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Tuesday 20 November 2018
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Minister: I will never be a crook

LOOK, IT’S NOT A BRIBE: Local Govt Minister Kazim Hosein, left, displays a CEPEP T-shirt given to him as a gift during the launch of CEPEP’s Clean TT initiative last week in San Fernando. At right is CEPEP chairman Ashton Ford.
LOOK, IT’S NOT A BRIBE: Local Govt Minister Kazim Hosein, left, displays a CEPEP T-shirt given to him as a gift during the launch of CEPEP’s Clean TT initiative last week in San Fernando. At right is CEPEP chairman Ashton Ford.

QUOTING former US president Harry S Truman that, “You can’t get rich in politics unless you are a crook,” Rural Development and Local Government Minister Kazim swore last week, “I will never be a crook.”

Hosein opened a gift bag given to him by the Community-based Environmental Protection and Enhancement Programme (CEPEP) at the launch of its Clean TT initiative at City Auditorium, San Fernando on Friday morning to show what it contained and that he was not taking a bribe.

“Because I have to declare everything to the Integrity Commission,” Hosein said before an audience which included mayors, chairmen and representatives from all the regional corporations as well as various ministries.

The gift bag given to all the presenters had in it a white button-up T-shirt with the CEPEP logo.

The minister, who is now acquainting himself with social media, said Truman’s quote will be used on his profile as a reminder of what he is not to become.

Hosein urged the newly-engaged contractors, field officers and workers with the programme to approach everything they do with humility, diligence and above all integrity.

“Whether you are a minister, mayor, CEO, general manager, contractor, worker — do it with humility, because people watch everything you do: how you walk, talk, treat people. Everybody has a cell phone in their hands with which they observe you.”

He said the Clean TT initiative is a collective effort that draws initially on various agencies, organs and arms of the State, and will eventually involve civil society and every citizen, to embark on what is possibly the largest environmental sanitation drive in the history of TT.

Hosein told the contractors they were providing an essential service to the people by keeping the environment and country clean.

He also reminded them of their statutory obligations to their employees by making their regular NIS and health surcharge payments.

Eyes are also on large cadre of workers who assemble in groups of 30-40 at a time on one project, he said, telling recently-appointed CEPEP chairman Ashton Ford this has to change. He said the perception is that the majority are idling while only three to four are working and suggested the work is spread over a wider area to avoid bunching-up.

Ford promised to create a level of efficiency among CEPEP workers through this collaborative effort, which he said would deepen national awareness and commitment to environmental sanitation.

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