|BE CAREFUL: Tobago East MP Vernella Alleyne-Toppin makes her contribution |
in the no-confidence motion against the Prime Minister at Tower D,
International Waterfront Centre, Port of Spain,
on Tuesday night. —Photo: JERMAINE CRUICKSHANK
Tobago East MP Vernella Alleyne-Toppin on Tuesday night responded to Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley’s e-mail revelations with some “e-mail” disclosures of her own. But her story was of an entirely personal nature.
Speaking in the House of Representatives, Alleyne-Toppin said she wanted to tell a story about a teacher who worked in a village called Charlotteville, in Tobago.
This teacher and a dean of discipline was in the habit of violating students, she said. She added that one day when a young girl was bringing the teacher’s lunch for him that her aunt had cooked, the teacher, a boarder (with her aunt), “kidnapped her...and kept her hostage for four hours and raped her”.
Alleyne-Toppin said the rape resulted in a pregnancy. She said when the victim “started to show”, she was thrown out by her father and family.
The minister said people went to the father to beg him to take back the victim, his daughter, and he relented. “But throughout the pregnancy he (the father) refused to talk to her and she suffered untold psychological damage,” Alleyne-Toppin claimed.
She said when the father and the family and the village realised what went on, they decided that they would kill the man, but he found out, got a pick-up and moved out with his belongings in the middle of the night.
Alleyne-Toppin said the victim was sent to Trinidad and hidden away. She produced a son and eventually was sent further afield.
She said, much, much later, the man acknowledged his son and gave land. But when the child asked him for help to study, the man advised him to work before he studied, just as he did when he was young.
Several times, PNM MPs Amery Browne and Donna Cox rose on a point of relevance, but Alleyne-Toppin said it was relevant because she got the information in e-mails.
“This is to show how damaging an e-mail can be, a simple e-mail,” she said, adding: “And this is a proven story.”
“Would you have full confidence in the man in this story were he to become a Member of Parliament? How could you now have confidence in him or a person in Parliament who is striving to become the Prime Minister?” she asked.
Alleyne-Toppin said parliamentarians had to be careful how they knocked each other down and had to be more humane.
She said things said in Parliament go worldwide via the Internet. She had started off her presentation by noting that when she went to a recent conference in Suriname, a representative from St Lucia knew the “whole credit card story” associated with her.
She said she also knew that a lecturer at Cave Hill teaching a course on credit card fraud was using her situation in his lesson.
It was Rowley who revealed the issue of Alleyne-Toppin’s use of the credit card to withdraw cash locally, which was in breach of the rules governing this facility.