Manning: Why I Fired Rowley

PM Patrick ManningAt yesterday’s post-cabinet news conference, Prime Minister Patrick Manning appeared alone to explain why he fired Rowley. Manning said that he fired Dr. Keith Rowley because of unacceptable ‘hooligan behaviour’ at a meeting of the Finance and General Purposes Committee of cabinet, and not because of his corruption allegation.

Rowley stated that he was fired because he raised concerns about a lack of cabinet supervision over UDeCOTT’s mega billion dollar projects.

Manning said that Rowley’s alleged temper tantrum fiasco began two weeks ago at a meeting of the Finance and General Purposes Committee of cabinet where UDeCOTT’s chairman Calder Hart, proposed a sixty room hotel to be part of the US $100 million Academy of the Performing Arts. Dr. Rowley objected to this proposal, as he himself has admitted, but the Prime Minister alleges that Rowley did so in an unacceptable manner saying that it was worse than opposition leader Basdeo Panday’s behaviour in parliament during the laptop controversy. Manning said that he was absent from that meeting and was told of it when he returned. He said that he raised the matter at last week’s cabinet meeting and promised to investigate the complaints. He then met with Rowley yesterday to tell him about the accusations which Rowley strongly denied. Manning said he then did a random poll with five out of the eight cabinet ministers who were present at the meeting, and four felt Rowley was out of line. Manning said that he would not reveal the names of the ministers who felt that Rowley’s conduct was unacceptable to protect them. Manning said that he gave Rowley the option to resign and when he refused, he fired him.

Manning denies that he was being vindictive towards Rowley given their history of rivalry over leadership of the PNM.

The Prime Minister further rejected Rowley’s claim of questionable financial dealings at UDeCOTT and said that the state-owned company is being run quite efficiently. Manning said that cabinet had knowledge of this hotel since last year. He proceeded to show a plan and point out the area on it for the hotel of sixty rooms. Manning said the hotel was not put in surreptitiously by anybody; it was always part of the design. Manning further said that they had articulated to the public at some time that the Academy of the Performing Arts in Port of Spain had comprised a sixty room hotel.

TV6 later showed an official document that showed the hotel was not part of the plan for the Academy of the Performing Arts. Former NAR government minister Eden Shand showed documents that contradicted what Manning said. Shand said, “Last night I heard the news about a sixty room hotel, and I know the process in this country through which you can do that. The process was town and country planning approval; you can check with them if you have that, and certificate of environmental clearance. I went this morning to see whether in fact the sixty room hotel was part of the clearance. It is not.”

TV6 once again showed an original plan where the design did not show plans for a hotel. The TV6 reporter asked Mr. Shand if a redesign of the center could have been made at a later time and could have included the hotel and, therefore, could have been an oversight.

Mr. Shand said there were no new applications on record that he saw for clearance for a new design. Shand said that the centre is being constructed illegally.

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4 thoughts on “Manning: Why I Fired Rowley”

  1. There appears to be a trivializing of the peoples’s business by the highest level of Government. There is nothing in the reporting of this sordid affair, the prime minister’s press conference, Mr. Rowley’s account and any other account that seem to justify firing the ‘Best Performing Minister’ or a senior member of the cabinet.
    In a nutshell, Mr. Manning’s account can be summed up simply as a ‘father’ who is upset by the behaviour of his son and he punished him as a result. There appears to be no elasticity of ‘give’ and ‘take’ on the part of the pm in dealing with this matter. It appears to be ‘the opportunity’ to act as he pleases because the incidents took place ‘in-camera’ absent from public scrutiny with all the advantages going to the pm with no supporting cast. In this scenario the public is being asked to only believe what he says is the case and we should not listen to Mr. Rowley or apply any validity to Mr. Rowley’s version. That is unacceptible fcom apm.

  2. I think you fraid Dr. Rowley—because he challenged you for leadership of the party before and you won –now you see an opportunity to get rid of him all together.
    I think you are afraid of the man. Anayway like the old saying goes—-and you should know it–coz u from the avenue in Cocoyea—-“”CRAPAUD SMOKE YUH PIPE””——-You know what is the other one Pato—“”what goes around eventually comes around and it look like it right round the corner coming for yuh now.—Yuh ever hear the expression—yuh skating on thin ice.


  3. UDeCOTT’s disrespect
    Letter from Planning Minister to Calder Hart tells of…

    Ria Taitt Political Editor
    Thursday, June 5th 2008

    Former Planning Minister Camille Robinson-Regis had cause to write to UDeCOTT Executive Chairman Calder Hart complaining about UDeCOTT’s apparent “disrespect”, disregard and contempt for the Ministers in the Cabinet, including herself who had oversight responsibility.

    In a strongly worded letter, Robinson-Regis stated that she wanted to express her “utter dissatisfaction and disappointment with the inordinate delays by UDeCOTT in providing information requested by the Ministries of Planning and Development and Sport and Youth Affairs for the preparation of responses to questions posed to Ministers in the Parliament, and the preparation of status reports for Cabinet relating to projects being implemented by UDeCOTT”.

    The letter dated November 13, 2006, which was leaked to Express yesterday supports the notion that UDeCOTT had been a virtual run-away horse and the matter had reached the Prime Minister’s ears.
    Continue to ‘UDeCOTT’s disrespect’

  4. politics, politics, politics, from ancient times to the present from the smallest of nations to the largest from the weakest human to the strongest human there has always been rivalry, competition, indifferences etc….that is the essence of life. Jesus the Christ, Buddha, krishna, all the holy ancient sages and saints experienced different types of oppositions, even the Martin luther king had all political oppositions what else is new

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