Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 22nd 2015 Contents RADHICA SOOKRAJ
Given the political heat sur-
rounding Ish Galbaransingh and
allegations of bribery over Section
34, senior members of Govern-
ment are still insisting he remains
free to bid for State projects.
Galbaransingh won the bid for
the construction of the $14 million
Brickfield Packing House which was
opened on Monday in Tabaquite.
His company Aztec Asphalt Pavers
Ltd was responsible for completing
the facility in record time.
In an interview yesterday, Works
Minister Dr Suruj Rambachan said
he did not agree that the UNC
should distance itself from Gal-
baransingh and his company in light
of allegations by ILP leader Jack
Warner that businessman Steve Fer-
guson allegedly paid $8 million in
bribes to Prime Minister Kamla Per-
Warner was expected to provide
evidence of the alleged bribes in a
press conference yesterday but it
In an email, Warner said an addi-
tional piece of information had sur-
faced and needed to be verified. He
also said the inclement weather
would pose a difficulty for some
persons who wished to attend the
Galbaransingh, in an interview,
said his attorneys were reviewing
Warner s accusations.
However, Rambachan said despite
the issue, Galbaransingh should not
be banned from bidding for proj-
"Those were public bids and if
Galbaransingh wins the bid, he can-
not be denied because he is free to
bid and tender for any project,"
He added: "I don t think the UNC
should distance themselves from
him at all. He had a company that
was existing way before and after
the Piarco airport project."
Rambachan could not provide
details of the tendering process and
directed questions to Food Produc-
tion Minister Devant Maharaj.
Contacted on his cellphone yes-
terday, Maharaj said he also dis-
agreed with the notion that Gal-
baransingh should be sidelined
because of the allegations.
He added: "As far as I am aware
his company tendered like every-
body else. Whatever tender rules
existed he emerged as the successful
"Why should we distance our-
selves? Is it that he is not allowed
to do business in Trinidad? Should
we terminate any projects for which
he has won a bid?
"What is the basis of the dis-
crimination against him. If we do
this we can open up ourselves to
litigation?" Maharaj asked.
He also denied knowledge of the
tendering process, saying it was
handled by the National Agricultural
Marketing and Development Cor-
"The details of implementation
and execution was done by Namde-
vco. I didn t even know Galbarans-
ingh s company was doing this proj-
ect," Maharaj said.
He directed questions to Namde-
vco s CEO Ganesh Gangapersad,
who assured that Aztec Pavers won
the contract because it had the low-
He said he was out of office and
could not provide details of the ten-
ders but would do so when he got
in office today.
Secretary of the Prisons Officers
Association Gerard Gordon says the
association will lodge another com-
plaint in the Industrial Court after
its matter challenging breaches of
the Occupational Health and Safety
Act in the nation s prisons was dis-
Gordon said: "We will be filing
another action seeking similar relief
from the court very soon."
Gordon said the association was
frustrated with the complaints it
made for the officers security and
action was needed.
"Some of them (government offi-
cials) called and we are not interested
in a meeting.
"If we met the Prime Minister, the
Chief Justice and the National Secu-
rity Council who we going and meet
again? God? And the criminal ele-
ments want to hasten that meeting
with God. We want action," he added.
Gordon said the only person they
were willing to speak with was Hous-
ing Minister Roodal Moonilal.
"That is to deal with the relocation
of officers who need to be moved.
How much talk we will talk? After
Friday officers will give their sug-
gestions to move forward," he said.
A release from the Ministry of Jus-
tice said the matter between the Pris-
ons Officers Association and the Jus-
tice Ministry officials was dismissed
The association had filed a motion
on July 10 in the Industrial Court
against officials of the Ministry of
Justice, the Minister of Justice, the
permanent secretary of the Ministry
of Justice and the Commissioner
The motion alleged breaches of the
Occupational Health and Safety Act.
The matter was heard before Deborah
Thomas-Felix, president of the court.
The statement from the ministry
said: "The ministry remains com-
mitted to the safety of both prisons
officers and inmates and is working
expeditiously to address the concerns
raised by the association."
Meanwhile, investigators have
identified a suspect wanted in con-
nection with Sunday night s shooting
of prisons officer Otis Johnson.
Prisons officers yesterday circulated
a photograph of the alleged "shooter."
They claimed he was a former Youth
Training Centre (YTC) inmate.
Johnson remains warded at the
Port-of-Spain General Hospital up
to late yesterday after he was shot
on Sunday night about the body
while walking at the corner of Fred-
erick and Duke Streets.
He is the second prisons officer
shot between Saturday and Sunday.
Arnell Primus, an officer at the
Youth Training Centre, was killed in
Two weeks ago, Kerwyn Boswell,
another prisons officer was shot out-
side his San Fernando home by gun-
Several of the officers have
expressed their grievances over Face-
book and in some instances asked
God for assistance.
The officers said they would be
asking for police transport when leav-
ing the prisons.
However, some officers said now
they had to fork out over $20,000
to secure their homes and them-
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Wednesday, July 22, 2015
Villagers dance the cocoa during the Tobago Heritage Festival in Charlotteville, Tobago, on Monday.
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returning to court
Suruj: Why should UNC
stay away from Ish?
'He should not be banned from project biddings'
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