Opposition MP Roodal Moonilal said malice, incompetence and corruption are the reasons why the PNM government has found itself in hot water over the leased Sikorsky helicopter, which is “parked in a shed” in Camp Cumuto for the past five years.
Moonilal is now calling for an investigation by Parliament’s National Security Committee after the PNM Government refused to honour the lease on the helicopter.
Speaking on the issue at last night’s UNC meeting, Moonilal said, “We’ve been reading about the helicopter leased in December 2014 by the People’s Partnership (PP) administration. They have scandalized and seek to criminalize all associated with this arrangement.”
“This is about a pending default judgment in an American court as a naked example of malice, incompetence and corruption.”
“Government treated a legal and proper lease contract entered by the PP as if they were dealing with the Biche High school or the Children’s Hospital.”
“Their position was that the PP government lease a helicopter – ‘We don’t want that!! Leave it to rot like the UWI campus’,” he said.
”But you can’t abandon legal obligations arising from a contract. If the incoming government didn’t want the damn helicopter, then simply send it back by terminating the lease arrangement. We never buy a helicopter, we leased it. It would have cost but less than $100 million that taxpayers have to pay now for their spite and incompetence.”
“But for five years now a brand new spanking helicopter park up in a shed in Cumuto doing nothing!!”
Moonilal claims also that “Not even the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) could have gained access to the helicopter. So the CAA could not do inspections or provide registration or airworthiness certificates. This is the real scandal that deserves a public inquiry by the Parliament’s JSC on National Security. Bring it on!”
He said the PP leased the state-of-the-art helicopter for national security for civilian or military use and it could have been used now when T&T borders are overrun “by fleeing” Venezuelans.