“Fabrications and loser rhetoric”. That’s how Prime Minister Gaston Browne is describing accusations by the Opposition United Progressive Party that the government is politicizing the distribution of water tanks to residents.
“I refuse to dignify such fabrication; loser rhetoric with a formal response”, Browne told our newsroom on Sunday afternoon.
The government has been distributing water tanks to who they said were indigent residents in areas deemed to be particularly badly affected by drought. The 500-gallon tanks can be used to catch rainwater and store it.
But UPP Leader Harold Lovell said that while he has no qualms about providing water tanks for those in need, there should be a system of needs assessment.
“Eight years have passed and they didn’t see it fit to provide water tanks for people four years ago when people have been suffering and enduring their inefficiency. And now, just before an election they are out there distributing water tanks,” he said.
He said the water tank distribution system to be non-patrician and managed by someone without any obvious political affiliations.
“That cannot be right. They need to keep the politicians out of it. This cannot be a friend and company thing. You must have a proper system that those who are in need will get a water tank regardless of their political affiliation,” the UPP leader said.
Lovell said the entire distribution reeks of bribery and the UPP will challenge the government.
“They are doing it on the eve of the election and they have to be careful because the way they are doing it is contrary to the principles of good governance and doing things right, Lovell said.
He said if the UPP can prove that residents are being bribed, the ruling party could face the courts.
“We do not know when its election but we know it’s around the corner and if it can be seen that these tanks are being given in the hope of inducing people to vote for the Labour Party, then we will fight them. They will have a fight on their hand because that is bribery,” he added.
Lovell is also concerned that these water tanks were purchased using taxpayer money.