Youth Development and Sports Minister Kenson Casimir is threatening to take legal recourse after the United Workers Party (UWP) claimed that the minister requested an allocation of $50,000 to cover a 5-day trip to Qatar to witness the finals of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Casimir has denied the accusation and is now demanding proof from the party, calling it a direct attack on his character. According to the Gros Islet Member of Parliament, government is in receipt of official communication from FIFA to the Ministry of Youth Development and Sports, confirming FIFA’s coverage of all expenses paid including flights, accommodation, and transfers for the minister during his stay.
The UWP, prior to press time yesterday, had not responded to Casimir.
“On Saturday December 17, 2022, the United Workers Party posted on its official page a number of false and malicious allegations to try to damage the good reputation of Minister for Youth Development and Sports, Hon. Kenson Casimir, Parliamentary Representative for Gros Islet,” a post from the minister’s Facebook page read in part.
Furthermore, “the SLP demands that the United Workers Party comes forward with evidence of these allegations and proof that such allocations were provided to the minister or face legal recourse as this clearly is another deliberate attempt to defame the character of the Member of Parliament.”
The UWP claimed to have received its information from “some disgruntled officials”.
According to the party, “these officials expressed their disappointment with the minister’s insistence that he attend the World Cup finals at this point especially since there will be no direct benefit to Saint Lucians or St Lucian athletes.”
Casimir, however, has vowed to do his best to ensure that the allegations do not continue and has also said that family members are not pleased with the accusations that have been levelled against him.
“We are currently in the initial stages of these falsities perpetuated by members of the opposition party at the highest level. We are looking into exactly what it is and where it is that we can ensure that the truth comes out in a very professional, profound way. We just have to be honest about the facts and going forward the individuals who posted and reposted they would have to be able to prove that what they are saying is true and if they are not, then the legal team would look to get everything they could get because I believe defamation of character is a serious offense in this country,” Casimir said recently.
“We have to hold ourselves to a high level of honesty and integrity in this country and somebody needs to put a stop to it (accusations). My character is something that is dear to me; my family (and) all those around me are very upset by the untruths spoken about me and we’re going to do our best to ensure that it does not continue,” the minister added.