PRIME Minister Dr Keith Rowley on Wednesday dismissed claims by Cumuto/Manzanilla MP Christine Newallo-Hosein that there was no public consultation on the proposed Cumuto/Manzanilla Highway and its possible impact on the Aripo Reserve.
Contributing to debate on the Land Adjudication Amendment (No 2) Bill 2017 and Land Tribunal Amendment Bill in the House of Representatives, both of which were passed, Rowley said Newallo-Hosein should be the last person to talk about a lack of consultation since she had been invited to the government’s presentation on the project, but left prematurely after handing him “a letter from God.”
“I am saying to you, Mr Deputy Speaker (Esmond Forde), that the one person who cannot truthfully say that is that member for Cumuto/Manzanilla because at the pinnacle of the presentation...we were on the site and I was wearing my boots, because it was a muddy day,” he said.
“Mr Deputy Speaker, that day, a presentation in front of the media was made, my colleague from Cumuto/Manzanilla came. I reserved a seat in the front for her to be informed as to what the project is and she chose, instead of paying attention to what was going on in her constituency and the government’s public information, to play postman from heaven and bring for me a letter from God, that God gave her a message to give me.
“And worse, having delivered her correspondence from God, she left promptly without staying to receive the presentation.”
He added: ‘I stayed, as Prime Minister, and I was educated by the presentation, and that is what I know, that any person who is telling this country that the highway from Cumuto to Manzanilla is going through the Aripo Reserve is speaking an untruth and is a deliberate act of misinformation”.