Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 5th 2016 Contents Minimum wage still to be reviewed --- McLeod News --- Page A6
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Although Sally-Ann Cuffie risked
her life to save her six-month-old
granddaughter Christa, she may
never be able to cradle the baby
Cuffy, 48, put her life on the line
when she snatched up a scratch bomb
which was thrown into her son s car
while the family was out for a drive
on Divali night.
The bomb landed near the baby
but before Cuffie could dispose of it,
it exploded in her hand, severing both
thumbs and severely damaging her
What makes this injury especially
threatening for Cuffy is that she suf-
fers from diabetes which inhibits
injuries from healing properly.
Now, doctors at the Eric Williams
Medical Sciences Centre (EWMSC)
have to monitor Cuffie to ensure her
wounds will heal. If her hands are
not healing or become infected, both
of them may have to be amputated.
From her bedside at the hospital
yesterday, Cuffie recounted the hor-
rifying ordeal. Her family had left
their Talparo home shortly after 7
pm on Saturday, the Divali holiday,
to drop Cuffie and one of her
daughters to church.
"I was supposed to go to church
with my daughter but my son
Christon asked me to go with him,
his wife and his children for a drive
to my other daughter s house.
"We said we would drive around
a little and look at the deyas and
lighting up for Divali," Cuffie said.
But on reaching the end of Boy
Cato Road, Las Lomas, around 8
pm, Cuffie said she suddenly saw
a scratch bomb fall through the open
car window next to little Christa.
"I can t remember if it was on
seat but I remember snatching it
up and trying to throw it out the
window," she said.
When the bomb exploded, Cuffie
said she thought her face had gotten
the most damage.
"My ears were ringing and I
thought Oh God, this thing blow
up my face, but when I raised my
hands I realised the two were spray-
With her mangled hands out-
stretched, Cuffie told Christon to
drive to the nearby Las Lomas Police
"I told him to put on his hazard
lights and drive to the police station,
cause I thought they would take
me to the hospital," she said.
However, she said officers there
were less than receptive to her pleas.
"They were looking at me, asking
a set of questions and when I told
them I was in pain and wanted to
go to the hospital, they said they
had no vehicle and we should go to
the health centre instead."
Leaving the police station, Chris-
ton instead drove onto the
Churchill-Roosevelt Highway and
headed towards the EWMSC.
"We saw a police vehicle some-
where by Macoya and we flagged
them down, they put me in their
vehicle and brought me to the hos-
pital," she said.
She has been warded there since
"I cannot even drink water on
my own. My son bought a cup with
a bendy straw for when I can t get
up. I have to wear pampers because
I can t even go to the toilet alone.
Either the nurses or my family
member has to feed me," she said.
Trade unions and business
groups who met with Minister
of Finance Colm Imbert yester-
day have described the meeting
as a positive one.
They welcomed the tripartisan
method of dealing with labour
issues and are now leaving room
for Imbert to retract his statements
made at an International Monetary
Fund (IMF) event this week.
This was the word from Gabriel
Faria, chief executive of the T&T
Chamber of Industry and Com-
merce, who said the general tone
of the meeting was that "everyone
is looking toward dealing with the
current situation and looking at
solving this and moving forward."
AMCHAM CEO Nirad Tewarie
said the process of tripartism was
"useful" and the groups which
were present at the meeting
recommitted to that.
The meeting was called to
address the concerns of trade
unions and the business commu-
nity following Imbert s statement
that there would be wage con-
straint for collective bargaining
period between 2017 and 2020
and the offer on the table would
start at 0-0-0.
This sparked debate among the
trade unions and the business
community although Prime Min-
ister Dr Keith Rowley had to clarify
that there was no 0-0-0 policy.
Energy Chamber president,
Thackwray Driver, who also
attended, did not want to com-
ment and preferred to wait until
a joint statement was released.
Communication Workers Union
(CWU) president, Joseph Remy,
described the meeting as inter-
He said the CWU raised its con-
cern about Imbert s statement and
"we await the minister to do what
is the right thing, which is exercise
some level of humility and accept
the fact that he mis-spoke and he
made a mess out of what the sit-
Now Cuffie is facing a bleak fu-
ture. She is employed as an estate
constable and said without the use
of her hands, she may not have a
job to return to. She also crotchets
and cooks to earn extra money.
"The doctors say I will have to
wait and see if my hands heal
properly and if they don't, they will
have to amputate it. I don't know
how I will make out without my
hands," she said.
She is now appealing to those in
authority to crack down on people
who sell and use scratch bombs.
"I myself didn't know the dan-
gers of these things... imagine if it
had blown up on my granddaugh-
ter, she might not have survived
"The authorities need to do
something about this...if I have to
be the example, I don't mind but
this cannot continue," Cuffie said.
Anthony Eccles, 23, suffered a
similar fate on Divali night. He was
going to a relative's home in St Au-
gustine for dinner that night when
a gang of boys threw a lighted
scratch bomb into his cousin's car.
Eccles, seated in the front pas-
senger seat, tried to throw the
bomb out the window when it ex-
"I didn't see who the guys were. I
just remember the blood spraying
from my hands. I opened the car
door and kind of collapsed and
then my cousin brought me to the
hospital," he said yesterday.
His left thumb and index finger
were both mutilated and he has
lost hearing in his left ear. He was
discharged from hospital yester-
Unions leave room for Imbert apology
Baby saved from scratch bomb blast but...
Granny could lose both hands
Sally-Ann Cuffie, who sustained injuries to both her hand, fiddles with her phone at Mt Hope Hospital yesterday.
PHOTO: NICOLE DRAYTON
Presenter and radio broadcaster
Wendell Constantine has been
appointed chief executive officer of
State-owned CNMG on an acting
basis, according to a release from the
The release yesterday stated that
the appointment comes after an
"exhaustive search, including public
advertisements, the use of a local head-
hunting firm and selective interviews."
He replaces Julian Rogers, who
stepped down last month.
CNMG stated that Constantine
joined the station after 30 years of
experience in the industry, having
started his career at the now defunct
Trinidad and Tobago Television (TTT)
where he served as programme man-
ager, producer/presenter and radio
broadcaster. He was also the head of
programming at the inception of the
CNMG network for three years before
assuming the position of communi-
cations and brand manager at BG
Trinidad and Tobago from 2008 to
Constantine is a graduate of UWI
(Mona, Jamaica) in mass communi-
cation and media studies. His LinkedIn
profile states he was also a Ministry
of Planning and Development com-
munication specialist from 2002-2005.
Attempts to contact Constantine, who
was at CNMG for some time yester-
day, were unsuccessful. (GA)
Constantine to head CNMG
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