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Thursday 14 December 2017
Politics

Duke hosts pre-swim press briefing today

Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Minority Leader Watson Duke is expected to host a 10 am news conference, today, at Scarborough Fishing Port, to address his ambitious attempt to swim from Tobago to Toco tomorrow.

The swim, which will include his colleague on the THA’s Minority bench, Assemblyman Farley Augustine, is expected to begin at 8 am.

Duke, who has received a mixture of praise and cynicism from social media users since announcing his intention to swim across both islands on Monday, yesterday maintained the activity was necessary to highlight the plight of Tobagonians who had been deeply affected by the problems plaguing the sea bridge.

On his Facebook page yesterday, Duke, who is also the president of the Public Services Association, said he was preparing for the swim despite warnings from the TT Coast Guard about strong currents.

The inter-island sea route is currently being served by the TT Express and the Cabo Star cargo vessel.

However, Tobagonians have complained that the services were inadequate.

Works and Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan announced three weeks ago that the contract for the Ocean Flower II vessel, procured from Bridgeman’s Services Group LP had been terminated.

The development prompted calls for Sinanan and members of the Port Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (PATT) to resign.

The Government subsequently appointed businessman Christian Mouttet to conduct an independent investigation into the procurement of both the Cabo Star and Ocean Flower II. Mouttet’s report is expected to be submitted to Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley in just under three weeks.

The PATT, Integrity Commission and a Parliamentary joint select committee are also conducting investigations into the procurement of the vessels to see if there has been any wrongdoing.

Duke, who, on Thursday, posted images of himself in a wet suit preparing for the swim, has said the voices of Tobagonians must be heard.

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