PNP Accuses Holness Administration of New Vote Buying

The Opposition People’s National Party is again accusing the Jamaica Labour Party of using government resources to buy votes in the lead up to the by-election in South East St. Mary.

Speaking at a media conference at Gordon House today, Chairman of the PNP, Fitz Jackson, says the party has evidence that almost $30-million has been taken from the Tourism Enhancement Fund, TEF, to finance ‘de-bushing’ in the constituency.

The PNP says it’s obtained a letter sent by the Executive Director of the National Solid Waste Management Authority, NSWMA, Audley Gordon, to the Executive Director of the TEF, Dr. Carey Wallace, detailing the sums.

At their press conference, the PNP circulated a letter bearing what appears to be the NSWMA’s letterhead.

It’s dated September 22, 2017. And it bears what appears to be the signature of the executive director of the NSWMA, Audley Gordon.

The letter was written to Dr. Carey Wallace, Executive Director of the TEF.

In the letter, approximately $30-million was requested from the TEF to ‘reduce the impact of flooding through the removal of illegal dump sites and bulky waste in the parishes of St. Mary, Portland and St. Ann.

A project proposal is also attached to the letter, detailing the sites where the work would be done.

It aims to protect flood-prone areas, reduce the spread of vector-borne diseases and to protect the tourism industry.

It says 54 communities located in all three parishes were identified for cleanup activities.

Mr. Jackson, who’s also the Member of Parliament for South St. Catherine, says according to the letter the party has obtained, almost $10-million is to be spent in South East St. Mary.

He says it’s apparent the NSWMA and the TEF, both run by former JLP candidates, have been using state funds without informing the relevant agencies.

The PNP says it’s written the Political Ombudsman, the Contractor General and the Auditor General to investigate what it’s describing as a raiding of the TEF.

Meanwhile, Mr. Jackson says he also wants an investigation to be launched into the use of government vehicles as part of the JLP’s post-nomination motorcade in South East St. Mary yesterday.