Arima Mayor Lisa Morris-Julian

Arima Mayor and People’s National Movement (PNM) candidate for D’Abadie/O’Meara Lisa Morris-Julian is denying that her social media post about people stealing manhole covers to make “tawahs” was racist.

“What is racist about it? I have a tawah,” she said in a telephone interview yesterday.

In the much-shared post, Morris-Julian said “Cocorite Road is a major road and falls under the MOW (Ministry of Works). But thanks for the info and I hope the people who keep stealing the manhole covers to make tawahs will stop too. We will send out a team.”

A tawah is a round, flat cookware usually used to make roti.

Morris-Julian said she posted that statement back in 2017 and it became a court matter.

She said she already received apologies from the people who called her a racist for that post but could not recall who the apology came from.

She directed all questions to her own lawyer, senior partner at Hove and Associates, Farai Hove Masaisai and provided a number for him.

“It’s an old post and it was regarding someone who fell into a manhole,” she said.

When asked about whether she saw any hint of racism in her post, Morris-Julian said she didn’t “appreciate the implication.”

“It was something that was dealt with a couple years ago and people who pushed that had to apologise to me for insinuating and saying that I was racist,” she said.

The post was re-shared on social media and triggered strong views. People also directed her to the scrap iron dealers rather than roti makers.

Masaisai provided a letter, dated November 2018 in which a lawyer, Brian Baig, represented a woman only called Mrs Mathura apologised for “comments that was stated on Facebook.” The apology letter also states that Mrs Mathura withdrew the comments she made and gave the assurance that she would “cease and desist” from making similar statements towards Morris-Julian.

“On the issue of damages, Mrs Mathura is a woman of simple means and therefore asking for her unequivocal apology can suffice as she is unable to pay any financial sums of damages,” he said.