Trelawny Northern MP accuses Hutchinson of political victimisation

Trelawny Northern MP accuses Hutchinson of political victimisation

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

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ALBERT TOWN, Trelawny — People’s National Party (PNP) Member of Parliament for Trelawny Northern, Victor Wright, has accused J C Hutchinson, the minister without portfolio with responsibility for agriculture, of political victimisation.

Wright, who is an agronomist, claimed that Hutchinson did not extend an invitation to him for the meeting he had with community-based production and marketing organisations (PMOs) at the office of the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) in North Trelawny last week.

"These PMOs are supposed to be farming groups, and let me tell you that a meeting was held in my constituency this past Friday and they didn’t invite me and they didn’t invite the JAS [Jamaica Agricultural Society] president," Wright charged during an address at the People’s National Party’s (PNP) Trelawny Southern constituency conference at the Albert Town High School in the parish on Sunday.

"I don’t see where this new twist is coming from that you can keep a meeting to discuss sensitive matters and you are at that meeting telling farmers to vote out your MP because he is not there. He was not invited. I am saying Jamaica does not have a place for these kinds of politics," he added.

But when contacted yesterday Hutchinson explained that the meeting was convened between RADA and the PMOs, stressing that no political representatives were invited.

"Well I don’t know what his [Wright] problem is, he must be having a serious problem," said Hutchinson of the first-time MP.

"That meeting was a RADA meeting for PMO persons. It was not a political meeting where MPs were invited. If any of them heard and came, well that is their prerogative, but they were not invited by me," he emphasised.

Added Hutchinson: "I know that in some of the parishes I went, it was one where a number of MPs or caretakers heard that I was coming and they came to the meeting, but none of them were invited."

Meanwhile, the JLP’s caretaker for Trelawny Northern, Dennis Meadows, confirmed with the Jamaica Observer West that although he showed up at the meeting, he was not invited.

"I was not formally invited, but when I came down from Kingston and learned of the meeting I drove over because of the importance of the distribution of farm supplies to our farmers," said Meadows.

Nonetheless, Wright is insisting that he was left out of the meeting for political reasons.

"Your (Trelawny Southern) member of parliament [Marissa Dalrymple Philibert of the JLP] was at that meeting in my constituency, representing you with a minister who is supposed to be non-political, and we were not invited. I want to know the level of trust that we can place in a fair administration of the resources that are supposed to benefit you as farmers," he argued.

Meadows argued, however, that it is ironic that Wright, who was his opponent in the February 25 General Election, could be asserting political victimisation when the exercise is a part of the process to "depoliticise" the issuing of farm products through the PMOs, instead of RADA.

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