Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 26th 2013 Contents A8
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, September 26, 2013
A Tobago "gyul" fight erupted
in yesterday s Senate budget
debate, via the sparring contribu-
tions of PNM Senator Shamfa
Cudjoe and Government MP Ver-
nella Alleyne-Toppin, who dubbed
Cudjoe a "Bethel badjohn."
Alleyne-Toppin also claimed
"Caucasian people" in Tobago had
told her Tobago House of Assembly
Chief Secretary Orville London
"didn t like Caucasian people" and
that, like the PNM s "Calcutta ship"
remark, was hampering Tobago s
Cudjoe, in her budget contribu-
tion, accused the Government of
starving Tobago of funds. She said
Tobago was being punished with
the budget funding and the THA
was being given a "time-out."
She said Tobago would not engage
in "prostitution via cheque" to trade
its dignity for a "couple dollars."
"Tobago is facing the same issues
it faced three years ago." she added.
Cudjoe said Tobago was having
a teenage pregnancy problem and
received insufficient funding even
for that. She claimed there was no
Cepep funding and the people who
braided her hair and did her nails
usually had Cepep jobs.
Cudjoe said if the Government
was serious about Trinidad and
Tobago walking side-by-side, "we
should share the benefits as well as
the burdens" and the State should
allow Tobago to borrow on the inter-
She lauded Finance Minister Larry
Howai s leadership in handling the
She said Howai promised to probe
her allegations of corruption on the
She said the only way goods came
to Tobago was by people.
"Know somebody, grease some-
body hand, pay for somebody staff
party," she said.
Cudjoe said while Tobago did not
have a big murder problem, bur-
glaries and break-ins were on the
She said when she went away in
August she returned to find her
house broken into and vandalised
and her jewelry stolen.
Alleyne-Toppin, replying in a
fighting mood, said she had taught
Cudjoe and the latter, like PP Tobago
West MP Delmon Baker, was a
Alleyne-Toppin said Tobago
received more funding under the
PP than it ever had under the PNM
and former prime minister Patrick
Manning often said he "didn t know
what Tobago wanted."
Saying Government must get
quality for money, she added: "It s
like pouring money into a bottom-
less pit. When we give funding we
must know what s done with it.
This PNM-led THA is a runaway
horse and we have to rein in that
Alleyne-Toppin said Tobagonians
had painfully learnt more about the
PNM after the January THA elec-
tions, since, she said, about 1,700
people, but closer to 5,000, were
sent home between last week and
yesterday from Hilton Sandy s THA
She said she had dismissal letters
to prove it. Not only had Caucasian
people told her London "didn t like"
Caucasians, she said, but the foreign
workers who had built the Scarbor-
ough Hospital had also told her:
"They don t like us here."
Alleyne-Toppin said the situation
was akin to the Calcutta ship
remarks made by PNMites during
the January election and if people
felt they were not liked in Tobago
they would not go there.
She said she ran a guesthouse and
the Calcutta ship remark had cost
"So let s stop talking, as we say
in Tobago, blimblimitis ," she added
of Cudjoe s accusations.
She said since Tobago Cepep was
controlled by the THA, the only
way to get such a job was to support
"In Tobago URP means UR
PNM and Cepep means Contin-
uous Employment Painting Peb-
bles," she added.
Alleyne-Toppin said the THA had
adopted the PNM perspective,
"nepotism, cronyism, tribalism,
kickbacks and sweetheart deals."
She said the THA did not recog-
nise the Social Welfare Board and
with Tobago having 15 to 20 ampu-
tations a month, people had to beg
for assistance under the table to get
Noting the PNM rejected internal
self-government for Tobago and
disbanded the Tobago Ministry in
the 1970s, Alleyne-Toppin was
scornful of PNM founder Eric
Williams image as the father of the
She said: "How can you cut off
some of the children? That reminds
me of some of the fathers of today."
Minister in the Ministry of the People and Social Development Vernella Alleyne-
Toppin makes her contribution during the budget debate in the senate
Toppin, Cudjoe in 'gyul' fight
Budget debate in Senate...
Opposition Senator Shamfa Cudjoe speaks during yesterday's budget debate. PHOTOS: BRIAN NG FATT
Links Archive September 25th 2013 September 27th 2013 Navigation Previous Page Next Page