Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 10th 2018 Contents SHALIZA HASSANALI
Minister in the Ministry of Housing Dar-
ryl Smith yesterday avoided questions
from the media in Parliament hours
after Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley
had a Cabinet reshuffle of some minis-
Also, newly-appointed Sports and
Youth Affairs Minister Shamfa Cudjoe,
who promised before the sitting of the
House to speak to Guardian Media at
the 4.30 pm tea break about her realign-
ment, did a disappearing act.
Cudjoe served as tourism minister for
Smith's reassignment from the Minis-
try of Sport and Youth Affairs to a jun-
ior housing minister followed intense
pressure for the PM to act against him
after reports of alleged sexual advances
on his personal secretary Carrie-Ann
Moreau which she detailed in her wit-
ness statements in support of her claim
for wrongful dismissal at the Industrial
He will now work under Rowley who
has assigned himself the Housing Minis-
Smith seemed uneasy in the Lower
House as the motion to Approve the
Administration of the Deoxyribonucleic
Acid Act was being debated. For most of
the debate Smith was not in his seat, at
times, he hid behind the partition smil-
ing and talking to his parliamentary col-
leagues and texting on his phone.
At 4 pm, he returned to the chamber
and sat next to Toco/Sangre Grande MP
Then he moved next to Laventille
West MP Fitzgerald Hinds, as they chat-
ted and laughed occasionally until the
4.30 tea break.
Several attempts by the media during
the break to get Smith's attention went
in vain. The media called Smith's name
repeatedly and even waved to him, but
he ignored our presence.
Also for most of the debate, Cudjoe's
seat remained empty up until the tea
Tuesday, April 10, 2018
Mom: Michelle-Lee now
eyes Olympic victory
National sprinter Michelle-Lee Ahye
created history yesterday when she
won this country's irst gold medal
at the Commonwealth Games with a
stunning performance in the Women's
100m inal at the Carrara Stadium,
Gold Coast, Australia.
Running in lane four, Michelle-Lee
clocked a time of 11.14 seconds to win
gold, becoming the irst female sprint
medal at the event. It was also the
irst gold medal for this country at the
Commonwealth Games in 20 years.
(The last time this country won Gold at
the Commonwealth was in 1998 when
Ato Boldon won the 100 metre sprint.)
The race which ran at around 7.30
am local time yesterday was witnessed
by Michelle-Lee's mother, Raquel, at
her Haig Street, Carenage home. "It
felt wonderful this feeling will never
leave meh, to see all the hard work
she put out is really nice," Raquel said.
Beaming with pride, Raquel told
Guardian Media that she watched the
race with her mother and her sister
and they could not contain themselves
when Michelle-Lee won the race.
"That hour of the morning we
jump up and get on. We ran outside
and say we win a gold medal."
Their shouts of joy resonated in the
community. Up to late yesterday when
she spoke with the Guardian Media,
Raquel said "my mother and sister
can't catch themselves yet," she said
Raquel said as the " irst female ath-
lete to bring something to Trinidad it
was wonderful, is just wonderful."
She spoke to her daughter briefly
but said "everybody keeps calling her
in Australia. We did not get to talk good
yet. Maybe after the medal ceremony
when she has time she will call me."
Michelle-Lee celebrates her 26th
She tweeted on her twitter account
"It's my birthday in Australia happy
birthday to me!"
Her mother said the win was as
great a blessing as Michelle-Lee, who
is an only child.
"I feel great, this is one miracle I live
to see," she said.
But it will be some time before the
family sees the gold medal or cele-
brates Michelle-Lee's victory.
That's because Michelle-Lee is
"going on a world tour soon after. She
has Diamond League meets this year
and may not return home until De-
That's when her mom said they cel-
ebrate her victory. It will be up to Mi-
chelle-Lee, she said, to hold talks with
the Government on whether anything
should be done in her honour.
"She is a very quiet person, so it's
up to her to speak with them," her
Michelle-Lee, according to her
mother, "always liked sports, she is
a sports person. She has been in ath-
letics since the age of seven. Nineteen
years later she created history by win-
ning gold for T&T.
Her mother is now expecting big
things not just at the Diamond League
meets but also at the 2020 Olympics.
Michelle-Lee trains in Austin, Texas
where her mother said the coaches
"don't make joke."
"When they come out their house
and say you have to come out to train,
you have to train, it could be what kind
of weather, you have to train. They
train from six o'clock in the morning
and from training you have to go to the
ym. The training out there and here it
Raquel said she visits her daugh-
ter often but because of her training
schedule and her meets, it's hard to
see her more often.
"I was up there in December, but I
just want her to focus, so I remain in
Michelle-Lee's mother said her
daughter is an inspiration to her neph-
ews and nieces, who like her, have a
deep interest in sports.
One niece who attends the St Cath-
erine's school on Duke Street in Port-
of-Spain is already winning "trophies
in ymnastics," and she has two neph-
ews playing sports in the United States.
Raquel said the joy she felt yester-
day will stay with her forever. To T&T,
her message was simple: "thank you
for all the support. Thank you, thank
you, thank you!" she said.
• See stories on
Page A29, A30 and A32
Smith, Cudjoe duck media at Parliament
T&T’s Michelle-Lee Ahye
following her victory in the
Women’s 100m Sprint Finals of
the Gold Coast 2018 XXI
Commonwealth Games at
Carrara Stadium, Gold Coast,
Australia, yesterday. PICTURE
Raquel Ahye, mother of
Commonwealth gold medalist
Michelle-Lee Ahye during an
interview at the family’s home in
Blows in House for
Opposition MPs pelted picong in Par-
liament yesterday on the changes - es-
pecially when "new ministers" Darryl
Smith and Marlene McDonald rose to
reply to questions on the agenda.
In sync with McDonald's promo-
tion, her position in Parliament has
also been shifted several seats up the
PNM backbench. Smith is a couple
seats further down the row.
Opposition MPs --- Rudy Indars-
ingh and Roodal Moonilal --- pressed
Government on issues regarding the
alleged Sports Ministry matter and
claim settlement. UNC MP Ramona
Ramdial questioned who was protect-
ing women against " errant ministers".
On Indarsingh's query about a
policy on sexual harassment in the
workplace, Labour Minister Jennifer
Baptiste-Primus said such a policy,
currently being developed, will be
completed in the next few months.
OPM spokesman Stuart Young told
reporters prior to Parliament, Smith
was out of T&T recently and only re-
turned early yesterday. He added that
ministerial positions were within the
Prime Minister's discretion as he saw
Yesterday, new Tourism Minister
Randall Mitchell told reporters, he
didn't see his move to Tourism as a
"In 2015, I committed to serve in
whatever capacity the Prime Minister
asked me to. In our Westminster sys-
tem, he has the prerogative to assign
as he sees it," he added.
"Tourism is on the cusp of mas-
sive diversi ication drives, there are
challenges. It will be a severe learning
curve, but I see this as an expression of
con idence in me by the Prime Minis-
ter. He's discussed with me that it was
his con idence at this mid-term to reas-
sign me to tourism and overcome this
learning curve. He also noted there
was the risk of losing the momentum
I built up in Housing - but he was in
Housing before and there's no learn-
ing curve for him."
Mitchell added, "There have been
strategic shifts in tourism priorities.
There are challenges de ining the
product - one in Tobago, one in Trin-
idad. But Tobago is a source of diversi-
ication and a foreign exchange source
so it's one of the major issues and will
be receiving a lot of my attention."
Hadad: Shamfa did not
perform in Tourism
Diane Hadad (head of the Inter-Is-
land Ferry Transport team and a
management member of Tobago
Chamber) was quite cold on Shamfa
Cudjoe's removal from Tourism.
Tobago West MP Cudjoe has in the
past come under ire for perceived
non-performance in Tourism, on re-
cent Tobago ferry woes and most re-
cently for rebuttals on the effects of
this and criticism from Tobago voices.
Hadad said, "You (Cudjoe) didn't
perform in tourism, therefore, I'm not
expecting changes if you go to Sport.
What experience does Ms Cudjoe have
in the sports industry to manage that
Ministry? But on the whole, if we're
dealing with the same pack of cards in
reshuffling, we're only moving them
around and not making real change."
Links Archive April 9th 2018 April 11th 2018 Navigation Previous Page Next Page