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Don't throw stones, Patriots warn G2K

Thursday, November 23, 2017

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The People's National Party's (PNP's) young professional caucus, the Patriots, said it finds it “extremely astounding and ludicrous” that the G2K, the young professional affiliate of the governing Jamaica Labour Party, would be calling for St Ann South Eastern MP Lisa Hanna to resign instead of urging Prime Minister Andrew Holness and implicated ministers to respond to the allegations against them in relation to the 600-million de-bushing programme.

This is in response to calls by G2k for Hanna to step down to allow for a thorough and transparent investigation in relation to allegations contained in a report released by the OCG on Tuesday.

The OCG has recommended that the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and the police consider pursuing criminal investigations into the awarding of contracts at the St Ann Municipal Corporation and the St Ann South Eastern constituency office.

The OCG, in a 554-page report also asked that several contractors be criminally investigated for conspiracy to defraud the Government as it relates to the awarding of 53 contracts.

The OCG began its investigation in 2015.

The PNP youth arm said that according to its assessment and interpretation of the situation, there is no need for Hanna to reply to G2K because she has already stated that she has done nothing wrong and would cooperate fully with the authorities to see the matter appropriately dealt with and resolved.

Further, it asserted that the public completely understands the processes that were formulated to carry out the activities.

Turning the discussion towards the JLP, the Patriots countered that it has been months since the contractor general made his report public on the $800m de-bushing programme, in which he described how five Cabinet Ministers devised a “corruption enabling mechanism” to divert state funds.

“The prime minister, who had initially promised to respond to the report, has yet to do so. G2K turned a blind eye to the findings of the OCG's report, made no call on the Major Organized Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency (MOCA) to investigate, and has made no public statements admonishing anyone for their role in the corruption enabling activities.

“Therefore, the caucus of young professionals of the People's National Party, said it calling on G2K to demand that Holness accord respect to the office of the Contractor General and provide the promised comments on the damning report which was critical of his government's handling of the public works programme,” the group argued.

The contractor general's report on the de-bushing programme brings the Cabinet and at least five of its ministers into disrepute, asserted President of the Patriots, Omar Newell.

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