Courtesy Garage has been fingered as the car dealership that so bothered Prime Minister Mia Mottley that she ordered home a team that was in Europe in search of secondhand garbage trucks for the Sanitation Service Authority.
Mottley told a meeting on Sunday night the group had to dump those plans and return home because of some suspicious activity by an uninvited guest.
She explained that “pursuant to a board paper” the group from the SSA and the Ministry of the Environment and National Beautification had gone abroad to examine used garbage trucks, but “a certain car company’s representatives happened to be at every location that the group went to”.
“When the Attorney General and I found out we told the minister ‘tell them to come home the next day because I need to know how a private sector group that was not a part of the Cabinet paper could be there at every location,” the Prime Minister told a St Michael South East constituency meeting.
“The Minister and I and the AG have agreed that is not the kind of Government we want to run,” Mottley added, while suggesting the unnamed representative’s attendance was no coincidence. She did not identify the representative or the company.
However, an official source has told Barbados TODAY the representative was from Courtesy Garage, whose Regional Product Manager Sam Gaston could not be reached for comment.
The source said the firm in Europe has recommended that Government acquires Volvo vehicles, which are said to be internationally-recognized dump trucks.
“The company offered refurbished trucks free of cost to Barbados on condition that when things return to economic stability, the Government would give it the business,” the source said.
There had been claims on social media that waste hauler and owner of Jose Y Jose Liquid and Solid Waste Management Inc Anderson Fatchild Cherry, who is abroad undergoing medical treatment for an undisclosed illness, had been the person to whom the Prime Minister was referring.
However, Cherry today told Barbados TODAY, “not me”.
The SSA had also called an emergency meeting to get to the bottom of the issue.
Mottley had hinted that the local firm may have had inside information on Government’s plans.
When contacted for an update on investigations into the matter, Minister of the Environment Trevor Prescod said he preferred to grant the Prime Minister the courtesy to speak, since she was the one who made the initial remarks.