Duke on WASA claims: 'I have to question PM's sanity'

PSA president Watson Duke 

PSA president Watson Duke PHOTO BY JEFF MAYERS -

PUBLIC Services Association (PSA) president Watson Duke has described the prime minister's accusations of sabotage at the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) as spurious and without evidence.

On Friday, after filing his nomination papers in Pt Cumana, Dr Rowley told the media the opposition had a hand in the country's water problems, as it had instructed "agents" at WASA to turn off water in some areas to "influence the vote."

Rowley said, "I can tell you now that in Tunapuna, St Joseph and Barataria/San Juan there are people in WASA who have been interfering with the water supply and the rationing, (to) create hardship for some people in the hope that those people would be angry with the Government."

Despite these charges, the PM did not say whether or not he or anyone else had taken this information to the police. Nor did he say how long there have been instances of sabotage at WASA, in light of the fact that an inadequate water supply has been a decades-long problem in many parts of the country.

However, he said that on Thursday morning, he had asked Public Utilities Minister Fitzgerald Hinds to miss the Cabinet meeting and go to WASA to ensure these moves was curbed.

But Duke told Sunday Newsday on Saturday in a phone interview, "The Prime Minister's statements are wild, spurious and make me somewhat question his mental health."

Duke, also minority leader in the THA, is campaigning for the August 10 general election, in which his party, the Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP), is challenging the PNM in Tobago East and West.

Duke vouched for WASA staff, saying, "As the president of the PSA, they (workers) are beyond politics. They would never, ever allow themselves to be manipulated by politicians.

"We are citizens at the end of the day. And the very water that they treat and distribute is the very same water that feeds them, their friends and family. So there is no malicious thought into the lack of water in any part of Trinidad."

Asked if he felt the police should be involved once such accusations are made, Duke said, "It's not so much a criminal act, but if he has information that WASA workers are pandering to politicians and they are acting inappropriately, to the point that workers are denying citizens of water, it is an act of misconduct, and such acts must be verifiable by solid evidence.

"(What) concerns me as president of the PSA is that these persons, whosoever they claim (they are), they have not made a case against them or suspended them, but as I said, I question the prime minister's mental health as he's now calling everyone a liar.

"Why is he going on like that?

"He's the one that said no one is going to lose their job at Petrotrin – everyone lose their work."


"Duke on WASA claims: 'I have to question PM's sanity'"

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