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Three Pan chairmen want Keith Diaz out

Published: 
Tuesday, May 29, 2018
Pan Trinbago president, Keith Diaz at yesterday’s press conference. PICTURE SHIRLEY BAHADUR

Three regional chairmen of Pan Trinbago yesterday called for the resignation of its central executive and president Keith Diaz, stating that the pan organisation needs to be properly restructured for it to go forward.

The call was made by Tobago’s regional chairman Marie Toby, Gerard Mendez, of the Northern Region and Carlon Harewood, of the eastern region at the Newtown Playboyz Steel Symphony, Port-of-Spain, at a press conference.

The trio are also demanding that fresh elections be held to select a new slate for the pan body, since they claim the executive has been holding illegal meetings and spending Pan Trinbago’s funds to line the pockets of hot shot lawyers.

The executive comprises Richard Forteau, Andrew Salvador, Michael Joseph, Darren Sheppard, Allan Augustus and Trevor Reid.

However, Diaz who was present at the press conference, but remained in the background, said he would not be around for Panorama 2019, while Forteau said no one would force him out.

Pan Trinbago’s election is due between September and October of this year.

Toby said Pan Trinbago was not properly managed, as there was no financial rules.

She said at Pan Trinbago’s last annual general meeting, the pan body was faced with a $30 million debt, insisting that they had no idea how to settle this outstanding arrears.

Toby said every time its chairmen go to the bank to conduct financial transactions, they are faced with embarrassment.

“These people (executive) are only representing themselves.”

Recently, she was notified that Pan Tobago’s office had received an eviction notice because their rent had not been paid, stating that she had to hammer out new negotiations with the landlord to remain as a tenant.

In addition to this, she said staff members are owed two months salaries.

“If Pan Trinbago give you a cheque you have to run like a spranger to change it. These are the people we want in office to continue our business? Well, we as chairmen we are saying no! Mr Diaz has to go too.

These guys (executives) they are holding on for their supper. We are saying they have to go.”

Toby said some steelband leaders are facing legal letters by providers for non-payments.

If the executive and Diaz refuse to step down, Toby said, they would call on its members “to let us go back to 1979. No Panorama. We have to band we belly because these fellas have no intention of moving on.”

Toby said Pan Trinbago’s constitution needs to burn since it only protected the executive and not the membership.

As the youngest chairman, Harewood said he was saddened by Pan Trinbago’s state of affairs, as he called on Minister of Culture Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly to step in and release the Ernst and Young audit report on Pan Trinbago for the benefit of its pan players.

“Please minister, let us fix this once and for all,” Harewood pleaded.

Mendez advised Gadsby-Dolly not to give any money to Pan Trinbago but to the National Carnival Commission to pay steelbands players who are owed prize monies for Panorama 2018.

“We also understand that there is a dark cloud hanging over the head of Pan Trinbago’s head office. In a matter of days it may be shut down for the lack of payment of rent. It will be foreclosed on,” Mendez said.

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