Duke: THA reshuffle ‘much ado about nothing’

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

PDP political leader Watson Duke. –

Political Leader of the Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP) and electoral representative for Roxborough/ Argyle Watson Duke has described the THA reshuffle as a “pappyshow” and “square pegs in round holes.”

At a press conference on Monday at the PDP office in Scarborough, Duke said, “It reminds me of one of Shakespeare’s play – something that belongs to the 16th century. It can be best referred to as ‘much ado about nothing’ – you should read that play.”

He said Tobagonians had anticipated the reshuffle with hopes that it would revive the island.

“When one applies that play literally to the situation, there is a lot of fuss and all the hype that went into this restructuring; people were glued as if it was a momentous occasion and that Tobago would finally be delivered from a place where it is almost nameless, almost faceless and nothing takes place.

“We finally felt that this would have been a move to get the economy going, put people back to work, diversify the economy and get some of those visions which has been in a comatose stage back to life.”

He noted that whilst there was one promotion, there was also a demotion.

“We have the assemblyman for the Canaan/Bon Accord area Joel “Nuttsy” Sampson. He has been elevated, and kudos to him, from being an assistant secretary (in) the Division of Infrastructure Quarries and Urban Development.

“He has been elevated from an assistant secretary to now a secretary of Community Development, Youth Development and Sport whereas the (former) holder for that position – Terance ‘Plaster’ Baynes – has been removed and demoted to an assistant secretary in the Division of Infrastructure, Quarries and Urban Development.

“You can say it’s a swap; one that would have benefited, Joel Sampson, his salary goes up and one that would not have benefited, Terrance Baynes, his salary went down as assistant secretary.”

He said, additionally, there were five lateral transfers listing the moves of Sonny Craig, Megan Morrison, Niall George, Certica Williams-Orr and Orlando Kerr who remain as assistant secretaries.

He believes they will struggle to adapt to new portfolios.

“It’s sad – that’s like taking people out of the frying pan and into the fire. If where they were working before, they were not performing and the reason for moving them is to make them more useful to the executive, I can say to you now, that as the chief secretary you need someone to help you manage that team.”

He added: “The team has been badly placed, badly positioned and Tobago is no longer holding their breath – we can see failure from the beginning. Tobago demands much better and I’m saying the time has come for us to fix Tobago, it is time for Tobago to win.”