2946786
Fire officers inspect the office of Moruga/ Tableland MP Michelle Benjamin at Petite Cafe, Princes Town, yesterday. The building was gutted by fire overnight.

Sascha Wilson

Investigations are still ongoing into a fire at the constituency office of Moruga MP Michelle Benjamin.

Speaking with Guardian Media yesterday Benjamin, who is now operating from a tent outside the office, is hopeful that the office would be repaired in about two months.

She said officials from the Fire Service and T&TEC returned to the scene yesterday.

Twenty-five per cent of the building was destroyed in the fire which she believes was deliberately set and could be politically motivated.

Benjamin was alerted around 1 am on Thursday that the building was on fire.

She said the fire took place weeks after the same office at Indian Walk, Princes Town, was burglarised.

Condemning the alleged arson attack, Couva South MP Rudranath Indarsingh said, “It is of concern to me that this fire was supposedly caused by arson, and that it occurred after a break-in recently occurred at the same office. I hope that these disturbing events are not indicative of a pattern being formed against the Member of Parliament as that constituency approaches a bye-election for the electoral district of Princes Town/St Mary’s/ Hindustan.

Mere months ago, Benjamin and the United National Congress were victorious at the polls and the hands of representation shifted in Moruga/Tableland towards the United National Congress.

While it would bring me great pain if it were confirmed that political arson was behind this fire, the resilience and drive of the Member of Parliament, her staff, and her constituency executive comfort me and bring me unbridled certainty that political sense will prevail at the upcoming by-election.” He was hopeful that the bye-election would take place in the usually peaceful and civilized manner that characterizes elections in the country.

Fire prevention officers have not confirmed that the fire was deliberately set.