Anil Roberts resigns as Sport Minister and MP but admits no wrongdoing in Life Sport programme.
To: Honourable Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar,
I write to you today with a heavy heart to inform you of my desire to resign as Minister of Sport and as Member of Parliament for D’Abadie/ O’meara with immediate effect, based on the inexplicable public furore that continued unabated based on misinformation in the public domain.
It is quite unfortunate that I’m forced into this position because I don’t want to have a negative impact upon my team, the People’s Partnership Government.
Having done absolutely no wrong whatsoever, having not been mentioned not even once in a flawed Central Audit Report, in which the Auditors at the Ministry of Finance deviated from the Audit norms, by not allowing the relevant departments in question to respond to their findings and thus allowing to enter into the public domain an erroneous report.
However, I fully accept that politics has a morality of its own and that the truth is not always sought.
Finally, the claims by so called scribes that the Westminster system dictates my resignation, couldn’t be further from the truth for the Westminster system posits that a Minister’s resignation is unwarranted when departments under his portfolio over which he exerts no direct control nor Ministerial authority operate ultra vires to good cooperate governance practices.
That being so, I acknowledge the unjustified political pressure being placed upon your good self and your Government. Consequently, I offer you my resignation with immediate effect from all portfolios to allow your Government the freedom to serve the people without hindrance.
I must say, that I am proud of my performance over the past four years as Minister of Sport and Member of Parliament.
I do believe I have served the people of my constituency and my beloved country to the best of my ability.
May God bless you and your Government in the future.
Minister of Sport
Member of Parliament for D’Abadie / O’meara
Press statement by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar:
I continue to be disillusioned, disappointed and distressed by the level of deception and dishonesty associated with the well intentioned Life Sport programme.
The background is well known. At the hint of corrupt practices, I immediately ordered that the initiative be switched to the Ministry of National Security and instructed an independent audit be conducted.
After the findings of this audit were made available, I instructed that the report be sent to the Acting of Commissioner of Police, the Integrity Commission, the Head of the Public of the Service and the DPP for consideration.
But even as we await the finding of these independent institutions on the matter, the usual duties of the Minister of Sport are being burdened with the mounting controversy and questions surrounding the LifeSport programme.
I have allowed due process to occur, I have demonstrated patient allowance for all sides of the story to be heard through an independent audit.
I have given careful consideration to the rapidly emerging issues and have resisted quick judgment and rash decision.
The election of this government has changed the political landscape. The expectation of the public that something will be done when wrongs are committed in public office are (sic) now the hallmarks of good governance.
Consequently, I have decided to accept the offer of resignation as Minister of Sport from Mr Anil Roberts.
Further, I have advised His Excellency, the Acting President of Trinidad and Tobago, Timothy Hamel-Smith that with effect from today Thursday July 31st 2014 in accordance with the provisions of section 3 (9) and 79 (1) of the Constitution of Trinidad and Tobago that the appointment of Anil Roberts as Minister of Sport be revoked and that Dr Rupert Griffith be assigned the responsibility for Ministry of Sport in addition to his present duties as the Minister of Science and Technology.