PORT OF SPAIN – Allegations of bribery and corruption, coupled with denials, took centre stage yesterday as San Fernando’s Mayor Kazim Hosein called on the city engineer Ramesh Sookdeo to answer two allegations of mass corruption within the walls of the administration department of the city’s corporation.
“The first accusation is bribery and corruption in the corporation,” the mayor revealed.
At the time the mayor was speaking to reporters prior to the demolition on an old building along Court Street, San Fernando.
Hosein said since taken office he had received numerous complaints from citizens of the city relating to illegal structures throughout San Fernando and environs.
“It is all allegations, but all fingers are pointing to the engineering department of the corporation,” he told reporters.
Hosein said the bribery and corruption allegations of citizens surrounded extensions to their houses without plans being approved, as well as extensions to buildings without the council’s approval.
“There is a process and a law to abide [with] and it has reached too far. And people have been coming to my office every day for the last seven months. It has reached an epidemic level,” Hosein lamented.
He said only recently a couple had come to his office in tears to report claims of their neighbour building on their property. The mayor also made mention of a bar constructed near to a prestigious school in south Trinidad.
“How could a bar go up next to a school overnight?” the mayor questioned.
Since the reports of bribery and corruption Hosein said that he had started to compile a file with the reports.
“I am dealing with it at city corporation level and this is based on complaints from citizens. And at the right time, which would be soon, I am going to face the administration with this file,” Hosein said.
“So far, it is all allegations, but I am going to weigh it out in the next two weeks and if I see no action based on the evidence I have, I would act,” the mayor added.
Hosein said that he together with his supportive council members were going to continue the fight and would not turn a blind eye to any corruption within the corporation.