THE Tobago Business Chamber has joined the chorus of voices calling on the THA to clear the air on the now infamous voice note which has gone viral on social media.
In an audio clip, two people, believed to be THA officials, were heard discussing using state funds to hire people for public relations and propaganda.
Chief Secretary Farley Augustine has not yet responded to the voice note, despite mounting calls for him to do so.
In a WhatsApp voice note on Thursday, the chamber’s chairman Martin George said the issue was serious.
“These are, of course, very serious, weighty and troubling matters and we, of the Tobago Business Chamber, maintain and re-emphasise our call for all public officials in Tobago and in Trinidad to always seek to strive to aspire to the highest standards or moral and ethical behaviour while in public office and particularly when dealing with matters of the public purse and matters of transparency and accountability.
“We think that it is now incumbent upon the leaders in the THA to come out and clear the air and indicate what, if any, position they have in relation to these matters as they do not appear to be going away or dying quickly. It appears that it has taken a life of its own.”
George added, “We think that Tobagonians are expecting and maybe demanding that the current leadership of the THA show that, as far as Tobago politics goes, it must he held up to a higher moral and ethical standard and one which can withstand scrutiny.”
He argued that unless the matter was addressed one way or the other, “There is going to be a continuing lingering question mark over the relevance, validity, transparency and honesty of persons, who may or may not, in one way or another, be implicated or associated with this alleged voice note.”
As such, George said the chamber believes the onus is on leaders in Tobago to unite and “not seek to make a political football out of it, not seek to score political points but to treat with this issue with maturity, sincerity, honesty and dignity.”
He said if there had been a mea culpa, they should apologise and try to move on with dignity and respect from the people of Tobago.
George believes people are anxiously awaiting a response from the THA.
“In the circumstances, it appears that nothing less will suffice to placate the calls and requests of the public and the media.”
He said people must be willing to man up and admit if something went wrong and take the responsibility for it.