.  We also call on the Prime Minister to explain why, in spite of the information appearing in the media, he failed to take action against Smith as he should have done immediately.”

Persad-Bissessar said the entire situation remains shrouded in mystery and questions why another Committee has been appointed to investigate the matter. 

“Investigate what, exactly, Dr. Rowley? Keith Rowley cannot claim that he did not know yesterday morning that an investigation was done, the parties agreed and monies were paid.”

The Opposition Leader also questioned whether the Attorney General and other members of Government knew about the settlement agreement.

“How much longer will Government continue to hide information from the general public when sexual harassment and taxpayers’ monies are involved? Who knows how many more instances of this have been swept under the rug?”

Former Permanent Secretary and Human Resource Expert Jackie Wilson will chair the committee into the allegations against Smith. WINAD's Folade Mutota and Attorney-at-Law Elaine Greene will also sit on the Committee.


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