Even before the new Pan Trinbago executive officially assumed duties on Wednesday, they were issued their first trial— settle their outstanding rent bill of over $250,000 or face eviction.
“We entered the premises of Pan Trinbago this morning and this first challenge this executive will have to face is a letter that we received from Amar Properties Developers limited,” said president Beverley Ramsey-Moore at Pan Trinbago’s office, opposite Victoria Square, in Port-of-Spain, following a handing over ceremony from the previous executive.
Ramsey-Moore believed the timing of the notice is linked to Robert Amar’s defeat in Sunday’s election.
Amar was an independent candidate for the Pan Trinbago presidency. He managed to gain 19 votes in Saturday’s election.
“We are not alarmed because we suspected the pain of defeat would have surfaced. I expected that Mr Amar, a man who would have offered himself just about two or three days to be elected president of Pan Trinbago would have done the honourable thing and sit and have a discussion with us as an executive so we could all put our hands on the wheel to take Pan Trinbago by its bootstraps and take it to another level,” said Ramsey-Moore.
However, Guardian Media learnt the building was not owned by Robert Amar, but rather his brother, Ricky Amar.
The landlord said the eviction notice had nothing to do with his brother’s campaign and claimed that Pan Trinbago had been owing four months rent.
“It has nothing to do with Mr Amar and the election, if he (Robert) had won the election he would be facing the same fire,” the landlord said in a phone interview.
He said the letter was prepared before the election as he was promised by outgoing assistant secretary Andrew Salvador that he would be paid by last Tuesday. He said when the money failed to arrive, the letter was prepared.
“It’s not an issue about old executive or new executive, it’s about paying rent,” he said, noting he was open to discussions with the new executive.
“It is not that I want to evict them. They are our tenant, and they owe us money,” he said.
Outgoing president of Pan Trinbago said the organisation had struggled to pay its bills due to outstanding monies owed to them.
“We have outstanding monies to receive from the Ministry of Education from since 2017 and we have not received it as for revenue towards the organisation. We also have not received all the revenues that we had from the Panorama that has gone,” said Diaz, “How are we going to pay our bills when we have not received the revenues to pay it ?”
Guardian Media has been informed that the Ministry of Education did embark in a pan tuning and repair programme alongside Pan Trinbago last year, but the organisation had not properly invoiced the Ministry of Education for that programme. The official said the sum of money was not significant.
- by Peter Christopher