PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Feb. 22, (CMC) – The lobby group, Fixin T&T, has stepped up its campaign for the removal of Housing Minister Marlene McDonald from office saying, her alleged involvement in the procurement of a house in 2008 was enough for her dismissal.
In a letter to Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Rowley, and copied to acting Police Commissioner, Stephen Williams, Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Roger Gaspard and Integrity Commission Chairman, Zainool Hosein, the group said, that there are many allegations surrounding the procurement of the house from the state-owned Housing Development Corporation.
McDonald served as Community Development Culture and Gender Affairs Minister in a Patrick Manning administration, at the time she is reported to have been involved in the procurement of a townhouse at Fidelis Heights, east of here, in 2008.
“We deem these allegations to be extremely serious and reiterate our insistence that Ms. McDonald be removed as a government Minister, pending the outcome of investigations into same,” the group wrote, noting the “robust defence” by Prime Minister Rowley and Attorney General, Faris Al-Rawi, of the embattled minister.
The group said, it also wanted to know whether “four documents, purportedly specific” to the transaction in question, were seen by the prime minister.
“In your ‘looking into’ and having the matter ‘examined,’ was there any determination as to the authenticity of these documents, which seem to suggest, an unusually aggressive timeline, apparently resulting from much more than a mere ‘enquiry’ by Ms McDonald?” the letter asked, adding that the only acceptable action will be for Rowley to remove McDonald as a minister.
“Post-September 7, 2015, after enduring five-plus years of utter chaos, we expected an administration committed to overcompensating on the side of transparency, honesty and accountability.
“Based on the documentation put forward, coupled with Ms McDonald’s belated admission of having made an ‘enquiry’, the only acceptable action, consistent with your campaign utterances, is her removal as a government Minister.
“There are too many issues and unanswered questions regarding Minister McDonald’s conduct in public office,” the letter noted.
McDonald has, in the past, denied the allegations by the group.