Rival TUF executives sack new leader, chairman

The leadership of The United Force (TUF) dissolved into further confusion yesterday with meetings of rival executives seeking to depose its Presidential Candidate, Valerie Garrido-Lowe and Chairman Ishmail Muhammad.

The showdown between Garrido-Lowe and Muhammad stems from the former’s move to have former leader Manzoor Nadir vacate the TUF seat he holds in Parliament.

Valerie Garrido-Lowe

Garrido-Lowe issued a statement yesterday saying that on August 31st, TUF’s executive had met and removed Muhammad as a member of the executive and relieved him of his position as Chairman of the party. A resolution passed by Garrido-Lowe’s backers said that this action had been taken against Muhammad as he had failed to turn up to a meeting on Wednesday to explain why he had sent a letter to the media supporting Nadir’s retention of the Parliament seat and used the names of members of the executive without their permission.

According to a statement yesterday from Muhammad with his resolution, former leader Nadir was appointed leader of the party.

At the same time it said that Garrido-Lowe was no longer leader or presidential candidate. The decision was made until an executive decision is made on the way forward, the statement noted. Efforts to reach Garrido-Lowe last evening for a comment proved futile. On Wednesday, she had sent out an email to the media stating “I have learnt that Mr. Manzoor Nadir is desirous of coming back into the fold as leader but I am not aware that there has been any duly convened Party Conference of electing a leader.”

According to the Muhammad document which was signed by seven  executive members of the party, at a meeting held at Unity House yesterday, the party’s executive stated, “noting that actions of Mrs Valerie Garrido–Lowe, which are against the best interest of The United Force (TUF)”, it was decided by the members of the executive committee of the party that Garrido–Lowe, be immediately removed as leader and Presidential Candidate of the party.

The body noted that the decision was made in accordance with Article 11: section 8 of the party’s constitution and according to the party, Garrido-Lowe is no longer authorized to conduct any business on behalf of the TUF.

Garrido-Lowe noted in a statement released by the party on Friday last that she was sticking by her call for her predecessor Nadir to vacate the party’s seat in the National Assembly.

“No service to the supporters of The United Force, then no seat in parliament,” said Garrido-Lowe in the statement.

Nadir is the Minister of Labour in the PPP/C administration. In a letter, dated August 19, 2011 and released by the TUF last Tuesday, Garrido-Lowe told Nadir that after careful consideration, the TUF executive had come to a decision that Nadir should relinquish the seat that the party holds in parliament as it is not being utilised to its full potential.

Nadir resigned as TUF leader on May 29 this year.

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