Rowley: I want nothing to do with Farley unless there is a third party

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Rowley: I want nothing to do with Farley unless there is a third party

Unless there is a third party present, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley says he does not intend to have any future discussions with Chief Secretary Farley Augustine.

Addressing a PNM public meeting at the Calder Hall Multipurpose Facility, Tobago on Monday night, Rowley said Augustine had developed a habit of telling untruths and withholding vital pieces of information.

Rowley touched on the circumstances surrounding the absence of a Chief Administrator in the THA after Ethlyn John retired on May 17. He reiterated the THA administration was to blame for the office being empty.

He said during their discussions on the Chief Administrator issue, Augustine made a recommendation but withheld the fact that the THA had intended to take action against the person who was interdicted.

“Up to this point, I have spoken to him on the phone. We communicate on WhatsApp and we sit down and talk but I am telling you all from tonight, I want nothing to do with Farley unless there is a third party, “ Rowley said.

Regarding the Augustine’s leaked propaganda audio, the PM said, “It took him three weeks to come up with that Nansi story he came up with there last week.”

He also dismissed his allegation that two senior government ministers gave the THA $100 million and told the assembly to pay a Tobago contractor.

“I suspect that the two senior ministers is the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance.”

However, Rowley told supporters that nothing could be further from the truth.

“People of Trinidad and Tobago, yuh see lying politicians, is a disease.”

Rowley said monies were given to the THA to pay debts to contractors after billions in revenue were lost following the drop in oil prices around 2015.

The Prime Minister said during the Covid-19 pandemic, the situation got worse and the government had to borrow $13 billion to keep afloat. “In that scenario, government agencies in Trinidad and in Tobago were owing people a lot of money and could not pay because government did not have money to give them to pay for the goods and services they incurred or were incurring.” Rowley said as the economy improved by August 2022 the government had earned significant revenue. He said “One of the things we had to do was to assist government agencies to pay off the debt that they incurred.”

Rowley said the THA got $100 million to clear debt under the development programme. He added, “Instead of Farley come and tell you that the central government has done that, he come to tell you that we give him money to give we friend and tell him how much to pay we friend. That is not a man to be trusted.”