Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 9th 2015 Contents • Twitter: @GuardianTT • Web: guardian.co.tt
SUNDAY, AUGUST 9, 2015
RHONDA KRYSTAL RAMBALLY
If she emerges victorious in the September 7 general elec-
tion, the People's National Movement (PNM) candidate for
Tobago West, Shamfa Cudjoe intends to hit the ground run-
Cudjoe, a former opposition senator from Bethel Village in
Tobago, said for the past five years, Tobagonians have been
neglected by representatives of the Tobago Organisation of
the People (TOP)---Vernella Alleyne-Toppin and Dr Delmon
Baker held the Tobago West seat, while Alleyne-Toppin
held Tobago East since the May 2010 general election.
Cudjoe said Tobagonians are still waiting for their voices
to be heard.
She holds a master s in international trade from the University
of the West Indies, Cave Hill campus, and works in the Division
of Finance and Enterprise Development.
She s also the assistant director of the Youth Energised for
Success Programme which is responsible for assisting young
people for the world of work, setting up their businesses, and
becoming leaders and drivers of Tobago s development.
In an interview with the Sunday Guardian on Tuesday, the
33-year-old said her two areas of major concern were inter-
island transportation and land titles and deeds.
She said these two issues affected the business environment
in Tobago, and the day-to-day life of Tobagonians. She claimed
the inability to move goods and services back and forth made
Tobago "less attractive" than Trinidad, as it related to business.
She said if resolved, then the people of Tobago can have
a level of freedom to excel and achieve "like the rest of the
The Bethel Village resident said she has a good appreciation
of the challenges faced by Tobago based on internal self-gov-
ernment and all the other matters related to Tobago s devel-
Cudjoe is grateful for the chance and thinks it is an oppor-
tunity "to really dive into the work and get it done."
She said, "While you are in the Opposition, especially in
the Senate, you could talk, you could have your say but when
you are in government, you get the chance to do things and
to make a big change...more impactful and significant to
improving people s lives in a positive way."
Tobagonians feel betrayed
The youth activist who wanted to be a trade negotiator said
people were looking forward to the elections.
"People feel stifled, muffled and betrayed by the things that
have happened over the past five years," Cudjoe said.
She s hoping to bring a breath of fresh air to the Tobago
West constituency which comprises villages such as Bethel,
Carnbee, Signal Hill, Lambeau, Black Rock, Bon Accord,
Canaan and Lowlands.
She felt Baker and Alleyne-Toppin have failed.
Asked if the constituency of Tobago West was well rep-
d hip, she said, "No, no."
of representation. I think all
es that served between 2010
eople of Tobago."
representative in the Parlia-
was responsible for being a
Tobago House of Assembly
ive was responsible for taking
the people to Cabinet or to
Parliament to have matters
d to facilitate a harmonious
A and Central Government,
ore autonomy and authority
d its institutions taking care
he most part, I feel that the
ntatives during that time had
more of a hindrance than of
o the people of Tobago and
peting with THA
he said the Ministry of Toba-
Development, which "pretty
ch" replaced the Ministry of
bago Affairs, originally had
responsibility to co-ordinate
armonious relationship with
In 2010, The Central Admin-
strative Services, Tobago was
upgraded from the Ministry
of Tobago Affairs under the
Office of the Prime Minister
to the Ministry of Tobago
However, Cudjoe said the
ive-year-old ministry was
mitating the THA and com-
eting with matters under its
"What we have experienced
a Ministry of Tobago Devel-
ment or ministers that seem
e fighting the THA and
gonians, rather than helping."
claimed the ministry aban-
and "totally ignored" matters
h it was responsible such as
police, and air and sea trans-
e competing with the THA
ut grants rather than being a
quick handouts but the mat-
h they are responsible have
one, and it makes no sense
usiness undone and compete
y else in their matter because
he day, your business has still
...says island in dire need
constituents feel betrayed
for deep dive
PNM Tobago West
candidate Shamfa Cudjoe
PHOTO: MARCUS GONZALES
PNM --- Shamfa Cudjoe
TOP --- Natasha Second
ILP --- Paul Peters
TPT --- Hochoy Charles
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