Public Health Minister must go- Rohee
The Peoples Progressive Party (PPP) has deemed actions taken by the government against its Public Health Minister in relation to the highly controversial deal which government entered into with Linden Holdings Inc. as a “slap on the wrist.”
During a press conference on Thursday, August 11, 2016, Minister of Natural Resources, who is also the chair of a Cabinet Sub-Committee appointed to look into the controversial deal, Raphael Trotman stated that the committee has recommended a public apology be granted. Minister Trotman said, “based on the explanation of the Health Minister we have recommended that he offers a public apology.”
During a Press Conference on Monday, the party’s General Secretary, Clement Rohee said “this slap on the wrist of a public apology is unacceptable. He said that in the National Assembly and making statements of that nature in the National Assembly has to be taken seriously.” He did not waste the time to point out that his party would have faced serious consequences if it was in the position the government finds itself.
Rohee called for the Minister’s removal from office noting that “I think he should be sent packing. This thing is so disgraceful.”
However, in the meantime, the opposition is continuing its push for the Minister to go before the Privileges Committee when Parliament reconvenes.
He went on to state that “what shocked me was the mirth and laughter that was taking place on the government benches when he was speaking…that is not a serious government and a serious minister, you answer questions in a responsible manner and then he told all these blatant lies.”
Issues surrounding the controversial deal came to light on Monday, August 08, 2016 Public Health Minister, Dr. George Norton was questioned by the political Opposition on an item seeking approval for $31,080,000. This money was brought to the house during the consideration of Financial Paper No.1/2016, which sought to bring additional funding for government agencies from the Contingency Fund.
The Minister told the house that a rent of $19.2 million per month was being paid to New GPC and that the Government wanted a cheaper facility in a hurry to avoid paying that ‘exorbitant’ sum. Consequently, there was ‘sole sourcing’ and the contract was given to Linden Holding Inc. The size of the premises in Albouystown was 10,000 square feet and the rent was $12 million per month. However, it was later revealed that monies were never paid to the New GPC and the new deal will cost taxpayers a significant sum more.
In his weekly blog, Former speaker of the National Assembly and political analyst, Ralph Ramkarran stated that the deal reeks of bad judgment and questionable motives.