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DLP debt

by Barbados Today
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The Democratic Labour Party owes several contractors more than $200,000 for services rendered during the 2018 general election campaign, Barbados TODAY investigations have revealed.

The services include stage lighting, sound, lighting towers, chemical restrooms, advertising and meeting coordinators.

Williams Industries, GKY Lighting, S&R Rentals and A&R Electrical are some of the companies which are said to have been affected.

The managing director of Williams Industries, Stuart Williams, confirmed to Barbados TODAY that his company had supplied several light towers to the DLP’s failed bid for reelection to government.

Williams acknowledged that he had not dealt directly with the DLP, but with suppliers who were acting on behalf of the party.

Williams said to date he had only received around 20 per cent of the debt.

He said: “We dealt with suppliers who ordered equipment on their [DLP] behalf, so I did not have any conversations directly with Verla DePeiza.

“We supplied several light towers for events. We have received promises of payment, but we haven’t received anything substantial.

“What we have been told by those suppliers is that they have not been paid yet and are therefore unable to pay us. They have been unwilling to pay us without being paid.”

But Williams said he was confident that the outstanding debts would be settled once “everything was sorted out”.

A meeting coordinator who spoke to Barbados TODAY on condition of anonymity revealed being owed close to $5,000.

Numerous attempts to reach out to DePeiza to arrange payment failed, the source said.

The contractor told Barbados TODAY: “I was on the ground from the time Prime Minister at the time Freundel Stuart called the elections.

“I was running around arranging everything and I also had to be at every single meeting in the constituency I was stationed.

“I worked from the time elections were announced until it came to an end but no one came forward to make any payments.

“We were told that payment wouldn’t have been an issue because they had received funding for the election campaign, but now I am hearing that there is no money.”

After several failed attempts to get paid, the source said they were left with little choice but to put the matter in the hands of their lawyer.

But even this had proved problematic, the source said, as letters and phone calls to DePeiza had gone unanswered.

“They didn’t have the decency to call and say anything or to arrange any payment plan. This is downright ridiculous,” the source added.

When contacted by Barbados TODAY, DePeiza said she was not authorised to speak on DLP matters in public.

She said: “I have no authority to discuss DLP business in the public domain, that is number one. Number two; I think from what you said to me Mr Williams made it pretty clear that he didn’t contract with the DLP to do anything.”

When asked if she could reveal if she had been contacted by anyone about being paid for work done during the campaign, DePeiza responded, “No I can’t tell you that”.
randybennett@barbadostoday.bb

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