NJAC leader concerned over extent of corruption in TT

By Cecily Asson
May 17 2011 – newsday.co.tt

National Joint Action Committee (NJAC) leader Makandal DaagaPOLITICAL leader of the National Joint Action Committee (NJAC), Ambassador Makandal Daaga, has expressed concern over the level of corruption that continues to play out itself in the country.

Speaking on Saturday at the founding congress of the Movement of Social Justice (MSJ) at Palms Club San Fernando, Dagga called on the government to “open our jail doors, and just pack them in.”

To loud cheers from MSJ supporters in the hall, Dagga declared, “In my whole 40, or 50, or 60 years, I have never heard so much corruption in my land as I have heard in this country over the last few days. I can’t understand why we cannot open our jail doors and pack them in,”

He said the corruption continued in TT because the country never dealt with it as they should . “ People are stealing money as if they have invented it; as if it is their right to thief. I tell my party over and over again what we are experiencing today here, is because of our failure to act when we should have acted to prevent this country from becoming the state it is today,” he said.

Dagga added that when a few years ago a PNM minister declared they ‘thief” he made it clear that he was not among such persons. “I said not me,” he said.

Dagga warned Labour Minister Errol Mc leod who was elected on Saturday as leader of the MSJ that “it is going to be very, very difficult, not because you do not have the strength and character to do, but because of the present condition of this country.”

Dagga said his association with MSJ, and his comments made, does ‘not mean to say that I am against my party.’

He want on to say, “I was born in struggle , I grew up in struggle and it looks as if I am going to die in struggle. And this is why I identified with you in this party, and with all the members of the working class, in their struggle as they move forward from one point to another.


8 thoughts on “NJAC leader concerned over extent of corruption in TT”

  1. “To loud cheers from MSJ supporters in the hall, Dagga declared, “In my whole 40, or 50, or 60 years, I have never heard so much corruption in my land as I have heard in this country over the last few days. I can’t understand why we cannot open our jail doors and pack them in,”

    Who does Daaga represent? My understanding is he did not win a seat for his party, not even his own seat. So who is speaking for –MSJ??? I think the leader of MSJ is fully qualified to speak to his constituents. My understanding as cultural ambassador to the Caribbean he is paid $50,000 plus expenses per month. Now can he show what he is doing to recieve such a high salary? That there is real corruption. A job must be fully analyzed with duties defined and expectations measured.

    Daaga is a man who is known to steal the spotlight and I expect him to make some strange pronouncements during his moments of self actualization. I think he is training his political guns on the slippery Warner, a man whose brains is bigger than his head. And who somehow manage to perform miracles in T&T with paving roads. I am sure in less than two years every road that needs paving will be paved. I hope at the end of two years Daaga could show what he has accomplished. If the PM pull the exit plug on him, he will have gone unnoticed.

    Daaga versus Warner, let us see who accomplishes more in the next two years. If Daaga does not perform, I think the PM should pull the plug…

  2. Leading figures lack integrity know-how

    Express Editorial
    May 18, 2011

    As the one-year anniversary of the People’s Partnership administration draws near, the air is thickening with corruption accusations connected to procurement by State agencies. It’s even apparent from National Joint Action Committee leader Makandal Daaga’s outburst on a Movement for Social Justice platform last Saturday—in the presence of Congress of the People leader and Finance Minister Winston Dookeran—that the “corruption”-polluted atmosphere may be testing the solidarity of the coalition.

    Mr Daaga clearly overstated the case in characterising the present in the extreme terms he used. Far more transgressions, far more extensive in scope, occurred during the People’s National Movement’s 2001-2010 reign under Patrick Manning, as well as during the 1995-2001 United National Congress administration then led by Basdeo Panday. Mr Panday was sentenced to a two-year jail term for failing to disclose to the Integrity Commission that he had received £100,000 from Lawrence Duprey, then CL Financial chairman. Mr Duprey’s own reputation plunged as, in alarming and questionable circumstances, CL Financial collapsed in 2009. Mr Manning, too, has yet to answer questions about his relationship with ex-chairman of the Urban Development Corporation of Trinidad and Tobago Ltd Calder Hart, and about the financing of his spiritual adviser Juliana Pena’s $30 million church in Guanapo. Immediately, the PNM fell from office in 2010, that church construction mysteriously ceased.

    Full Article…

  3. Brother Daaga, our Chief servant, I thank you for your contribution to the struggle of the working class and your decisive attempt to bring Africans and Indians together in 1970. But, please clarify your statements because a few are taking it out of context to say it means that the PP is corrupt. You owe the nation a full explanation.

  4. We do not open the doors and throw them in jail because people have the right to a fair trial in our civilised country.

    1. I will never understand why people believe it is okay and apparently justified for the present Government to get away with all their indiscretions; apparently because the PNM did it for years and the PNM did that and this and that and this!

      Are we saying that if a father abuses his child; it is okay for the next man to come along and do the same? In a civilized society, I think not!

      Daaga has every right to speak out, he came into this marriage or partnership under the premise that things were going to different, corruption and wrong-doing will not be tolerated. More fool him some might say! Within the last year there has been no let up on revelations and inconsistencies of the Partnership Gov’t. They professed to be our saviour but the reality is that appear just as shady and with their own set of charlatans as the previous government.

      However, it takes man of real honour and integrity to stand up and admit he did wrong; such a man is Makandal Daaga proving himself to be. Some of the most profound change and progress in the world came about not by mass consensus but by one man daring to challenge the norm and believing to accept second best which is why we have so many life saving devices, which is formal slavery is no more and women have ‘some’ rights and a greater a chance of equality than they did 50 years ago. It all began with 1 person and others followed.
      Long live free speech and Makandal Daaga!

  5. Was it two weeks ago tht Daaga made his statement and was condemned by the ruling coalition, including Jack Warner? He seemed to know what he was talking about. Why was he shouted down so vigorously?

  6. Agreed. But Daaga’s receipt of a huge salary from the taxpayers of T&T is in itself corrupt. What does he really do to earn his salary. He was bought by the PM as part of the coalition.The PP has increased the size of government to facilitate all and sundry. What is astonishing is that the media has allowed this increase to balloon without analysis and criticism.

    Corruption has become ingrained in the culture of T&T.Is turning this around impossible?

  7. The PP is corrupt. Any organization that includes Sat Maharaj is both racist and corrupt. Show me your friends and I will tell you who you are is an appropriate observation when analyzing the PP.

    It is just like in Guyana. Maybe it has something to do with the name, PP and PPP. The instant both of them got into office “tiefing” became the primary occupation of the unqualified sycophants the put in decision making positions and access to the national til.

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