Days after Minister of Works and Transport Jack Warner resigned from the world’s football governing body—FIFA—to serve the people of T&T he has been reportedly stripped of the transport portfolio.
Top Government sources told Sunday Guardian that a decision was taken to split Warner’s ministry, assigning transport duties to Public Transport Services Commission chairman Devant Maharaj.
Sunday Guardian understands that the shift in the ministry came as a surprise to many, given that Warner continues to be rated as the best performing minister even before he opted to relinquish his FIFA duties.
Warner received the news during a marathon closed door meeting with Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and other government ministers at Diplomatic Centre, St Ann’s yesterday.
Sources said Warner was upset over the move. The mood at Diplomatic Centre yesterday was one of mixed emotions.
While some ministers were clearly in upbeat mood, others shied away from the media. Confirming the reshuffle, Agriculture Minister Vasant Bharath said only: “There has been some restructuring and the Prime Minister will announce.” But disappointment was etched on the face of Health Minister Therese Baptiste-Cornelis who later put on a brave smile for the media. The normally plain talking Health Minister only waved as she existed the PM’s residence.
Minister in the Ministry of Labour Rudy Indarsingh confirmed that he will continue to function where he was placed. Sporting the broadest smile among all the Ministers was Minister in the Ministry of Tourism Dr Delmon Baker who said: “Everything went excellent, excellent,” before exiting the compound.
Sports Minister Anil Roberts gave the thumbs up sign as he made his way out. He was heading for Tobago to participate in last night’s Congress of the People debate. But it was not all smiles for Minister of Tourism Dr Rupert Griffith. Asked if his portfolio had been taken away, the Minister replied: “An old battle-axe like me would wait and see.”