Bloggers slam 'outrageous' Kartel suggestion for vax campaignSunday, September 19, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica — Talk show host, Vernon Darby, is among those who are strongly opposed to incarcerated dancehall star Vybz Kartel, real name Adijah Palmer, being used as part of the country's vaccination campaign to get more Jamaicans inoculated against COVID-19.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness raised eyebrows on Friday when, responding to questions from journalists, he suggested that that could be a possibility because of Kartel's influence despite the entertainer being already locked up for a decade. Kartel has been sentenced to life for the murder of Clive 'Lizard' Williams and must serve more than 32 years before becoming eligible for parole.
Some persons have expressed that with Kartel's case moving to the UK Privy Council, he has not shown remorse and is not yet rehabilitated.
The prime minister's comments are in line with views reportedly expressed by Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton, and his Opposition counterpart Dr Morais Guy who are said to have indicated support for Kartel being used to spread the pro-vaccination message.
Darby, in his popular blog 'Bark Di Turte' got a range of feedback from followers.
The talk show host published a letter, purportedly from one of his followers in response to a report that Holness was not ruling out using the self-proclaimed 'Worl Boss' in the vaccination campaign.
Said the letter in part: “The fact that PM Holness would be ambivalent in his response to such a recommendation to use Kartel as a vax ambassador is outrageous.
"Kartel may be one of the most influential figures in the country's entertainment industry but he's not the only one. Surely there are others in the entertainment industry without criminal records who could be enlisted. Furthermore, Palmer has reportedly recorded many songs from prison in contravention of regulations. This smacks of glorification of criminality. Our vaccination ambassadors should be people who are worthy of emulation.
"We are relying on our leaders to exhibit good judgment in matters such as these," said the letter.
Another person, in response to the blog, made the case for an artiste with a more positive image being used in the campaign.
"No wonder that all a wi dedicated musicians have to struggle on our own....! How about a young CLEAN artiste like Ike, Chronixx etc...." the person said.
Another person added: "The thought of using a convicted murderer …for any national program to say the least is sickening. This will send a longer term message to youths aspiring to 'gangsterism and creating duppies out of us. Crime along with COVID-19 is a twin pandemic and now considering to use the perpetrators of the murder pandemic to solve the COVID-19 pandemic is 'pragmadness'. Okay, let's work with the madness, put a team together with Tesha (Miller), Blackman, Ninjaman, Tommy Lee, and others in Prishotels then borrow Dudus from the Americans as President of this recrafted twin pandemic attack program would probably get results with BROGAD … All who won't get Vaxxed is Klam Klam Klam we on the way to the Abyss'."
Said another: "Anju mussi lick 'im 'ead!"
In the meantime, Darby said he had personally asked the health minister whether there was any consideration to use the convicted murderer in the COVID-19 vaccination campaign, and he (Tufton) had said no.