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Tim Kee: I won’t be crucified; beleaguered POS Mayor may fight for his job

Port of Spain Mayor Raymond Tim Kee has apparently vowed not to allow himself to be crucified in a statement posted on the Facebook page of his wife, Natasha Babwah.

Photo: Former TTFA president and Port of Spain Mayor Raymond Tim Kee (centre) gestures to an Ecuador player while former Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar (right) has a word to her grandson before kick off of the FIFA Women's World Cup Play Off second leg on 2 December 2014. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Former TTFA president and Port of Spain Mayor Raymond Tim Kee (centre) gestures to an Ecuador player while former Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar (right) has a word to her grandson before kick off of the FIFA Women’s World Cup Play Off second leg on 2 December 2014.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Tim Kee, who is also the PNM treasurer and the former Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president, promised to resign on the afternoon of Saturday 13 February 2016, after acknowledging that his response to the murder of Japanese pannist Asami Nagakiya had damaged the integrity his office.

But, within a few hours, the fightback to keep his job began as councillor Farai Hove Masaisai and a statement shared by Babwah, on the Mayor’s behalf, suggested he would fight on.

The following are Tim Kee’s resignation letter, the subsequent public statements and video clips for and against the Mayor:

(Office of the Mayor of Port of Spain)

I have noted the continued outrage and hurt over statements attributed to me. I deeply regret the consequences of these statements, and I apologise unreservedly to those who have been affected. I consider the reaction has been sufficient to cause damage to the Office of the Mayor of Port of Spain, which any holder of this office should be concerned to protect at all costs.

It is in these circumstances, why I intend to call an emergency meeting of Council, and tender my resignation as Mayor, and as an Alderman.

Photo: Japanese pannist Asami Nagakiya was found dead on Ash Wednesday in the Queen's Park Savannah. (Copyright Trini Scene)
Photo: Japanese pannist Asami Nagakiya was found dead on Ash Wednesday in the Queen’s Park Savannah.
(Copyright Trini Scene)

It is important for me to point out as a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago, a man and a father, that I reiterate my unreserved respect for women, and in fact for all people, regardless of their race, gender or religion.

It is hoped that with this decision, the Office of the Mayor is now protected, my unreserved apology accepted by my fellow citizens, and that the focus can now be placed fully on solving the murder of a visitor to our shores.

Raymond Tim Kee,

Mayor

 

(Statement from Farai Hove Masaisai, PNM councillor for Belmont North and West, in defence of Raymond Tim Kee)
Our Mayor has always stood up for women’s rights in the city and in November of 2015 he together with Alderman Permanad spear headed the United Nation’s partnership with the city of Port of Spain to raise awareness in the fight against Domestic Violence against women (The Orange Ribbon Campaign).

Photo: Port of Spain mayor Raymond Tim Kee (second from left) and councillor Farai Hove Masaisai. (Courtesy Facebook)
Photo: Port of Spain mayor Raymond Tim Kee (second from left) and councillor Farai Hove Masaisai.
(Courtesy Facebook)

I ask where were these organisations then, not one of them attended city hall to lend support to this initiative, which was televised and also minuted in our Statutory meeting of that month.

We as a council understand that no one is perfect and we are all susceptible to mistakes especially when being asked questions on the spot by live media. His Worship at our Committee meetings held on Thursday the 11th day of February 2016 explained to both members of council and heads of the Administration of the City, the circumstances surrounding his statement and we accepted his apology and his rational and we have moved on to continue doing our work in and for the city of Port of Spain.

In a year which is carded for a local government election, we stand in solidarity with our Mayor and we are not divided. We trust the good sense will prevail and that our Mayor would not be called upon to resign as is the request by the Opposition and the other groups.

We remain faithful to the ideals of our great party and we thank you for your kind consideration.

God’s blessings to you and God Bless our Party.

Yours respectfully,

Farai Hove Masaisai,

Attorney at Law and Councillor for Belmont North and West

Photo: Protests against Port of Spain mayor Raymond Tim Kee outside Trinidad and Tobago's consulate in London. (Courtesy Facebook)
Photo: Protests against Port of Spain mayor Raymond Tim Kee outside Trinidad and Tobago’s consulate in London.
(Courtesy Facebook)

(Facebook post on the wall of Raymond Tim Kee’s wife, Natasha Babwah, supposedly on behalf of her husband)

An open letter to the public:

I am compelled to write to the public about the statements I made about behaviour at Carnival time, and the responsibility of persons—women specifically—to safeguard themselves against the predators that come out to play in droves for the season.

My statements about vulgarity were made in isolation when asked about safety, a week prior to the tragic incident with Asami Nagakiya.

It has been my observation—in my many years of service as a police officer and other public service capacities—that there are groups of people who take the opportunity during the frenzied carnival activities, to not only grope and touch women without invitation, but also to rob, steal and “settle scores” with persons who are unaware due to diminished capacity from alcohol consumption, fatigue or other reasons.

Photo: Late Japanese pannist Asami Nagakiya performs with Silver Stars at the 2016 Panorama. (Courtesy Facebook)
Photo: Late Japanese pannist Asami Nagakiya performs with Silver Stars at the 2016 Panorama.
(Courtesy Facebook)

These types take very little encouragement, and I 100% acknowledge that women are harassed daily, regardless of their attire; I have daughters so I am well aware. But it is no secret that predators seem to be especially active and bold during carnival festivities.

The inference in this statement was not that women are “inviting abuse” by having a good time. On the contrary the statement was the advice I would give to any female friend or family member, which is to protect yourself at all costs against lascivious men.

Is that statement untrue? Can we deny the depths to which some members of society have gone in the attack and preying on females, especially in recent times?

Can we deny how depraved they have become?

How many stories do we see weekly in the media about women being raped, abducted, children being molested and abused at the hands of these very same individuals to which I referred?

Is it reckless to assert that these are the unfortunate times that we live in where many men take the simplest sign of friendliness as an opportunity to approach a woman?

Photo: Port of Spain mayor and PNM treasurer, Raymond Tim Kee. (Courtesy Wired868)
Photo: Port of Spain mayor and PNM treasurer, Raymond Tim Kee.
(Courtesy Wired868)

Is it the woman’s fault for existing and smiling or looking attractive? Never.

Should I have admonished the behaviour of these predators in my statement? Absolutely. And I humbly apologise for not doing so, but the problem of rapists, thieves and abusers is a bigger fight, and less about prevention via caution and more about finding a cure for the environments that spawn and nurture them.

In a speech about carnival safety the former message was easier to disseminate and I regret not also including a warning to would-be perpetrators that their actions would not be tolerated by the armed forces.

I cannot continue without insisting that the way this statement was linked to Asami’s death was both reckless and vicious on the part of a particular media house, in what I can only conceive to be an attempt to drum up controversy.

I have apologised to the public for the timing of the statement on safety measures and I am more than willing to speak to any of the concerned interest groups on the topic who would like to discuss, fairly and openly, in further detail.

If nothing else, this should be seen as an opportunity to discuss these very same gender issues that continue to plague the country and start a conversation on how we can curb the behaviour of the negative elements in society, starting from the bottom and moving upwards.

Photo: Port of Spain mayor and ex-Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president Raymond Tim Kee (right) enjoys some conversation at the 2014 FIFA Congress in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Copyright TTFA Media)
Photo: Port of Spain mayor and ex-Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president Raymond Tim Kee (right) enjoys some conversation at the 2014 FIFA Congress in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
(Copyright TTFA Media)

I have seen the narrative switch from one of understandable outrage to unadulterated personal bashing.

My daughters and wife have been brought up in conversations, with one group even going so far to bring up an irrelevant instance of my daughter’s dancing when she was a pre-teen, while participating in her dance school’s carnival celebrations.

Is that what we have had to sink to? Is it necessary to try to degrade a person’s family members who are wholly unconnected to the issue at hand?

Is it fair on one hand to protest injustices to women while wildly and wantonly performing the very same “shaming” and abuse that you have accused me of?

I think if you dig deep you will see that it is completely unacceptable and unfair.

When asked about Asami, like the rest of the public, I did not know the intricacies of the crime at hand. The news of her discovery was still very fresh and I was not completely prepared to discuss it in an intimate way.

Photo: Attorney general Faris Al-Rawi (centre) enjoys himself during the 2016 Carnival celebrations.
Photo: Attorney general Faris Al-Rawi (centre) enjoys himself during the 2016 Carnival celebrations.

I could only have assumed foul play was at hand based on the nature of her discovery and the presence of bruises and wounds on her body, which is why my statement about women protecting themselves was very broad and very general. It was not about Asami’s case specifically and in retrospect, as I have said before, I regret the timing of this message.

When we talk about Asami’s death today, it has been overshadowed by the controversy of my statements which is regretful. Let us focus on moving forward, having open discussions and finding a solution to the problems that we face.

Let us expend our energies towards solving Asami’s murder, as well as the multitude of crimes that continue to plague the country today.

Let us continue to offer our condolences to her family and give her the tributes, as a purveyor of our culture, that she deserves.

I have seen the protests. I have received the messages. I understand the issues at hand and would like to find a solution.

When I became Mayor of Port of Spain, it is because I had a vision to take the city forward, to continue and improve on the work of the persons before me.

Photo: Port of Spain mayor and PNM treasurer Raymond Tim Kee, who is a member of the FIFA Futsal Committee, tries out the furniture at the FIFA's Zurich headquarters.
Photo: Port of Spain mayor and PNM treasurer Raymond Tim Kee, who is a member of the FIFA Futsal Committee, tries out the furniture at the FIFA’s Zurich headquarters.

I still have more work to do this year and I am not willing to give up. I have always had an open door policy and am always open to dialogue.

What I am not open to is crucifixion without mutual respect and understanding and hope to move forward.

 

Editor’s Note: What the Municipal Corporations Act says:

25. (1) A person elected to a corporate office may, at any time by writing signed by him and delivered to the Chief Executive Officer, resign the office on payment of the ($4,000) fine provided for non-acceptance of office…

(4) In any case where the Council by resolution carried by not less than a three-fourths majority of the members present at a meeting attended by not less than two-thirds of the whole Council grants permission to the holder of a corporate office to resign—

(a) on the grounds of ill health; or

(b) because his residence or business is such a distance from the Municipal Office of the Corporation that it would be difficult to attend meetings of the Council,

the person resigning is not liable to pay a fine nor is he so liable where he previously served in a corporate office for six years and any period of such service falls within five years of the date of such resignation.

Photo: Tweet from CNC3 journalist Akash Samaroo on Raymond Tim Kee's response to the death of Japanese pannist Asami Nagakiya.
Photo: Tweet from CNC3 journalist Akash Samaroo on Raymond Tim Kee’s response to the death of Japanese pannist Asami Nagakiya.

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392 comments

  1. Did God give the last administration the power to chose rightly and intelligently Chandresh?
    And, if so, how was that power applied?

  2. I’m trying to remain polite, but it’s a struggle.

  3. in summary “The challenge is to open our heart, with pure love n good energy to ourselves n to others. “

  4. I agree with you. However look at the names of the majority of the people who supports this call and the nasty things they are writing on Facebook, one can clearly see that they are UNC supporters,they have no shame they are the ones who voted the former PM back as leader of the Opposition the same person who led a Government that destroyed our beautiful twin Island within a period of 5yrs and 3months are they not concerned about the last 3months in governance were cntracts were awarded in the sum of BILLIONS of dollars without proper procurement. We in T&T don’t want that kind of leadership again.

  5. Question – Did any of his own staff supported his remaining mayor? I want to know whether the majority supported him

  6. Ah feel like ah get horn eight times this week …… from the same ohman!

  7. Would you take the word of a councillor in the meeting?

  8. His has to be one of the most disgraceful exits from politics i have ever seen. And I mean worldwide.
    And it wasn’t because of an affair, or embezzlement, or drugs, or anything criminal. Just because of ego.
    Here’s hoping his exit from politics and public life is permanent!

  9. February get a whole All Fool’s Week!

  10. second to las paragraph..starts his exit stage left

  11. Eh, eh! Ah eh taking chain up this time, nah! This ‘Dam Fool Day’ thing is for April, not February! LOL

  12. We’re not falling for that again Lasana Liburd ….. fool us once …

  13. Confirmed: Raymond Tim Kee has officially resigned his post as mayor in an emergency Port of Spain council meeting. More details later.

  14. hmmm is it another trick then?… maybe cause he didnt write it himself and Franklyn just quick handed it to him when he went into the council meeting….

  15. If it’s one state Trinidadians are perpetually in is a state of being misled.

  16. Lasana Liburd do you conclude that we were initially misled?

  17. What Raymond Tim Kee REALLY said in today’s interview: media misleads public again on Mayor’s third non-resignation
    http://wired868.com/2016/02/16/media-misleads-public-again-on-tim-kee-live-wire-demands-their-resignation/

  18. Okay, listened to clip. Tim Kee said he is still mayor but will resign at meeting this evening. Which probably means resign if they don’t support him. So the media reports are horribly inaccurate.

  19. Good lord! That man is making me dizzy with all the turn-arounds he is making. (Something tell me he got a dread blow-out for going back on his previous promise).

  20. CNC3 Television

    Embattled Mayor of Port of Spain, RAYMOND TIM KEE, has resigned as Mayor and an Alderman from the Port of Spain City Corporation.
    In an exclusive interview on SKY 99.5 FM, Mr. Tim Kee revealed that he did not resign on Monday, because he wanted the opportunity to say a fond farewell to his friends and colleagues at the Corporation.
    More details to follow…..

  21. There is a video clip from TV 6 floating around several posts in the group and on their FB page

  22. Does anyone have a written verbatim statement of the POS mayor’s first interview on the issue?

  23. I posted the Lateoclocknews piece elsewhere and suspect some of the other participants thought it was real – a kinda Jack Warner/Onion moment ….

  24. I swear TK is the gift that keeps on giving …

  25. I’m going to let my imagination roll to picture Dr. Rowley’s face as he saw the news

  26. boy these pp have no shame boy

  27. “The Mayor continued on to say that it was his sovereign duty to make Trinidad and Tobago great again by elevating its capital city to first world status. He however cautioned against the dangers of adopting first world modes of thinking, stating that this would “obstruct the process of making Port of Spain great again”….OMG…this is priceless…

  28. You know what though?
    It good for the PNM.

    Imagine after seeing how appointing a certified quenk from the football world began the UNC’s spiral out of office the PNM went and appointed one of their own!

  29. The man is a walking talking contradiction. ..

  30. ….It’s there Lasana. Different social classes are lining up on opposite sides..

  31. I don’t know how much I can take from the visible crowds as it is an extremely small manifestation of the voices behind either group in both cases.

  32. And the apparent educational background

  33. ,,,Note the race and class differences between the demonstrators who want Tim Kee to go or stay. This is a dynamic that cannot be ignored..

  34. ..Agreed. He lacked thought and empathy in his initial and subsequent statements. No doubt..

  35. forget tim kee ……..find the blasted killer

  36. Look Loy is not what yuh say is how yuh say it . What if this pompous oaf had said “first off my deepest condolenses to the family of Asima for the sad and unfortunate turn of events that led to her demise. I would like to further say that I will do everything in my power to find the perpetrators of said crime and bring them to justice. With this in mind I would like to take this time to plead with our young women out there to please be very careful at this time in carnival because predators are very aware of the vulnerability of young women in this time of the carnival celebration. I implore you to be wary of your surroundings, attempt travel in groups and be careful with the consumption of too much alcohol for fear that it puts you in the eyes of predatorial glances”. Putting across a point, applying necessary empathy for the situation and casting fatherlike concern for the safety of young women during the carnival period. But a young woman dies and you imply that scanty clothing and alcohol brought this upon yourself even though you have no idea as to how she died. It’s ignorant beyond a doubt, in bad taste and just a very unintelligent interpretation of the situation. In fact had he taken this approach he could have found favor with his public. In retrospect though I’m glad he acted like the classless behemoth that he is because now people know what he’s about just like people know what Sancho is about. What happens in the dark must come out on the light.

  37. ..The Book of Blatter. But, truth be told, he does have a large cross section of the population that supports his position on “women’s behavior”. This IS a legitimate flash point in the public mind and eye now whether one agrees it is or not..

  38. ..No, no. He was quite clear in his ambiguity. Is people who jump up happy thinking he resign. I cautioned some about that…

  39. Well, apparently we misinterpreted the man’s words and took them out of context again, ent?

  40. 10,000.00???. Many of the names there are ILP and UNC politicians and supporters. They would not give up. Hungry for power. We have to make them wait for the next five years. They would start with Mr. Tim Kee. Then Dr. Rowley. Then start calling for an early general election.

  41. I think I can clarify some stuff here. And I will try to do just that. In my own way 🙂

  42. Well this is surely material for Comedy Central. Where’s John Olliver when you need him.

  43. We can’t call LGE early? We have to wait until October?

  44. DO NOT BOW TO POLITICAL PRESSURE. Hold on Mr. Tim Kee. Worst things happen and those so called purist just ignore it. They are out of place. Believe you me they are testing the strength of this government. Don’t move.

  45. This more than anything else demonstrates Tim Kee’s unfitness for the office he occupies. Not only did he dishonor himself by his ignorant, unforgivable and reprehensible statements regarding the murder of a visitor to our shores and the capital city of which he is mayor, but he further disgraces himself by releasing a letter communicating his intention to resign his position over his failing then not keeping to his word.

    How can any country tolerate a mayor of it’s capital city being incapable of keeping his word this way.
    What an utter disgrace.

  46. Well I’m waiting to hear what the word from the corporation is

  47. At the end of the day regardless of what positions you take on the Tim Kee matter there are certain basic protocols that must be observed … one of which being if you pen a letter communicating your intention to resign, you flicking resign.

    Why did the fool pen that letter?

  48. Well the mayor making this place a real pappy show. Like a bad John zessing up to fight but whispering to his supporters “hold mih back…Allyuh hold mih back!” I guess he was gambling on a bunch of stupid people rallying round him to stay…well played Timmy. ..well played?