Opposition leader, Philip J. Pierre, asserting that the PAJOAH matter will not disappear, has declared that he will not be intimidated by threats from Economic Development Minister, Guy Joseph.
Joseph this week labelled Pierre a fool in the continuing controversy over the PAJOAH letter.
But the opposition leader Tuesday responded by saying that Joseph is well know for name calling and threats.
“Let me assure Guy Joseph that the PAJOAH matter will not disappear. He can rant, he can rave,” Pierre told St Lucia Times.
According to the Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) leader, even Joseph’s own ministerial colleagues have admitted that if the PAJOAH letter is authentic, the minister should be disciplined.
“Guy Joseph has never said whether he wrote the latter or not. In fact, he has never said that he did not write the letter. All Guy Joseph should say is ‘I did not write that letter and what the opposition is saying is nonsense’,” Pierre told St Lucia Times.
He stated that if Joseph did not sign the letter, the police should be called upon to investigate because the document would be fraudulent.
“It is a very serious matter when a minister’s signature can be forged and nothing happens,” Pierre observed.
He recalled that Guy Joseph had explained this week that two wrongs do not constitute a right.
According to Pierre, that was an admission that what the minister did was wrong.
“How can a minister declare that a contract of $162 million has been awarded for two projects and the Prime Minister says that these projects have been financed? If the Prime Minister says that these projects were already financed, why is Guy Joseph seeking $162 million for the projects? These are questions he has to answer,” Pierre told St Lucia Times.
“All I am saying is that the PAJOAH letter issue will not disappear. It is wrong. It is misbehaviour in public office and I insist that the Prime Minister must investigate. If the letter is not authentic, then he must call the police,” Pierre told St Lucia Times.
He also said that Joseph should be relieved of his ministerial responsibility.
The letter in question, bearing a 12 November 2018 date, was aimed at any financial institution informing that the Government of Saint Lucia was engaged in discussion with a company known as PAJOAH’s Limited and Associates about funding a street lighting and St. Jude Hospital projects in Saint Lucia.
The document was written on the letterhead of the Ministry of Economic Development with a signature purporting to be that of Minister Joseph and aimed at any financial institution.
The document noted that upon submission of Proof of Funding to execute projects, the Government of Saint Lucia has agreed to enter into a contractual agreement with PAJOAH’s Limited and Associates. And that the Government of Saint Lucia is also committed to repaying the loan of US sixty-two million dollars or EC$167.4 million at a 3.59% interest rate over a fifteen – year period once the projects are successfully completed.