Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 16th 2015 Contents news
August 16, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
Independent Liberal Party (ILP)
leader Jack Warner is putting
together another political bomb-
shell---one that further intrudes
into the private life of Prime Min-
ister Kamla Persad-Bissessar. On
Friday night, speaking at an ILP
forum in Arima, Warner pledged
to "do anything" to get Persad-
Bissessar out of office. He men-
tioned then that he had a big
"mark to buss" on her.
The Sunday Guardian has learned
that the "mark" will come from
the recording of a conversation he
had with National Infrastructure
Development Company Ltd (Nidco)
communications manager, Ingrid
Ishmael, in which Ishmael divulges
confidential information on Per-
sad-Bissessar s private life, includ-
ing past liaisons during her stint
as leader of the opposition and
while in office.
The Sunday Guardian obtained
copies of taped conversations
between Warner and Ishmael,
which spoke about women said to
be connected to the Prime Minis-
ter.The women, according to the
audio, allegedly shared a history
with Persad-Bissessar and are now
working in various ministries.
One of them, who is said to be
favoured by Persad-Bissessar, was
appointed to a consulate.
According to the audio, Ishmael,
who claimed to have worked with
Persad-Bissessar for 23 years, is
willing to testify in court and swear
on the Bible that what she is saying
is the truth.
The Sunday Guardian yesterday
contacted Ishmael to verify that it
was her voice on the recording.
"Yes, I know what you are talking
about," she said.
"I don t know how you plan to
deal with this but what I said in
that conversation with Mr Warner
is the truth," Ishmael added.
Ishmael said she worked closely
with Persad-Bissessar when she
was the then opposition leader and
was privy to several aspects of Per-
sad-Bissessar s private life.
Ishmael said she worked with
Persad-Bissessar as communica-
tions specialist at the Ministries of
Education, Legal Affairs and Office
of the Attorney General, as well as
media relations officer at the Office
of the Opposition Leader.
Ishmael said she has only now
decided to break her silence because
of her beliefs.
"I don t believe a woman who
prides herself on being the mother
of the nation but carries on like
this in her private life should be
given another chance in office. I
cannot stand the hypocrisy of it at
all," she said. Ishmael confirmed
that she turned to Warner to vent.
"I was there when they spoke
about Mr Warner even when he
was in the party and they referred
to Mr Warner in the most degrading
terms," she said.
"That hypocrisy was too much,"
"I do not push for fame. I work
very hard. I am not doing this for
any monetary nothing. I want my
While there is no date on the
audio recording, the two talk about
needing the information from the
women involved "like yesterday,"
as the election was "only four
The timing of Warner s latest
bombshell comes in the last few
weeks of the United National Con-
gress campaign for re-election.
But at least one political analyst is
questioning whether revealing
information on a politician s private
life would have the desired out-
Just a week ago, news broke that
former Express investigative jour-
nalist Anika Gumbs was "trauma-
tised" by what she claimed were
sexual advances by Opposition
Leader Dr Keith Rowley.
Gumbs cited Rowley s alleged
behaviour as the reason behind her
surprise resignation from the
Several calls and a text to Per-
sad-Bissessar s mobile phone went
Opposition Leader Dr Keith
Rowley yesterday questioned why
the Housing Development Corpo-
ration (HDC) awarded millions of
dollars in cleaning contracts to "a
particular woman who had a prob-
lem with me."
Rowley said when the People s
Partnership Government came into
office in 2010, there were thousands
of houses that were in various stages
of construction, built by the PNM,
that were available for distribution
to the public.
"They did not distribute them.
They did absolutely nothing with
them. They hold them there until
the election in 2015," Rowley told
supporters at Woodford Square,
He said while people were des-
perate for homes, the HDC, which
fell under the purview of Housing
Minister Dr Roodal Moonilal,
"locked up the houses and they
(HDC) were paying selected people
to clean and secure them on a regular
basis. And that action caused you
the taxpayers millions of dollars."
He said these contracts should
never have been given out. Rowley
said among the people who were
paid millions of dollars to clean those
houses "is a particular woman who
had a problem with me."
"That is how they run this coun-
try. So when you see them doing
things it is nothing for free."
While Rowley steered clear of call-
ing the woman s name, the PNM
crowd went into an uproar and
began shouting the name of a former
Jack gets details of PM's private liaisons...
'Too much hypocrisy'
Jack Warner, Independent Liberal
Party (ILP) leader
Political Analyst: Negative
news could turn off key
Analyst Mukesh Basdeo
yesterday warned that while
negative news about a
politician's private life may not
affect loyal voters, it could turn
off the key undecided voter.
"The idea of talking about the
private lives of politicians is
really to tarnish the public
image of that politician. It is
saying to the voters that this is
the person behind that public
image and to chip away at
that," Basdeo said.
"And obviously that could
have an impact on the person
vying for office."
He said to alleviate this
situation, the candidate-
screening process must now
move past the person's viability
for office and look at the
person's private life.
"It is now at the point where,
like the US and the UK, we are
holding persons in high office to
a higher standard and we
expect a certain type of
behaviour from them because
of the office they hold," Basdeo
Rowley: HDC paid millions to clean empty units
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