Shamfa condemns vulgar 'attack' on her reputation
Tourism Minister Shamfa Cudjoe has been left disappointed and disheartened by what she describes as an attempt by her political opponents to tarnish her reputation.
Cudjoe took to Facebook last evening to express her shock over the attempt to sully her character, after a photo of her was attached to pornographic material and allegedly shared across social media pages owned by the Opposition.
She denied that the individual appearing in the offending material was her and condemned the "malignant plot".
The Minister also shot back at commentators who said that this sort of development was just part of life in the political arena, declaring that she would not remain silent in the face of such an attack.
"Why should I keep silent? Because it's the lady-like thing to do? What kind of message would I be sending the other women, our young girls and our children, who aspire to leadership? How dare I be so flippant? I am a woman, a young professional and a human being.
I am a somebody's daughter, sister, aunt, among the many other hats that I wear. Finally and perhaps most importantly, I've spent 35 years building my life, my career and with an underpinning of a sound reputation. My good name is all that I have, and I must protect and defend my good name to the hilt."
Speaking with LoopTT, Cudjoe said it was disappointing that anyone would go to such lengths to tarnish her reputation.
The Minister questioned why an administrator on the page on which the offending content was allegedly shared around did not remove the posts.
She said while she cannot say where the material originated from, the posts should have been removed.
Cudjoe said, however, that she would not allow this to distract her from the work that she is doing.
The matter has been reported to the Police Cybercrime Unit and other relevant agencies for investigation.
UNC - 'We are not into that kind of thing'
United National Congress (UNC) Chairman David Lee said he had not been aware of any such post on the party's official page, but added that the UNC is "not into that sort of thing".
He said if any post of that nature had been shared to the page by anyone "by accident" it would have been removed.
Lee said if any supporters of the party were in fact sharing the offending material, he would strongly advise that they desist from doing so.
"It is in my view very distasteful...it could be someone maliciously planting this as fake. We are all human beings and we should try to be respectful and not degrade individuals in that form and fashion."
The UNC Chairman, however, said that it was customary of the present administration to place the blame on the party for anything "like this" that happens.
"I mean they should look within their own people first because there are so many different grumblings that are taking place within their own party. So you can't be too sure of what is happening."
"I take umbrage once there is any kind of attack taking place on some PNM individual and they always seem to feel it is the UNC causing this, and I am tired of that. We act with decorum and if that were to happen, I as Chairman, would condemn it in the strongest form or fashion."