Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 7th 2015 Contents A5
Friday, August 7, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
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Healthcare workers are among
thousands of employees from the
public sector who are expected
to benefit from a $4 billion back-
pay after the September 7 general
Finance and the Economy Min-
ister Larry Howai said the backpay
would be paid in November.
He was speaking at yesterday s
post-Cabinet news conference at
the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann s.
Chief Personnel Officer
Stephanie Lewis and the Region-
al Health Authorities agreed to
a 14 per cent pay hike for
employes earlier this week. It is
for the expired period 2011 to
RHA workers on Wednesday
engaged in a heated protest out-
side the Health Ministry, Port-
of-Spain, after Health Minister
Dr Fuad Khan did not give a sat-
isfactory response to demands
for payment of their backpay
before next month s polls.
But Howai said yesterday the
new rates are to be implemented
from September as some time was
required for the adjustments to be
effected. He said the backpay will
be paid in November.
He said time was required not
only to make the administrative
adjustments but in some
instance parliamentary approval
was necessary as some of the
money was not appropriated
before the Parliament was dis-
solved in June.
Teachers, the public service, the
protective services and other work-
ers have settled wage and salary
negotiations this year.
Howai said yesterday: "Even
before we settled we had iden-
tified the funding for it so that
is in place.
"What we did not do in all cases
is to include it in the actual budget
of this current fiscal year and
therefore will have had to go back
to Parliament (last) June to get the
"For the recent ones that we
have agreed (with), the additional
allocation will also not be in this
budget (and) we have to include
it in the appropriation for next
He insisted however that "the
cash will be available to the Gov-
ernment because we have already
put things in place to ensure the
cash flow to make the payments
$4b in backpay come November
Howai on $$ owing to public sector workers
A teenager from Carapo, Arima,
was yesterday denied bail after
appearing in court alongside her two
neighbours charged with attempting
to smuggle a large quantity of mar-
ijuana into the Frederick Street
prison on Thursday.
Kissondaye Mahabir, 48, her 28-
year-old daughter, Cindy Kanhai, and
the teenage mother, who can not be
named as she is still considered a
minor in law, all pleaded not guilty
to marijuana trafficking when they
appeared before Magistrate Sharon
Gibson in the Port-of-Spain Four A
Court yesterday morning.
Mahabir and Khania were each
released on $75,000 bail. However,
Gibson was forced to adjourn the
teenager s bail application to this
morning as there was an issue in
determining her exact age.
While the police claimed the
woman told them she was 18 when
she was arrested, her father who was
in court yesterday claimed that she
was a year younger.
Neither party could produce any
of the woman s identification docu-
ments to clarify the issue, so Gibson
put the case off to this morning for
them to provide proof of her age.
Although the teenager s father
agreed to be her surety when bail is
eventually granted he expressed con-
cerns over his ability to ensure that
his daughter attended her court hear-
ings once released.
Stating his daughter spent two years
at the St Jude School for Girls in Bel-
mont after her family had repeated
issues with her behaviour, the father
said: "She very hard to control some-
In addition to the father s concerns,
Gibson also took note of the fact that
the teenager was allowed to make
visits to the prison.
While it was revealed in court that
the teen and her two fellow accused
were visiting her husband, who is
remand at the facility on a murder
conspiracy charge, Gibson maintained
that minors were not allowed in the
"I wonder if she is lying to the
prison officers about her age to get
access into the prison. How at only
16 years old you have so much going
on in your life? You are married, you
have a child, you have a husband who
is incarcerated and now you find your-
self before the court on a charge of
possession of marijuana for traffick-
ing," Gibson said.
Relatives of the two women released
on bail clashed with media photog-
raphers who were camped outside the
St Vincent Street courthouse.
The media personnel were rescued
by Court and Process Branch officers
who forced the relatives, who were
cursing and hurling threats at the
photographers, to disperse.
The trio were arrested at the Fred-
erick Street prison on Thursday
morning after prison officers allegedly
found a quantity of marijuana hidden
in the soles of a pair of flip-flops,
which were due to be given to the
teenager s husband together with a
parcel of clothing.
The drugs weighed a total of 41
grammes. They are all said to be
members of the Jamaat-al-Mus-
limeen s Carapo outpost.
The trio are being represented by
Criston J Williams and Abbigale
Thomas and will reappear in court
on September 3.
No bail for 3 charged
with prison smuggling
JENSEN LA VENDE
An illegal 12-guage shotgun,
bought to protect a garden from
wild animals, was instead used
yesterday morning to end the life
of an 11-year-old boy in the
forested hills of Upper Richplain,
Police at the scene of the fatal
shooting described it as horrific
accident. Some officers said that
the possessing of the gun was
with good intent but the method
in obtaining it was not legal.
According to police, Ruben
Rocky Reid, died almost imme-
diately after he ran in the pathway
of the gun.
Police said the Standard Five
pupil of Diego Martin Primary
School went with a 13-year-old
friend to the forested area where
the 13-year-old s brothers---11 and
six---were tending to their father s
crops of corn, peas and plantain.
Police said around 11.30 am the
13-year-old loaded the shotgun.
Moments later his brother, also
11, fired once, hitting the other
11-year-old in the face. He died
from that gunshot wound.
Another bullet from the shot-
gun grazed the 13-year-old in
the lower back. Dazed, confused
and hurt he pushed the bleeding
child s body down a nearby
precipice and ran off. The police
want to question him. The other
two children were up to last
night in police care.
Speaking with the media at the
foothill where his son s body lay,
Phillip Thomas said his last of
eight children was a brilliant
young man who loved sports.
Thomas said he recently bought
a pair of football boots for his
child and he had not even seen
the boots yet.
Thomas said his son earned the
middle name Rocky as he was a
strong child from birth and he
wanted to brand him with a fitting
"He solid as a rock," Thomas
said as he recalled his child being
born within 15 minutes of his
mother arriving at hospital.
As Thomas spoke, the maternal
grandfather of the two children
now in police custody, Wayne
"Tamby" Greaves, 63, said he
could not explain how he felt.
He added it was a case of care-
lessness on the part of the chil-
dren s father, who police say is
facing charges of gun and ammu-
nition possession as well as mar-
Thomas too said what hap-
pened was carelessness and while
he was not blaming anyone, he
believed that the owner of the
gun should have been more
responsible knowing that children
frequented the area.
Thomas added: "That man
know that gun was loaded... I
always caution my children about
going in the bush."
Greaves on the other hand said
that the police should find the
children s father and arrest him
instead of his grandchildren.
At the bottom of the hill scores
of villagers waited for Ruben s
body to be brought out of the
forest. His mother was uncon-
Neighbours said the young
man was very polite and well-
mannered. Children the ages of
the boys said it was a "sad
Most of those gathered won-
dered how the parents were cop-
ing, some suggesting that they
get "real counselling."
Friend shoots boy, 11
Two other children in police care
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