KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent – If Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace wants answers from Minister of Tourism Saboto Caesar, he will have to ask them in Parliament.
Caesar said in a press statement this week that he would not respond to question raised by Eustace on Monday regarding monies paid to Lonsdale Saatchi and Saatchi, a company in Trinidad which market St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) tourism.
Eustace, during a press conference held at his New Democratic Party’s headquarters, Democrat House and broadcast on Nice Radio, called for the resignation of Tourism Authority Chief Executive Officer and former Tourism Minister, Glen Beache.
He noted that Lonsdale Saatchi and Saatchi shared directors with Lonsdale Advertising and Marketing Communications (SVG) Ltd., a company owned by Beache, and said Beache’s involvement “is a straight conflict of interest that will only lead to corruption”.
Eustace also called on Caesar to terminate the contract between Lonsdale Saatchi and Saatchi and the Tourism Authority “because of their relationship with the CEO of the Authority, Glen Beache, which represents a serious conflict of interest”.
He further said he wanted the Tourism Minister to say how much money was paid to the Trinidadian company and how much was given to it since the establishment of Beache’s company, a “sister company” to the Trinidadian entity.
However, while Caesar noted Eustace’s right to ask questions of any government minister as they relate to any ministry, he said “there is a time, a place and a process which should be followed.
“If the Hon. Leader of the Opposition has a question to ask me in my capacity as the Minister of Tourism and Industry, it should be properly placed as a question on the Order Paper of the House of Assembly to be addressed in the House of Parliament,” Caesar said in the statement.
“I am not going to respond to any question addressed to me via Nice Radio from Democrat House. The Hon. Leader of the Opposition knows better and should follow the proper protocols. The business of the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines is of first importance and must be addressed in the correct forum, which is in the Parliament of St. Vincent and the Grenadines,” Caesar further said.
Meanwhile, Beache has received the support of the chair of the Board of Directors of the Tourism Authority.
“We fully support the CEO and the work that he does for us,” Lucille Cozier said at a press conference this week, during which Beache responded to Eustace’s concerns and announced that he had instructed his lawyers to deregister Lonsdale (SVG) Ltd.,
“There is really no one else as qualified as Mr Glen Beache to hold this position,” Cozier further said, adding, “We all stand behind him – we feel he has done nothing wrong.”