3 WASA workers suspended for misconduct

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3 WASA workers suspended for misconduct

One manager and two senior staff members at the Water and Sewerage Authority have been suspended with full pay on allegations of misconduct.

The suspension letters, dated March 7, 2024, were signed by Trinnelle Thomas, acting assistant manager, employee relations, and copied to Alicia Brathwaite-Sammy, acting director of Human Resources.

The letters came mere days after Public Utilities Minister Marvin Gonzales stated that an investigation was underway by WASA to determine if an alleged water trucking racket was behind the water woes which led Kernahan Trace residents to stage a fiery protest in their community last Friday.

The residents stated that their taps had been dry for months while neighbouring streets had a steady supply.

WASA subsequently provided a truck-borne supply to the affected residents and launched a probe into the matter, triggering the fast suspensions.

The investigation into an alleged water trucking racket is still underway.

A Guardian Media report said the female manager was responsible for carrying out duties in the North Central region, while the two senior male employees were assigned to the South Central district.

The allegations raised in the manager’s letter were that “during the period January 2024 to March 2024, you failed to exercise due care in the performance of your duties by ensuring that the residents of Kernaham Trace, Cunupia, were in receipt of a regular supply of pipe-borne water”.

The letter also stated that during the same period, the manager “failed to exercise due care in the performance of your duties by not reporting to your immediate supervisor the challenges faced in providing a pipe-borne water supply to the residents of Kernaham Trace, which resulted in protest action by the residents, bringing the authority into disrepute”.

It further informed the manager that the authority viewed these allegations “seriously and as such, you are hereby suspended from duty with immediate effect with full pay pending the outcome of an investigation into the above allegations”.

One of the senior employees was told in the letter that he failed to ensure that the challenges affecting the residents were escalated to the district manager.

Copies of the three letters stated that senior manager, regulatory and emergency management, Roger Karim, was appointed to investigate allegations brought against the trio. They were all advised to cooperate with Karim throughout the investigation.