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Saturday, April 22, 2006 

Water shortage - Moonilal says
RIA TAITT Saturday, April 22 2006

Give dirty clothes to Manning

FACING complaints by his constituents over an acute water shortage, a fed-up Oropouche MP Roodal Moonilal yesterday said he is seriously considering advising his thirsty constituents to gather their dirty linen and take it to the “relevant Minister’s boss” (ie the Prime Minister) and dump it on his front steps.

Speaking in the House of Representatives on the National Lotteries Amendment Bill, Moonilal slammed Government for the water problems in the country. He also took the courageous step of calling for legislation to deal with discrimination based on sexual orientation. Pointing to the fact that the UK had such laws, he said this was also needed in this country because equality was not for everyone.

He said this country was still at the first base — that is combating ethnicity and gender based discrimination. On the water situation, Moonilal proposed that some of the profits of NLCB be issued to citizens for a water subsidy, “so that affected householders who are without water for weeks can get a subsidy of $400 a month to buy water.”

He said there were poor people who had to come up with $100 to $200 a week to buy water. Stating that Public Utilities Minister Pennelope Beckles had developed the habit of saying that everything was in the pipeline, Moonilal said everything was in the pipeline, except water. “And while we wait for the plans to materialise, helpless and hapless citizens must buy water from contractors who are extorting,” he lamented.

Making the connection to the Bill at hand, Moonilal said the wealth of the nation was going towards legal fees of the NLCB. “When I look at the figures (expended on legal fees) I want to ask the NLCB if it was representing every condemned killer on Death Row,” Moonilal said.

He said between 2003 and 2006, 78 percent to 100 percent of the legal fees paid out by the NLCB went to the firm, Alexander, Jeremie and Company. “This is a conflict of interest if ever there was one — that a sitting Attorney General whose office may be called upon to approve the spending of a state authority to obtain legal advice, the AG receives 100 percent of the legal fees.” he said. “Ask Ramesh about Daltons,” Planning Minister Camille Robinson-Regis countered. Ken Valley rose on a point of order to state that Moonilal was imputing improper motives to the AG.

“The Attorney General is no longer with the firm Alexander, Jeremie and Company,” Valley rebuffed. Moonilal said NLCB didn’t even give work to Boynes and Company or the firm, “Morean and Company.”

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