Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 1st 2014 Contents A5
Friday, August 1, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Sport Minister Anil Roberts says he was
forced to resign from the People s Partnership
Government due to mounting pressure from
the public, the Opposition and even his own
Some of his own Cabinet colleagues were
against him, he said.
Roberts also threw in the towel as MP for
D Aabdie/O Meara.
During an interview in Diego Martin yes-
terday, moments after penning his resignation
letter to Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bisses-
sar, Roberts said during the four years he spent
in Government he realised one thing... politics
has a morality of its own.
He said the last thing he expected was being
asked to resign.
Roberts said resigning with a "heavy heart
was an understatement" since his entire life
was surrounded by sports.
"If a minister has been forced to resign or
have to resign, having done nothing wrong,
a minister of government, duly elected by the
people, is put into a position to resign, then
where do we go from here?" he asked.
Asked why his Cabinet colleagues were
against him, Roberts replied:
"You would have to ask them because, me,
to tell you the truth, one of my weaknesses
from having lived a life in sport is that I am
too much of a team player.
"My wife always tells me that I believe in
people too much. I have learnt the hard way
today. That is the regret I have."
Asked if he was supported by his Cabinet
colleagues following the audit, Roberts said:
"A few were supportive, some were openly
unsupportive, and some who I thought were
colleagues were actually not. It is amazing."
Yesterday, a sombre-looking Roberts,
accompanied by his 22-year-old wife, Shandell,
who is 25 weeks pregnant, said despite what
has happened "life will go on."
Roberts said several ministers, whose min-
istry came under question, were never asked
He asked: "All of a sudden pressure was
brought to mount from all over and pressure
was put on my Prime Minister and forced me
to resign. Did I want to resign? No!"
Is there a cabal in the Government?
"There is no cabal. The PM is in charge.
She makes her decisions.
"However, there would be some who would
be for you, some who are against you and
most importantly, many who are for them-
He said he was not surprised by the turn
of events because people said politics was a
"I have learnt that it is a filthy game and
it is getting filthier every day, where fact and
truth have no place and where investigations
and documentation is irrelevant.
"Is just who can make the most noise with
the most indisciplined journalists in history.
"Those who do not adhere to the tenets of
journalism, who are unable to state their biases
openly, but you can see it clearly."
Asked if the PM buckled under pressure,
"Well, yes! I guess you have to buckle under
pressure in politics... because politics has a
morality of its own.
"So even though you did nothing wrong
and the audit is flawed and natural justice has
not taken its natural course, decisions are
made based on politics."
In spite of all of that, Robert said he had
no regrets joining the PP Government and
serving his country.
"Despite the PP s flaws, they are far superior
to what the PNM could offer.
"I have regrets not being able to finish what
I started, to leave a lasting impact in sport for
the next generation... and that I have been
forced to leave, having done nothing wrong,"
Roberts said he was sad to leave. "For me,
personally, politics is just pain and torture.
It s financially crippling."
Before entering politics, Roberts was a talk
show host and coach. He also operated a suc-
He said: "As a minister, I made far less
money. I accepted the ministerial position
because of one thing... for the love of country.
"Going into Government you take a huge
pay cut. Now I can go and make some money
and relax myself and deal with less stress.
"Am I celebrating? No! because I made up
my mind to serve and I didn t get the oppor-
tunity to fulfill my objectives."
Will he resign from the Congress of the
"I was never really interested in the COP.
You cannot resign from a corpse. The COP
"They are just a comedy of errors. I hope
that Prakash (Ramadhar) gets some more votes
because he called for my resignation."
Roberts said there was legal advice inside
and outside to the board of the Sport Company,
"dictating and telling them they were obligated
to pay. Well, so be it! You live and you learn."
He asked: "If the population and pressure
groups had that information, would the pres-
sure been less? I think so."
Roberts said no other sport minister was
able to achieve what he did.
Was he dealt an unfair blow? Roberts said
Anil: PM buckled under pressure
Roberts said most of the clamouring from
the public surrounds the $34 million
contract to EBeam Interact Ltd, which
was raised in the Life Sport audit.
"It appears to the population that
somebody in the Sport Company of T&T
has stolen $34 million.
"It was stated by an official report that
the second tranche of $17 million was
paid, despite the board receiving advice
not to pay.
"Now that is a very serious thing. Any
reasonable person who reads that, they
would think that is total corruption and
stealing. The problem is that is not the
$34M EBEAM CONTRACT
Roberts said at 1.30 pm yesterday, the
PM telephoned him to say "that due to
the pressures from the party,
Government and so on, that she has to
accept my resignation. She also
indicated that she knew I did nothing
Anil said: " I told her, God bless."
Will Roberts continue to stay in
"No! don't call me, text, E-mail or leave
a voicemail on my phone. I going to hug
up my wife and take care of my unborn
baby and other children and relax.
However, you don't get out of politics
until you dead."
Asked if he thought the PP had a good
chance of winning the 2015 general
election, Roberts said he believed so,
"but they (ministers) have to stop the
petty politics, immaturity and work like
a team, rather than look for individual
Roberts said while the PNM was
celebrating his resignation, they were
not an alternative for the people.
(See Pages A6 and A7)
WHAT THE PM SAID
Former Boxing Board member Buxo Potts, right, and boxing promoter Tansley Thompson exchange heated words yesterday outside the Sport
Ministry, Abercromby Street, Port-of-Spain, during the MSJ's protest calling for the removal of Sport Minister Anil Roberts.
PHOTO: ROBERTO CODALLO
"I have regrets not
being able to finish
what I started, to
leave a lasting
impact in sport for
that I have been
forced to leave,
having done nothing
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