Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 16th 2016 Contents A5
Tuesday, February 16, 2016 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Embattled Port-of-Spain Mayor
Raymond Tim Kee was mobbed by
scores of supporters as he stepped
out of his official black-tinted SUV
around 10.50 am yesterday to make
his way to the front entrance of his
office on Knox Street, Port-of-Spain.
Chanting "Tim Kee must stay," "No
Tim Kee, no PNM," close to 100 people,
who were eagerly waiting on the pave-
ment opposite from as early as 5 am,
surged towards Tim Kee upon spotting
They hugged him and shouted: "You
not going anywhere."
Tim Kee offered no comment but
instead shook hands, waved and
embraced his supporters before calmly
walking up two flight of stairs to his
He later stood on the balcony, arms
upraised, and acknowledged the crowd.
Supporters, who were mostly
dressed in white, carried placards with
newspaper clippings showing women
in bikini and beads in their Carnival
costumes with the writing: "The mayor
is right. Don t disrespect yourself."
Supporters --- Juliet Davy and Melba
Boxill --- presented a petition with more
than 100 signatures in support of Tim
Kee to the mayor s office just after 11
Moments before Tim Kee s arrival
members of the media were taunted
by some supporters who blamed jour-
nalists for the avalanche of criticism
against Tim Kee relating to the dis-
covery of the body of Japanese pan
player Asami Nagakiya at the Queen s
Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain, on Ash
He subsequently issued an apology
in the face of more criticism and even-
tually issued another statement on
Saturday announcing his intention to
Nagakiya, 30, from Sapporo, Hokkai-
do, was still wearing her Legacy hand
band and was in full costume when
her body was found under a tree by
Geoff Adams, of Tamana, who had
been walking through the area.
An autopsy last Thursday showed
she had been strangled.
At a press conference on Ash
Wednesday, Tim Kee, in response to
a question, had told reporters ---
before it was determined that
Nagakiya had been murdered --- that
women had a responsibility to ensure
they were not abused and that they
ought not to behave vulgar while
"Dem media people cannot even
read and write but they only writing
wrong thing about Tim Kee. Media
people too wicked," one woman
shouted to a group of media practi-
tioners who were covering the event
Her statements then encouraged
other supporters to shout obscenities
at the media personnel.
Their comments caught the atten-
tion of some police officers who inter-
vened and warned the protestors that
law and order must be upheld.
The officers then instructed the
supporters, who had gathered at the
corner of Knox and Frederick Streets,
to go inside Woodford Square.
Some complied but others stood
their ground, referring to last Friday s
gathering where scores of women s
activists protested against Tim Kee.
They had also gathered at the cor-
ner of Knox and Frederick Streets but
were not removed by the police.
"When de white people stand up
here de police leave them though.
But de police racist and they want to
treat we like dog and want to run
we," one man said as he pointed to
two police officers.
Santa Cruz resident and self-pro-
claimed businessman Samuel
Stafford, who was among the group,
said there was nothing wrong about
Tim Kee s statements, adding that
the mayor was doing a good job.
"My fight is to keep the mayor in
office. What he is supposed to do is
give a strong apology for the death
of the young lady as a tourist, not
step down," Stafford said.
Echoing Stafford s sentiments was
radio talk show host Harvey Borris.
Mayor mobbed by supporters
That s the accusation now lev-
elled against Port-of-Spain Mayor
Raymond Tim Kee and the ruling
People s National Movement
(PNM) after Tim Kee s expected
resignation failed to materialise
Political analyst Dr Bishnu
Ragoonath says Tim Kee may use
the support of the Port-of-Spain
City Corporation Council and
other people which he received
yesterday as a basis to try and
remain as mayor.
Ragoonath said: "Based on what
Tim Kee said on social media that
he has more work to be done, Tim
Kee may really not be ready to
resign and probably believes he
has the council s support and can
play the situation to the maximum
and stay on."
Former city mayor Louis Lee
Sing had said Tim Kee might use
the council to "play his game."
He added: "That seems to have
happened if he hasn t resigned yet.
Nobody in the council is pushing
for his resignation, so clearly he
feels he has comfort.
"Based on the Prime Minister s
statement on Sunday, he has made
it clear there is sufficient grounds
for Tim Kee to resign. The Attor-
ney General also said so. If Tim
Kee does not resign, it will be up
to the PNM party to brace for
whatever comes beyond that, as
the public will not turn to Tim
Kee. We ll have to wait and see
whether the PNM may have to
force Tim Kee to resign."
In a statement yesterday, Oppo-
sition Leader Kamla Persad Bisses-
sar said: "Is this a carefully orches-
trated manoeuvre by the Rowley
Government to save the face of its
treasurer? If the mayor reportedly
did not submit a letter to the coun-
cil, what are they deliberating?
Why did the council reportedly
give him more time to decide?
"The burning question here is
whether the Port-of-Spain City
Council is the proper body to
receive, consider and accept such
resignation. Under Section 25(1) of
the Municipal Corporations Act,
Chap 25:04, Mayor Tim Kee may
resign at any time as mayor and
as an alderman by delivering his
signed letter to the chief executive
officer of the corporation.
The Port-of-Spain City Council
has no role in law in receiving,
considering or accepting his res-
ignation as mayor or as an alder-
Tim Kee not ready to quit, says analyst
Resigning is the proper thing
That was Government s position
regarding Port-of-Spain Mayor
Raymond Tim Kee last night as
an expected resignation from him
failed to materialise yesterday.
Rural Development and Local
Government Minister Franklin
Khan who is the corporation s line
minister and who s also chairman
of the ruling People s National
Movement (PNM) made the point
when Tim Kee s resignation failed
to materialise up to late yesterday.
Up to 5 pm, Port-of-Spain city
councillors were still said to be in
a emergency meeting deliberating
on Tim Kee s expected resignation
and whether to accept it.
But sources said the council was
not accepting his resignation.
Councillors of the PNM-con-
trolled corporation met on the issue
yesterday at the same time a group
of people was staging a demon-
stration in support of Tim Kee in
Woodford Square, Port of Spain,
opposite City Hall.
Mind Changers of T&T group,
headed by former councillor Rudy
Williams, also delivered a letter to
City Hall petitioning the council
to reject Tim Kee s resignation.
Councillor Farai Masaisai, who
emerged to thank supporters, said
around noon: "The position of the
council is we support our mayor
and we hope he continues as
mayor of Port-of-Spain. He hasn t
resigned, the meeting is still going
"I don t think we would make
a final decision today but at the
the mayor and half of it is up to
the council as a whole," Masaisai
Political analyst Dr Bishnu
Ragoonath said the Municipal Cor-
porations Act doesn t allow for
Government to remove Tim Kee.
The Council, or at least three
fourths of its members, has to pass
a motion of no confidence in the
mayor for him to resign.
Tim Kee has been under the gun
since last week following com-
ments he made when asked about
the death of Japanese masquerader
Asami Nagakiya. Her body was
found in the Queen s Park Savan-
nah in Carnival costume on Ash
Wednesday. She was strangled.
Tim Kee s reported comments
appeared to link the situation with
perceived lewdness in T&T Car-
nival. He later claimed his com-
ments were taken out of context.
Groups protested outside his
office last Friday seeking his
removal. Tim Kee subsequently
indicated intention to resign. On
Saturday, he said he would call an
emergency meeting of council on
that. Via a separate statement,
however, he said he still had work
Prime Minister Keith Rowley
initially said there was no need to
dismiss Tim Kee but he distanced
his Government from "victim
blaming" which Tim Kee was per-
ceived to have done.
On Sunday, however, Rowley
said after reviewing the full state-
ment on television he realised Tim
Kee s statements were unaccept-
able and that Tim Kee did the cor-
rect thing in responding to crit-
icism from the national community
and offering to resigning.
Speaking on the eve of his
departure to Belize to attend Cari-
com meetings, Rowley said certain
concerns were "conveyed to Tim
Kee in a text message conversation
early Thursday." Rowley said as far
as he was concerned the matter
had been addressed.
Councillor Farai Masaisai said
there had been a lot of support for
him not to demit office.
Masaisai said council members
were deliberating on the Municipal
Corporations Act as there were
procedures to follow and was
deliberating on whether to accept
the resignation or not.
"It s not a procedure that will
happen overnight," he added.
He said Tim Kee would make
a decision either "today (Monday)
or in accordance with whatever
procedure there is to follow."
Masaisai, an attorney, added Tim
Kee was being advised by counsel
in his office.
However, Khan told the T&T
Guardian last night: "As line min-
ister, I think Mr Tim Kee did the
right think in offering his resig-
nation and I support the Prime
Minister s view that was the way
"He had said that resigning was
the way to go and I supported that
move and the PM supported that
also and we still stand by that,
that he felt the resignation offered
by him was the proper thing to
do. We continue to stand by that,
that it s (resigning) the proper thing
Up to 5.30 pm, a City Hall
spokesman said the meeting was
"still going on." There was no
word on a resignation from Tim
Kee. Calls to his phones went to
At 6.30 pm, Masaisai said via
another party that he was "unable
Council sources said it com-
prises 16 members and about six
councillors were absent from yes-
terday s meeting including one
who is overseas.
Khan: Resigning is
proper thing to do
Port-of-Spain Mayor Raymond Tim Kee is greeted by supporters who
gathered outside City Hall, Port-of-Spain, calling for him to reconsider his
decision to resign yesterday. Up to last night he still had not made any
announcement on his future. PHOTO: NICOLE DRAYTON
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