Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 19th 2014 Contents KALIFA CLYNE
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar
yesterday revealed she had no idea from
where thousands of gifts donated to chil-
dren through her toy distribution drive
Persad-Bissessar has spent much of the
last few weeks going to different con-
stituencies to give toys to children.
She also hosted several toy and hamper
distribution functions at the Diplomatic
Centre, St Ann s.
The toy drive will continue today and
tomorrow as she heads to constituencies
in south Trinidad.
Persad-Bissessar spoke to the media
yesterday after a distribution of cheques
The toy drive has received criticism from
Opposition MPs as well as political activists
after Persad-Bissessar revealed that toys
were purchased by corporate sponsors.
In an interview after the distribution
Persad-Bissessar said she did not know
who the corporate sponsors were.
"I do not know who they are. There is
a committee. That is their job. It is given
to me to give away," Persad-Bissessar said.
She said she was not involved directly
or indirectly with the sourcing of the gifts
and toys for the children.
Persad-Bissessar said all questions about
the toy drive should be directed to the
chairman of the committee Peter Kanhai.
"This is the fifth year we have done this.
I tell you I have not given contracts to
anyone. I have not attempted to receive
anything from anyone.
"These (gifts) were sourced by the com-
mittee. I have not been directly involved
in any of it but I am directly involved as
the patron. I am the conduit. they source
it and give it to us. We organise the venues
and give it to the children," Persad-Bisses-
Asked whether the committee had gone
to specific organisations and requested
gifts, Persad-Bissessar again referred ques-
tions to Kanhai.
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Friday, December 19, 2014
The Jolly Trolley winning number for
Thursday December 18 was 007773.
If the number on the back of your yes-
terday s paper was 007773 you have won
the prize of $11,500 in cash and $6,500 in
You now have until 3 pm today to come
to the T&T Guardian, 22-24, St Vincent
Street, Port-of-Spain, with your copy of
the T&T Guardian newspaper (complete
newspaper) containing the winning trolley
at the back and photo identification.
Tune into Crime Watch on CNC3 tonight
for today s Jolly Trolley draw.
If the trolley in the back of your today s
paper matches the number drawn tonight,
you win today s prize of cash and grocery
Jolly Trolley promotion prize now worth $18,000
With declining oil prices calling for prudent use
of State resources, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-
Bissessar is being accused of reckless spending in
dishing out gifts this Christmas season.
Although Persad-Bissessar said Government s
Christmas toy distribution drive was done through
sponsors, former attorney general Ramesh Lawrence
Maharaj called on the PM to list the donors.
This includes a public statement on the $55 million
grant to churches and vouchers to selected journal-
At a news conference at his office at Irving Street,
San Fernando, yesterday, Maharaj said if companies
engaged in government contracts were the donors,
there could be breaches of public procurement pro-
He said a procedure must be followed if Govern-
ment had to accept gifts and wanted to know if that
He said: "There are rules and procedures to be
followed and therefore the Prime Minister cannot be
suspected of using State facilities and private resources
to promote party political issues.
"I think it is very important for these questions
to be asked of the Prime Minister and for her to
answer these questions.
"If the monies are not government monies, the
Prime Minister must disclose the private source of
"Are contractors benefiting from illegal contracts
"The answers are important because it must be
known whether there are conflicts of interest, possible
breaches of the integrity law of Trinidad and Tobago,
or the monies are the proceeds of crime, including
drugs, terrorism or money laundering."
Kamla accused of
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar
Kanhai, in a
night, said as
far as he was
for sponsors who have an interest in
children," Kanhai said.
Kanhai said the drive, which began in
2010 following the People's Partnership
being elected in Government, had
grown significantly over the years.
"The first year we had the drive, in
2010, we (the committee) approached
sponsors but for the following years a
lot of them came to us."
Kanhai, who is vice president of the
Tunapuna Chamber of Industry and
Commerce, said during the first year he
had sourced sponsorship from some of
Kanhai said sponsors such as Kiss
Baking, Holiday Foods, Universal Foods,
Bermudez and Coca Cola often
provided items free of charge or gave
significant discounts of up to 60 per
Asked whether there was a criteria
which sponsors had to meet, Kanhai
said sponsors had to be legitimate
businesses and must want to be a part
of the initiative.
PM's toy donors named
Links Archive December 18th 2014 December 20th 2014 Navigation Previous Page Next Page