UNC leader Kamla Persad-Bisessar is greeted by the head of the Masjid Ul Faraqaan, Imam Rasheed Karim ahead of a endorsement meeting where muslim leaders pledged their support for the upcoming 2020 general elections, at the Felicity Diplomatic Centre yesterday.


Opposition leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar says at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, State-funded hampers for the less fortunate were being given to People’s National Movement (PNM) offices for distribution and not to the Members of Parliament they were supposed to be given too.

Persad-Bissessar was speaking at a meeting with Muslim activist group, Ummah TT, at the Felicity Diplomatic Centre, where the group pledged their allegiance to the United National Congress (UNC) for the upcoming General Election.

Asked at the end of the meeting to elaborate on her claims, Persad-Bissessar said, “The evidence that we have, I have placed it in the hands of our lawyers, we are working on that, I’ve seen the evidence myself, with addresses where PNM offices are located, not the MP’s offices, those documents are with our lawyers.”

Persad-Bissessar also questioned the criteria for allowing exemptions to T&T nationals to return home.

“I would like the Minister (of National Security), Stuart Young to tell us how many people are outside, how many have been granted exemptions and whether they have selectively- because they have no criteria- whether selectively they are letting people in through the backdoor, of their own supporters and people and others are being left behind,” she said.

She said she has evidence that this has been happening, which she will provide to the media.

Guardian Media tried reaching out to PNM Public Relations Officer Laurel Lezama-Lee Sing yesterday for a response but there was no response to calls to her cellphone.

Also speaking at the meeting was chairman of Ummah TT, Imam Rasheed Karim.

Karim explained why the group has decided to throw its support behind Persad-Bissessar and her slate, saying, “We are all here because we have a common interest and that interest is eradicating evil, transgression, oppression from our beautiful country of T&T. The only way this can be achieved is by removing this evil, this lying, this wicked- and I use the word wicked because I could justify it- this non-performing government.”

Karim said during Persad-Bissessar’s tenure from 2010 to 2015, she assisted the Muslim community by refurbishing masjids when requests were made for assistance. He said the group keeps a record of which party renders assistance to them.

“She assisted with refurbishing kitchens at masjids, paving of car parks, renovations of masjids, the building of box drains around masjids, she helped with housing grants, these are things sometimes you are not aware of. When we look at the other parallel party that is vying and is going to compete again for your support and we look at what they have done for us as an Islamic community in T&T, beside cause us to look as though we are all terrorists in this country, we have to understand that we need to throw our support to make sure that our political leader, the honourable Kamla Persad-Bissessar returns to corridors of power,” Karim said.

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