Published On: Fri, Mar 10th, 2023

Minister Pietersz-Janga steps down

WILLEMSTAD — Dorothy Pietersz-Janga is no longer minister of Public Health, Nature and Environment in Curacao. She made her position available at the request of Prime Minister Gilmar Pisas in a letter dated March 8 to Governor Lucille George-Wout.

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Pietersz-Janga created a political controversy after she attempted to intervene in a lawsuit by asking the liquidators of BZV – the bureau for health insurances – to withdraw claims against former SZV-managers Alli Abdala and Milton Yarzagaray. That attempt failed and the parliament filed a motion of disapproval against her.

The court ruled on the case and ordered Abdala to pay 1.5 million guilders (close to $838,000). Yarzagaray has to pay 2.5 million (close to $14million).

Abdala and Yarzagaray spent millions of SZV-funds without proper authorization. The court mitigated the amount they have to repay because they did not benefit personally from their outrageous spending habits.

The spending spree happened while Gerrit Schotte was Curacao’s prime minister. “These were extraordinary times, the court noted. A kingdom committee concluded that it was not possible to establish the integrity of some of the ministers in Schotte’s government. Three of these ministers, among them Schotte and George Jamaloodin ended up in prison.

MFK-Minister Abdul el Hakim recommended Abdala for a function at SZV. El Hakim has in the meantime disappeared from the island, reportedly because of tax-debts.

The court wrote in the SZV-ruling that expertise was not important to the Schotte-government and that Abdala and Yarzagaray were in a sense victims of this approach.

While the court hit Abdala and Yarzagaray in their wallets, the case cost Minister Pietersz-Janga her job. While her attempt to intervene in the lawsuit against Abdala and Yarzagaray is the real reason for her political downfall, the now former minister does not refer to the case at all in her letter to Governor George-Wout.

Instead, she mentions the request to step down by Prime Minister Pisas and the fact that the board of her party MFK lost confidence in her. “Furthermore I want to prevent a situation whereby the parliament has to decide about my position in a motion. If the outcome of such a procedure means that I can stay as a minister it will create a split in my party. That is not in the interest of the country Curacao.”

Pietersz-Janga was the chairlady of the MFK from 2018 to 2020, and she took part in parliamentary elections four times. She became minister in the second Pisas-cabinet in June 2021. During the corona pandemic she position herself as a proponent of treatment with medicinal herbs and ivermectin (a medicine for animals) while she had to promote a vaccination program.


Photo caption: Former minister Dorothy Pietersz-Janga seen driving away after visiting the Governor’s office. Photo provided by the Antilliaans Dagblad.