Housing Minister Dr. Roodal Moonilal may be correct in saying that the latest revelations about Jack Warner would not damage the Government. But, if that is so, it would only be because Warner, aided and abetted by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, has already inflicted considerable damage on the image of this administration.
Given her past and present record on allegations against Warner, it is unlikely that Prime Minister Persad-Bissessar would now take any action against her National Security Minister. Indeed, Moonilal also inadvertently revealed the political mindset of his party by asserting that what Warner had done before entering government was irrelevant.
In other words, even if evidence emerges that a particular individual has previously engaged in actions which make him unfit to hold public office and to control public funds, that has no bearing on his present post. Moonilal dismissed as “newspaper reports and newspaper conclusions” the thoroughly documented Sunday Express report which raised serious questions about how Warner acquired his multi-millionaire status.
As for Warner himself, the day after the report appeared, he was describing himself as “incorruptible” at an awards ceremony for Defence Force and Police Service personnel, who may be wondering what kind of legal system they are working in when such a character can lecture to them about ethics and responsibilities.
It is clear that Warner enjoys privileged status within this administration, and that none of his ministerial colleagues is sufficiently bothered by these ongoing revelations to speak out, let alone resign. That being the case, it is up to other institutions to take action in the interests of good governance.
The media have been doing their job, but our role is solely to provide the facts. It is the Police Service which has to act on such information, but Acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams has already failed once in this regard by his ongoing tardiness in the investigation into bribery allegations involving Caribbean Football Union officials.
That incident led to Warner resigning from FIFA, so he would not have to face investigations from that body. But the local investigation here under former CoP Dwayne Gibbs stalled, and even though Williams four months ago claimed the matter was ongoing, the lack of results suggests otherwise.
In this latest scandal, sufficient facts have now been placed in the public domain for the police to determine whether Warner, and his allies in the Ministry of Sport, have a case to answer in respect to misuse of public funds. Indeed, whether if Warner is as innocent as he continually claims to be, he should facilitate such an investigation so he can clear his name once and for all.