Home / Live Wire / Hide and seek! Rowley moves ‘Sleazy Smith’ to Housing Ministry in sordid Cabinet reshuffle

Hide and seek! Rowley moves ‘Sleazy Smith’ to Housing Ministry in sordid Cabinet reshuffle

First, the good news. New Commonwealth Games gold medalist Michelle-Lee Ahye will not be told—in a fierce, sleazy whisper—how good her pants looks on her, when she meets the Sport Minister in the Piarco International Airport’s VIP Lounge, later this week.

The bad news? Well, single mothers on the market for a HDC house better buckle up.

Like a dodgy Archbishop, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley opted for “pervert relocation” rather than “pervert eradication” this morning, as he abruptly announced a reshuffle of portfolios which saw Darryl Smith moved from the Sport and Youth Affairs Ministry to the role of Minister in the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development.

Photo: Prime Minister Keith Rowley (centre) greets SPORTT chairman Dinanath Ramnarine (left) while Sport Minister Darryl Smith (right) looks on during the opening of the Brian Lara Cricket Stadium in Tarouba on 12 May 2017.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

Rowley’s decision comes just hours after a Sunday Express report proved, beyond a shadow of doubt, that the State’s TT$150,000 pay-off to former Sport Ministry employee, Carrie-Ann Moreau, was done after she complained of sexual harassment by Smith.

PNM Women’s League chair, Camille Robinson-Regis—who needed smelling salts when she first heard ‘Massive’ Gosine’s “Rowlee Mudda Count”—described the stream of sordid allegations against Smith as a “non story” and Rowley appeared to take a similar line today, as he retained confidence in the Diego Martin Central MP.

Former UNC minister Glenn Ramadharsingh, once sacked for groping and threatening to sack an air stewardess, must be dropping off his PNM party application as we speak.

Curiously, Rowley also inserted himself above Smith as Housing Minister—in a shift that is likely to appease nobody.

Why not go whole hog and name Rolph Balgobin as HDC chairman and done?!

Shamfa Cudjoe now replaces Smith as Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs while Randall Mitchell goes from Housing to Minister of Tourism. And Marlene McDonald moves upwards—presumably for having “Godfather Burkie” skip her last swearing-in ceremony—to Minister of Public Administration and Communications with Maxie Cuffie, who is still recovering from a stroke suffered last year, reassigned to the role of Minister in the Ministry of Public Administrations and Communications.

Photo: The Hand of God?
Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs Darryl Smith (right) takes a hands-on approach with a then staff member.

President Paula-Mae Weekes has been advised to send instruments to this mostly sorry lot. Perhaps she should put a restraining order in Smith’s envelope. Let’s just say that, if the extra-large MP ever gets to another swearing-in ceremony, he might as well ignore the Holy Bible and recite his vows to the nation on a Playboy magazine.

Remarkably, Smith—who, just last year, bragged to friends that he could ‘bring down the whole country’ if Rowley fired him—pleaded for a Ministry of Housing portfolio in the first Cabinet reshuffle and was disappointed not to get it then. He is unlikely to be displeased with his journey across town, even through he will not be at the helm of his new Ministry.

For taxpayers, Rowley’s move represented either a middle finger and giggle, or sneering defiance.

“I run shit here. You just live here! […] King Kong ain’t got shit on me!”

Of course Denzil Washington’s character, Alonzo Harris, did not last long after those epic lines. But there is precedent for such bizarre re-appointments.

Former Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar moved Jack Warner from Works and Transport to National Security, at the very time it first emerged—informally—that the FBI was paying close attention to the dodgy administrator.

Photo: Former Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar (right) and then Minister of Works and Transport Jack Warner at the Trinidad and Tobago 2010 Women’s Under-17 World Cup.
(Courtesy FIFA.com)

But then Warner was a multi-millionaire party financier and the UNC chairman. It is hard to see what ‘Heavy D’ Smith brings to the table besides a hearty appetite for selfies and secretaries.

Female staff members at the Sport Ministry can at least breathe a bit easier and shed their bulky sweaters now that a colossal weight has been lifted off their derrières.

But for the women at the Ministry of Housing… Can Mr Live Wire suggest a hijab and pepper spray?

About Mr. Live Wire

Mr. Live Wire
Mr. Live Wire is an avid news reader who translates media reports for persons who can handle the truth. And satire. Unlike Jack Nicholson, he rarely yells.

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148 comments

  1. Whoever Mr. Livewire is he is hilarious, could give Stephen Colbert and Trevor Noah a run for their money.
    Keep up the good work, humour is a formidable weapon.

  2. Five years is just too long and make it 4 with no sitting PM having more that 2 terms.

  3. It is unfortunate that so many people see this as PNM vs UNC as that misses the point.
    This is about an official who misbehaved in public office and should be held accountable for his actions.
    For the UNC people who are focusing on attacking the party, you’re actually encouraging PNM-ites to rally behind Smith as a self defence mechanism.
    For the PNM people who are defending Smith in a variety of ways, you’re putting party before country and it is damaging to everyone.
    If we could support our party of choice once every five years and just be good citizens the rest of the time, we’d be so much better off as a nation.

    • Yes indeed. I’m so tired of the Cyclops. ..And so want to feel like we are maturing as a “so” ciety

    • Now who is really missing the point. It’s really nothing to do with being UNC or PNM (BTW I supported the then COP) but about a Prime Minister taking decisive action against one of his ministers who has repeatedly displayed such unacceptable behaviour; and that is putting it mildly.

    • Wired868 I get your point and agree with you, but this is our only way at poking fun out of the establishment and at those that has us under a kind of subjugation….if you don’t laugh you gonna cry!

    • I really meant to comment as myself and not the group. So you can hold me responsible for the comment above.
      Wilma, I agree that in this case the prime minister has to be held responsibility for his action (or lack of it as well). I’m just saying to be careful of turning every issue into a one party versus the next competition.

    • PNM is a boys club. Always was and always will be but I wish our politicians had the decency to resign when implicated.

    • I disagree full ?!! After 56 years Trinis don’t need to poke anything at #Tribal #Illiterates to stir any pot, #Nope, they are seasoned and well versed in #EatingAhFood?
      Also wat yuh calling “#Misbehavior” in public office is only showing you don’t have wat it takes to call ah spade #AhSpade!!✅ what they’re doing both #Red & #Yellow bunch amounts to treason against ah nation!!
      In the real world they’d all be in jai fuh 1/2 dat fucking shit, yup #1/2, #jail…! But then again I’m constantly reminded of the #4thWorld #Shithole I live in?

  4. All those women he feel up getting a house now ,Rowley get a wine some time ago and the Indian get a house o lord what next to expect from the pnm

  5. You HAVE to be making joke! This man is a disgusting miscreant sexually harassing staff!!!

  6. This whole country needs to get out there and protest too much corruption

  7. Rolie put Mr belly were it have no women woking

  8. Smith needs to pay back the tax payers their 150.000 AND GOOOOO

  9. He & Rowley is the same that’s why he can’t fire him

  10. The PM just diverting attention from the real issues at hand, you think he cares what anyone thinks, the PM wants an uproar on the reshuffling.

  11. I will never believe or have faith in tto,to much outsiders and persons with commitments to external commitments,just disgusting this immigration department,and every body doing business with the EC dollar all business,and Tto still playing smart with dotishness.

  12. Okay Mr Rowley I understand your back was against the wall from public opinion about this minister but this decision was not a correct one .In the polls your popularity is dwindling come on did you take the various women opinion into consideration that this man has work with.Now he has being promoted instead of being demoted. Steups.

  13. Well yes so many comments. Can 150,000 really pay off someone if they’ve been so harassed. She just ad bad as him. Hush money. Really.

  14. Is now he will put plenty women in houses

  15. Now instead of we ( d taxpayers) paying out $150,000,we might b giving out houses, bekoz,the women who comes to d ministry in distress will meet this piece of crap ,who is in a perfect place to prey on women who needs help and might DO anything to get a house, who will have oversight of him? D pm? Hah! He toooooo busy!

  16. I wonder what is the next move lets watch this scenario unfold

  17. Remember that old tongue twister? You have to say it fast, “Mr. Smith ship sink” over and over. You always say “Mr. Smith shit stink.” That’s the boss’s popo. He can tolerate that mess.

  18. Mr Rowley For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

  19. 2020 ship coming pm… The one with the chains

  20. How you could remove a brother of the sword fraternity? How it go look? Remember the code… All for one and one for all! Because if one man talk we dogs dead!

  21. Imagine this is the same Dr Rowley who espoused good morality in public office and high ideals when he was Opposition leader ,now as Prime Minister he signing a different song, Sir you may have have confidence in these misfits but we who matter don’t, 2020 soon come

    • And wuh dat mean? Vote out the PNM on that basis?
      I not in favour of Darryl getting any ministry at all. Not even as a junior.
      But Panday had a sexual misconduct case against him and because of the tribal nature of the UNC, they huddled around him like ants on food scraps and turned against the accuser instead. They then mek him deh Prime Minister after. Now listen to these same hypocrites.
      So if not the PNM, WHO??? UNC????

    • Garvin are you suggesting that PNMites are now huddled around Rowley like ants on food scraps?

    • Where you get that from?
      The hypocrisy is what I highlighted. This was never about Rowley, because ah sure you en see anything like that happening.
      But it was in response so “2020 soon come”. It could never mean to replace the PNM on such a basis. Who’s the “alternative”?

    • I don’t think of the alternative. Let nature take care of that over the next two years. We will know the alternative when the election date is called.
      Between election to election, we should try to be moored by a sense of basic principles.
      Right is right and wrong is wrong. No matter who is in government and who is in opposition.

    • But why you attempting to give the impression that I defending a “wrong”?
      I vote in elections and I know who I vote for. Do you?

    • Garvin I do. But when you start a conversation about wrongdoing of one person by pointing to someone else’s wrongdoing, you’re on shaky territory morally.
      It is classic deflection. Maybe you didn’t mean to do it. I don’t know. But that’s my opinion.

    • And that’s the foolishness I could never understand from those like you who love to give this impression about being “balanced”.
      I’m SURE you didn’t see me defending anyone here. But it’s like to you people, you should NEVER highlight the HYPOCRISY of others. Those hypocrites do have people falling for the hypocrisy, as if they have any morals. Look at how the UNC is reacting to the issue.
      Let’s not fool “weself”. There’s only ONE opposition in this country. So that makes them the ALTERNATIVE. So if the PNM is to be “replaced” on the basis of Darrly Smith being moved to another ministry and not out completely, what will putting in the “alternative” do for this country?
      I don’t agree with Smith even being a junior minister in another ministry, but woulda preferred him in the back-bench. But will that not make me want to vote the PNM out?? Come nah man. Doh try to play smart with foolishness nah.
      Some of you are about pleasing people, by trying to play “balance”. I’m not in a “popularity contest”.
      At the end of the day, the PNM is STILL the most logical choice between the two. I see no other formidable opposition coming, because the others are made up of talkers, who’re not prepared to put their money where their mouths are.

    • Garvin that’s my problem there in a nutshell. You are speaking about this as a political issue. It isn’t.
      For me, it is someone caught misbehaving and whether that person would be held accountable. That’s it.
      I couldn’t care less about how the UNC responds or vice versa.
      How anyone votes in two years is their business. This has nothing to do with.
      Once people only look at things and wonder how it will affect their tribe and not in terms of right and wrong, we will never advance anywhere.
      How you vote or if you vote at all is irrelevant. What I’d like to know is you were a good citizen throughout the election cycle and let your conscience tell you what stance to take. Not your party card.

    • You’re the only one commenting here? Look at the others and tell me if don’t see POLITICS in their comments. The one I referred to, before you choose to come after me, is one such example.
      But how is it not a political issue, if for some it could be a “backlash” for the government? Again, yuh playing smart with foolishness Lasana. I not getting caught up in that.

    • Garvin if I choose to engage with you then that’s a good thing. If I thought you were manic I wouldn’t have.
      There are many here who are rabid on either side. Of course many think only in terms of their tribe. I’m not saying you’re unique in that way.
      Maybe I’m hoping that you have enough self awareness to break the mold. That’s all.
      Again, I’m not telling you who to vote for or trying to influence your vote at all.
      In fact I’d like to think your party stand a better chance of success by being more just rather than less so.
      Is engaging you about putting country before party just “playing Smart with foolishness” in your eyes? Because that really is depressing.

    • Vote Kamlar again man in 2020 everything will change with her magic wand.

    • The UNC party name call in murder to thieving and their supporters defend them to the very last even out of office the UNC supporters does still defend their party I am not for or against Smith what I am against is the way black does fight down black I seeing it coming black will hold their head and bawl if they continue with this mentality and the cry would be if I did know

    • Cecil so the women who are complaining of harassment don’t deserve protection too? Only politicians deserve protection?
      (I’m going to give the “colour commentary” a wide berth so as to try to find out if “black people” deserve anything if it might inconvenience the “black politician” who is abusing them).

    • I have a problem with people taking money for these allegations if you could put a price on your saltfish you cannot be trusted

    • Cecil, the payment was for her loss of earnings after being improperly terminated after being sexually harassed.
      How could she put a price on the “salt fish” that she didn’t offer? I’m lost.

    • Just now women will use these allegations of sexual harassment to inherit handsome payments just like America you know Trinidadians are fast learners

    • Just how you have your information I have mines a story have a beginning and a end like this one only have a end

    • Cecil Sleepy Clarke tell them dah fighting down their own type, others have a plan for that type ah shame ah dah conduct

    • The thing is, I didn’t “huddle” around Smith or the PM in my initial comment. But was asked if the PNM now “huddling around the PM”? Where was that indicated?
      The PNM people are hardly EVER given CREDIT for not being as clannish and as tribal as the UNC supporters.
      I’ve seen so many PNM supporters who weren’t happy with Darrly Smith’s behaviour. They said it publicly. They said it on the “PNM pages”. Do you EVER see such a display by UNC supporters, especially those of Indian decent?
      They’d condone ANYTHING. The PNM couldn’t face the number of corruption allegations as they faced in 2015 and STILL get as much as 18 seats. Where did they get those seats?
      The PNM supporters would’ve NEVER see the kinda revelation as that of Cambridge Analytica which are so COMPELLING and still act as if “it’s no big thing”. We’re cultured totally differently.
      While they can depend on PNM supporters to help the UNC win an election, the PNM CANNOT depend on them for victory. That is very dangerous for this country, especially when RACE is such a factor. That’s because if they should ever govern this country on the basis of a racial MAJORITY, it means a “license” to do what the hell they want to this country, because they’d NEVER be voted out even if they take us to Hell. Then how should the rest of the country deal with such a reality? Their divisive nature is what is responsible for this. No wonder there’s so much racial and political hatred coming out of the tribe, here on social media.
      They have ONE common goal and that is to get back into office, by ANY MEANS necessary (as Cambridge Analytica is proving) and regardless of WHAT scandal, accusation or anything that should debar them from ever entering office again.
      Political power means so much more to them. It’s an obsession. It’s a sense of DOMINANCE, especially when they already believe they “dominate” in so many other spheres in life.
      So I really take serious offense to being “lumped” with the UNC. We’re NOT the same. Never was. Never will be.

  22. Big fat bag of bs all around. #NotSmithened

  23. This is so insulting.
    Mr. Smith used taxpayers money to lure ladies into his net, then used taxpayers money to hush them up. Mr. Rowley is no different from the parents of the bandits:. “He is a good boy”

  24. This sexual predator must go must go must go. Rowley please take a page out of Kamla’s book.

  25. We deserve what we get .cause we only talk and never take a stand