Monday 23 November, 2020

UNC questions how Rowley knew about EMBD corruption case

The United National Congress (UNC) is raising concerns with the declaration made by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley that he was aware of corruption at the Estate Management and Business Development (EMBD) company.

Dr Rowley was speaking at a campaign meet-up in Tobago on Sunday night where he quoted a Guardian Media report written by Mark Bassant titld “Arrests coming soon in $549M EMBD case”. Before delving into the allegations of misappropriation of state funds detailed within the article, Dr Rowley said he was well aware of white collar crime that had occurred at EMBD for some time. He also said he did not make it public lest he be accused of using it as an election gimmick.

In a statement on Monday, the Opposition slammed the Prime Minister for his comments. 

“How can the Prime Minister be privy to such information, especially on the eve of an election? Clearly the disclosure of such information is not being done in the public's interest but being done in the interest of the PNM.”

“Rowley must be reminded that investigations currently underway remain a police matter and must be dealt with by the police. It is rather unethical, if not in total contravention of the separation of powers which bolsters our democracy, that the head of the political arm of the State would be seeking to utilise information from an independent arm of the State for political benefit.”

Furthermore, the party likened the allegation to the email-gate scandal which was closed.

The UNC went on to lambaste Dr Rowley accusing him of having no vision or plan for the future of the country and of using the EMBD corruption case as a distraction.

“We understand that the Prime Minister is losing support and is feeling the pressure of such, resulting in his "bullying attitude" towards his opponents, but a police investigation cannot be used as a Balisier House political tool.”

“The hard-working members of our TTPS and their work must be left off the PNM’s platforms.”  

The statement ended with the Opposition reminding of its plans for T&T that were announced by Kamla Persad-Bissessar since October 2019. This includes intentions to create 50,000 new jobs and lower taxes.

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