The trinidad Guardian / It has become customary for many politicians to greet citizens with smiles at their home during an election campaign but become scarce after they’ve won their posts.
This behaviour must change, said Rural Development and Local Government Minister Kazim Hosein, who received a special award at the San Fernando City Corporation (SFCC) Civic Reception and Awards Ceremony at the City Hall auditorium on Saturday night.
Hosein, the City’s former mayor was recognised as a resident whose work in politics uplifted San Fernando through beautification projects, environmental clean-ups and the establishment of a homeless shelter.
As a Minister, he promoted volunteerism networks, a charity drive for disaster relief for Haiti and the national clean-up campaign.
It was this kind of action that current Mayor Junia Regrello said must be emulated by all local government representatives. However, Hosein’s call for change was for all involved in politics.
“For far too long, I have been seeing people being nice in the last two weeks before a general election or a local government election. When they get into office, they’re not answering their phone, they winding up their (vehicle) glass so they can’t see them. We must not be corrupt, we must be fair, honest and humble in all our undertakings,” Hosein said.
He recalled that during his time as mayor, he was criticised by a radio talk show host when the council passed a by-law to prohibit feeding the homeless while on the street.
The host said then, that Hosein wanted to lock up people for feeding the homeless. However, he clarified that his intention was to bring dignity to the homeless and ask charitable people to donate the food to the homeless shelter. Once the homeless found food at the shelter, they would have moved from the street where they were at greater risk of injury and illness.
It was for this reason he called on Regrello to return the San Fernando Centre of the Socially Displaced to the purview of the corporation. The centre was launched and handed over to an NGO, however, it has not been operating since it was launched earlier this year, due to infrastructural problems.
Other awardees included veteran comedian Tommy Joseph, cultural activist Lucy Margaret Regis, auditorium supervisor Corinne Cowie-Straker, Karamath’s Roti Shop, businessman Simeon Stanislaus, Pan Elders and Carat Shed owner Allen Campbell.