Transparent, Independent investigation is still needed!


FIXIN’ T&T welcomes the official resignation of Dr. Rolph Balgobin from Angostura Holdings Limited but is appalled that it took over a year given the allegations of sexual harassment leveled against him. Let it be known that this resignation in no way absolves either the Government or the Board of Angostura from their abysmal dereliction of duty and responsibility to afford the alleged victim a fair and transparent hearing. History will not forgive any of the individuals associated with this failure along with those who, over the years, may have been complicit in protecting Dr. Balgobin at the expense of his alleged victims. It has been reported that the government intends to retain Dr. Balgobin as Chairman of CL Financial. If true, this would be an outrage and suggests that the boys’ club is well and truly alive in protecting its own in this country.

As head of the government, Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley has repeatedly failed female victims of violence and sexual harassment. FIXIN’ T&T recalls his callous insensitivity to victims of domestic violence when he blamed the victims for their choice of partners. This attitude has been reflected in his government’s hands-off approach in circumstances that warranted Dr. Balgobin’s suspension pending the outcome of a credible inquiry into the complaint by a senior female executive at Angostura. It was on display again when then Sports Minister Darryl Smith was accused of sexual harassment by a contract employee. Until he was forced to fire Mr. Smith from his cabinet, Dr. Rowley at no stage seemed interested in giving the benefit of the doubt to the alleged victim. Now that the inquiry into that matter has been completed, FIXIN’ T&T calls on Dr. Rowley to make its findings known and not hide behind legal red tape.
FIXIN’ T&T reminds Dr. Rowley that leadership creates culture. His actions and inactions in these matters neither inspire confidence nor augur well for women, women’s and gender based issues. Instead of seemingly seeking to protect the alleged sexual harassers, proper leadership dictates that they be removed from all positions of ‘power’ pending the outcome of thorough, transparent and independent investigations into the allegations leveled against them. A good and interested leader would also be at the forefront of ensuring the effective implementation of the requisite meaningful legislation that would protect those vulnerable and deter potential sexual predators.


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