THE PRIME Minister has described a People’s National Movement (PNM) publication, The Patriot’s Guide to Why Never Again, as the “bible of corruption” for the previous administration.
Dr Rowley was speaking on Thursday night at a PNM public meeting at St Francois Girls’ College in Belmont as part of the campaign for the July 16 by-elections.
“If you hear them talk today, you would think that criminal conduct and violent action in TT. where people are killed willy-nilly, had started when I came in office in September (2015). And some are actually saying it is because the PNM is in office that crime is running away.”
Rowley said he wanted to talk to the audience from the book. He said Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar has said crime fell to the lowest level when she was in office and she and (then Attorney General) Anand Ramlogan had crime under control and was the lowest for 31 years.
He read a section dated January 4, 2015, about ten murders in four days and January 6, 2015 about 14 murders in six days.
“That is January, and by September she was out of office, and nothing had changed. That was what we inherited.”
He said Government has not been able to eliminate crime from the society and the criminal element was still a major threat.
He said there was a contractor in East Port of Spain who had $18 million of taxpayers’ money in his personal bank account and that was the kind of corruption taking place under the previous administration. Rowley alleged the Opposition wanted to get back into office to prevent the PNM from unearthing corruption.
“Where in the history of TT have you seen so many (former) ministers of government before the courts?”
The 126-page book included 103 pages detailing various incidents involving the previous People’s Partnership administration, two pages of major investigations still pending and a breakdown of resigned or fired People’s Partnership officials.
The first note was from May 14, 2010, when former prime minister Patrick Manning warned TT that Persad-Bissessar was a “disaster waiting to happen,” to August 5, 2015, when the former director of the Strategic Services Agency was set to receive millions for wrongful dismissal, and included issues involving former ministers Jack Warner and Anil Roberts, Special Intelligence Agency head Reshmi Ramnarine, Section 34, “E-mailgate” and the controversial Life Sport programme. The book was distributed at the meeting and one person present was praised for personally delivering a copy to Persad-Bissessar.
Rowley said the Opposition has an “army of liars” on social media and in the newspapers who would argue even when the Government had not done anything wrong.
He asked why the Opposition was so hell-bent on preventing property tax from being collected when revenue was in short supply.
“Servicing you at local government, there is not enough money to go around, and there is some money to be collected there. What is their problem? They believe that you are so inclined that if they tell you, ‘Well, we wouldn’t collect the tax,’ you will ignore everything else and you will vote for them.”