The People National Movement has expressed surprise and shock that the Chairman of the opposition United National Congress should speak about alleged corruption under Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley when several matters of corruption emanating under the UNC-led governments are before the courts.
UNC Chairman David Lee’s criticised the Rowley-led Government saying that corruption was taking place under his watch as in the ferry procurement fiasco and the inter-island sea bridge as he Rowley, spoke of weeding out corruption in government.
In a release, the PNM said, the last persons who should speak on issues of corruption are the leadership of the UNC since between 2010 and 2015 when the UNC was in charge most allegations of corruption against a government were made.
One such example, the PNM said, is the case in which public officials are being accused, on the basis of evidence, of facilitating a corrupt transaction involving land. The matter, which has cost taxpayers $175 million, the PNM said, took place under the watch of a UNC minister.
The Office of the Attorney General, following the money trail, the PNM said, has also found what appears to be a bribe paid by the vendors of the land to a public officer who overvalued the land.
Recently, too, the PNM said, search warrants approved by the courts were executed on a number of contractors on the basis of evidence provided, that a former UNC minister was listed as a co-conspirator in possible crimes against the State.
The PNM said that on September 4, 2015, the last working day before the 2015 general election, the UNC government compromised the State’s case against the OAS contractor in the construction of the extension of the Solomon Hochoy Highway to Point Fortin.
Also, the party in Government said, also being currently investigated is the former UNC appointed chairman of the Chaguaramas Development Authority granting questionable leases of State lands on September 6, 2015, the day before the 2015 general election.
In addition, the PNM said, the $1 billion of the National Gas Company money spent “to build” a waste water plant in the Beetham with a UNC favoured contractor, is now a subject of litigation.
While its senators and even MPs are being investigated for corruption, the PNM said, “the nation does not welcome any comments from them on corruption, unless it is to provide evidence on those who may have participated in corrupt acts between 2010 and 2015.”