After days of controversy over his Ghanian citzenship status Robert Le Hunte was yesterday re-appointed a senator and Public Utilities Minister in the People’s National Movement Government.
President Anthony Carmona presented Le Hunte with his instruments of appointment around 8 pm, during a simple ceremony at President’s House, St Ann’s.
Le Hunte’s oath of office was witnessed by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley who is due to leave TT early today for a medical check-up in the United States. The PM is expected to return within the next few days.
Le Hunte’s appointment was revoked earlier this week after the Office of the Prime Minister learnt he was a citizen of Ghana. Le Hunte told reporters last night: “I would like to apologise to the prime minster as I did to people of TT for this communication glitch and I want to take full responsibility and also want to say emphaticallly at the time of my swearing in last Thursday based on the professional advise and imformation provided to me the concept of dual citicenship was not an issue.”
The career banker, who was initially sworn in one week ago, had replaced Rowley as public utilities minister.
The PM had held the position after Port-of-Spain South MP Marlene Mc Donald was fired several months ago.
On Tuesday, however, Rowley assured reporters during a tour of UdeCott sites in the Diego Martin West constituency that Le Hunte was a citizen of TT.
“Mr Le Hunte is a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago... he is not a Ghanaian.” Rowley said Le Hunte was a TT national who was on temporary assignment in Ghana.
“While he was there, he obtained in part of his residency and acceptance in the community, he obtained Ghanaian citizenship.”
Rowley dismissed the recent faux pas surrounding Le Hunte’s appointment as “a communication’s glitch.”
“There was a communication glitch in the handling of that development and by having that in place it offended our Constitution,” Rowley had said.
“This is easily rectified and by him revoking his appointment to preserve his position in Trinidad and Tobago and qualify him to hold the office for which he has been selected for.”
The United National Congress had criticised the development, describing it as sheer negligence on the part of the PNM.
Even retired head of the public service Reginald Dumas weighed in on the issue, saying it was yet another example of declining governance in the country.
Le Hunte was initially sworn in as a senator and public utilities minister last Thursday at President’s House.
However, on Monday, it was revealed through the Office of the Prime Minister
that Le Hunte was a citizen of Ghana and unsuited to hold the position of Cabinet minister in this country.
Le Hunte’s status has now been clarified, paving the way for him to fulfil his obligations as a Cabinet minister.