PDP Deputy Political Leader, Farley Augustine, as he spoke to supporters at the meeting in Black Rock on Monday 18 January 2021. Image courtesy Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP).
LOYSE VINCENT

Supporters of the Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP) came out in large numbers last night, as the Watson Duke-led caravan made a stop at the Black Rock hardcourt.  

Viewership on social media peaked as curious minds tuned in to hear more from the PDP’s Deputy Political Leader, Farley Augustine, about the contents of a stack of Tobago House Assembly Executive Council notes on the infamous zip line project.

On Sunday, as Augustine presented the stack of documents at a Charlotteville meeting, he revealed that the original budget for the project was $4million, and although the project was set for completion in 2015, $3.5 million dollars has been spent and the only evidence of the project is a portion of rope.  He said the documents also point to questionable procurement practices.

“I find it strange that the Executive Council would have approved $147,000 for the procurement procedure that EIDICOTT was supposed to employ.  EIDICOTT was at that time run by their godfather, Neil Wilson, and EIDICOTT took $147,000 just to go and point and say, ‘Aye you come build we a zip line’.  No procurement procedure at all,” Farley Augustine told supporters at the meeting.

PDP Political Leader, Watson Duke, as he spoke to supporters at the meeting in Black Rock on Monday 18 January 2021. Image courtesy Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP).

The document also spoke to instances where contracts were given out on the same date of the Executive Council Note, questionable hotel accommodation bills and other instances of monies paid for items never received. 

“I also read that we were supposed to receive poles from Guyana for the construction of the zip line and all now the poles can’t reach, as far as I know.  Guyana closer than Guyana and if the poles were to come from Guyana, where the money for the poles gone?  Who take the money for the poles?” 

He said under the PDP, instances such as these would be a thing of the past, as he plans to develop and implement financial rules that would ensure that the finances of the Tobago House of Assembly are managed efficiently and with transparency.