Wednesday marks one year since the People’s National Movement (PNM) won the general elections and Dr Keith Rowley became the new Prime Minister. Rowley was sworn in on September 9th, and the full Cabinet two days later.
But after one year, how do you rate the performance of the Government? How to rate the performance of the Ministers? Rowley says that after the presentation and debate of the 2016-2017 Budget, there will be changes and realignment. Who will be realigned? TTWhistleblower takes a look at the Cabinet members:
* Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley. He continues to rant and rave as if he is still Leader of the Opposition. Early in his tenure, Rowley went abroad on a wedding and a funeral. Apart from his official engagements, Rowley went off on a two-week vacation in August during which he tested for prostate cancer.
* Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh. He has continued to preside over a chronic shortage of all types of drugs. He continues to make excuses and still blames the last Government for problems in the health sector. He is known as “Mosquito Terrence” as he is only running all over the place for photo opps instead of dealing with the Zika problem.
* Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi. He is till trying to settle down as the AG after one year. Within his first year, a no-confidence motion in him was debated in Parliament and it was only defeated because the Government had more numbers.
* Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister Stuart Young. He is the super Minister, following Rowley all over the place including overseas. He acts for every Minister who goes abroad and he took away the role of the Minister of Communications in hosting post-cabinet news conference. Fellow Ministers are not too keen on him.
* Minister of Tourism Shamfa Cudjoe. Since her “We are in charge” statement in the last Budget debate, she has gone silent and does not make too many public statements. She still cannot explain how money from her Ministry went to an event specialist for a boat cruise to the Bahamas.
* Minister of Sports Darryl Smith. The most out of shape Minister of Sport in history. He presided over the worst performance of an Olympic team and did not see our Trinbago Knight Riders reach another final. Let’s see his role with the Soca Warriors.
* Minister of Social Development Cherrie-Ann Crichlow-Cockburn. She is the absentee Minister in such an important Ministry. The less fortunate are receiving less under this Ministry now.
* Minister of Rural Development Franklyn Khan. This is a man living a second life in politics and in health. After he resigned in 2004 on alleged corruption charges, he was brought back by Rowley after being left for dead by the late Patrick Manning. Now Khan is seeking recovery from triple bye-pass surgery.
* Minister of Public Utilities Ancil Antoine. Very soon this Minister found out this was not the Defence Force. His first public statement was corruption, corruption, corruption. It came as no surprise when CEPEP was removed from his Ministry. After one way, he is still to see his way.
* Minister of Housing and Urban Development Randall Mitchell. Started off as Minister of Public Administration, but was bumped up when Marlene Mc Donald was fired. He has really achieved little and very soon he would realise there are more powerful personalities in the HDC and UDECOTT.
* Minister of Planning and Development Camille Robinson-Regis. Apparently, she did not learn from her previous incarnation. Early in this tenure, she deposited $93,000 cash in First Citizens Bank and saw nothing wrong with that. Rowley and Al-Rawi did their own ‘investigations’ and cleared her, although the bank raised a red flag. Now she is embroiled with the leases granted to investors in Chaguaramas.
* Minister of Finance Colm Imbert. Many say he is the real Prime Minister. He has acted as PM whenever Rowley travels. He had moved money around to stabilise the economy, yet still, many contractors are owed and public employees are owed millions. The coming budget can make or break him.
* Minister of Energy Nicole Olliverre. She is swimming in a pool with no experience. Many say that Gerry Brooks is the real Minister. Nicole may be a casualty of a realignment.
* Minister of Education Anthony Garcia. After one year, he still blames the last Government. His greatest achievement is to remove GATE funding for people 50 years and over. Being the oldest in Cabinet, Garcia should let younger people into politics. He has a task to pay contractors for building/repairs to schools.
* Minister of Community Development and Culture Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly. Maybe the only Minister with a clean record of no controversy. She ensures her Ministry’s website and personal Facebook page is up to date. But she is warned. There are those who will be jealous of her.
* Minister of Public Administration and Communications Maxie Cuffie. He will go down as the worst Minister of Communications. He thought to come from the media would have given him an advantage, but clearly, he was wrong. He stayed months fumbling and bumbling at post-cabinet news conferences. It was only after media personnel complained to Rowley that Maxie was removed.
* Minister of Works and Transport Fitzgerald Hinds. One would have thought he would be a front line Minister in the Cabinet, but he has been kept quiet. His only accomplishment is six-speed guns for the police but five months later, he cannot decide if to change the speed limit on the highways.
* Minister of National Security Edmund Dillon. This job was always going to be tough for him. No soldier has proven himself in this job. They do not know about crime, intelligence, traffic management, etc. Dillon is presiding over a high murder rate and reacts when things happen.
* Minister of Agriculture Clarence Rambharat. Nothing achieved after one year. Fisher folks are up in arms with him over the fish kill. Praedial larceny continued unabated.
* Minister of Labour Jennifer Baptiste-Primus. No achievements in the first year. Presided over an economy where in the first six months, more than 3,000 lost their jobs and Accelor Mittal closed its doors. The coming months will be hectic as unions are going to press for outstanding monies and there will be protests.
* Minister o Trade and Industry Paula Gopee-Scoon. Failed as an MP, this Minister was given such an important portfolio, but her biggest achievement is sending foodstuff to Venezuela. Realignment possible.