Gonzales says claims WASA Acting CEO being sent home “patently untrue”

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Gonzales says claims WASA Acting CEO being sent home “patently untrue”

Public Utilities Minister Marvin Gonzales has denied that the Acting CEO of the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) Kelvin Romain is to be terminated, as stated in an “inaccurate” newspaper article that was published yesterday stating that his tenure was being terminated.

In a statement clarifying the status of Romain’s employment at WASA, Gonzales said claims that the Acting CEO was being sent home was “patently untrue.”

Gonzales apologised to Romain for any embarrassment the newspaper’s article may have caused, and expressed the hope that the newspaper would take the opportunity to do the same.

Romain was appointed to act as WASA’s CEO in 2022, following the departure of Sherland Shepphard, and pending the outcome of the WASA Board of Commissioners’ search for a new CEO to lead the company’s transformation.

The selection process is almost done and the appointment of a new WASA CEO is expected soon, as part of a change in its senior leadership structure.

The Minister said he explained during an interview that once a new CEO is named, Romain would either revert to his substantive position or be reassigned to another leadership role within WASA.

He said there was never any question of him being separated from WASA, and it was irresponsible of the newspaper to come to such a conclusion.

The Minister said: “It is unfortunate that we always seem to cast any development in a negative light. WASA has been undergoing significant positive change within the past 12 to 18 months – with the reduction of leaks, the laying of new pipelines, the installation of new boosters, a new wells programme, the Community Water Improvement Programme (CWIP) that has improved supply to more than 150,000 people, and we only think about who is going to be fired or how many people will be sent home.”

“I sincerely apologise to Kelvin and his family for this unfortunate embarrassment. You have worked diligently through a very trying period in the organisation and you certainly did not deserve to be wrongfully humiliated,” Gonzales said.