Fixin’ T&T has repeated its call for President Anthony Carmona to resign if he cannot extricate himself from a TT$78,781.09 cheque written by the Office of the President for Savitri Singh—which is the same name carried by his mother-in-law.
The sum, according to the cheque, was payment for the “cost for official travel to accompany their Excellencies to Miami, USA and the Bahamas on their vacation” between 28 March and 11 April 2015.
The following is the full statement from Fixin’ T&T:
Dear President Carmona,
We refer to our letter dated 23 September 2016—attached for ease of reference—in which we very directly asked if your Mother-in-Law was ever employed at President’s House and/or the Office of the President.
We note that this issue was not addressed in your 28 September 2016 ‘address’ to the media and by extension the nation.
A Kalifa Clyne article in the 9 October 2016 Sunday Guardian titled “Carmona’s spending spree” stated:
“Of the overseas travel expenditure incurred, Savitri Singh, who bears a similar name to President Carmona’s mother-in-law Savitri Seeteram Singh, received allowances of over $300,000 to accompany the Carmona family on several overseas trips, including $78,781.09 to accompany the family on vacation to the Bahamas.
“Singh also received payment of a salary of around $14,000 monthly from the Office of the President from May 2013 to January 2014. A payment of $13,542.54 for “domestic services” to Singh was issued in April 2013.
“The Sunday Guardian was unable to confirm whether Savitri Singh and Savitri Seeteram Singh were the same person.”
Is the Savitri Singh to whom the article refers and the cheque is payable your mother-in-law? If yes, in the interest of preserving the integrity of the Office of the President kindly submit your resignation with immediate effect.
Everything unethical may not necessarily be illegal. While there may be no law to rein in this type of untenable behavior in high office, as a legal luminary, you will appreciate the nepotistic nature of this situation.
If no however, please instruct your office to provide the country with details on the Savitri Singh to whom these payments were made. Do the right thing because it is the right thing to do.