Dr Roodal Moonilal. Photo: T&T Parliament
By Sue-Ann Wayow
IT took the death of Andrea Bharatt for the Government to find money to repair much needed closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras across the country.
This is according to Member of Parliament for Oropouche East Dr Roodal Moonilal who once again lambasted the government for what he claimed were incompetencies in the nation’s national security.
Dr Moonilal, speaking during the United National Congress (UNC) virtual meeting on Monday night, said the nation’s camera system should be named the Andrea Bharatt CCTV system because it was only after the 23-year-old’s murder that National Security Minister Stuart Young was able to allocate $25 million to improving the system.
He said, “When the UNC raised this matter after a young daughter was brutally kidnapped and murdered, do you know today it has been confirmed that a few days ago Young found $25 million to pay TSTT to go and start fixing cameras. You couldn’t fix it before Andrea Bharatt was kidnapped and murdered, they did it now, so we should call the CCTV cameras the Andrea Bharatt CCTV system, it took a death of a child in this country to repair CCTV cameras, that is the tragedy we face.”
Dr Moonilal added that the provider of the system was TSTT which was state-owned and that the contract with TSTT expired in July 2017 and payments to TSTT stopped in 2018, therefore the cameras were not being maintained.
“Forty percent of them were decoration,” he said.
And while there was an open competitive tendering bid in September 2019, it was stopped after the ministry cancelled the bid, Dr Moonilal said.
Then “by accident” Young told the Parliament that a Canadian company named Johnson Controls received an $84 million contract to supply cameras. There was no open tendering process he claimed.
He said, “Why you cancel it? Why you gave it out to a company in Canada that nobody knows? How did you know those people? When I raised that the last time, they had local companies affiliated.”
And Dr Moonilal asked again what was former attorney general John Jeremie link to the company saying no law suit could muzzle him.