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PNP 'looking into' controversial Vaz remark

Published:Saturday | December 12, 2015 | 12:00 AMPaul Clarke

Western Bureau:

Central Westmoreland's Member of Parliament Dwayne Vaz raised several eyebrows during Thursday night's People's National Party's (PNP's) mass meeting in Mount Salem, St James, while speaking about reports that the office of Montego Bay's deputy mayor, Michael Troupe, was set ablaze earlier in the day.

Vaz used the lyrics of incarcerated dancehall entertainer Vybz Kartel in addressing the matter.

"I heard some Labourites a laugh and talk 'bout PNP office burn down. According to dem, a whole heap more things lef fi come," said Vaz.

"But we want tell dem seh, cause we nuh know if a dem do it or what," said Vaz, who then proceeded to ask the crowd if, "A dem dweet?" He then began singing: "A baby strength dem have, girl strength alone dem have," - words from Kartel's song, Wah Dem Feel Like.

READ: Vaz says sorry as pressure mounts

With the crowd cheering him on, he delved deeper into the song, belting out, "You know what a gwaan today, Montego Bay load up the gun," - the sound system then chimed in, pounding out the remainder of the song at full blast.

Elderly Comrade not amused

While Vaz had the Comrades, especially the youthful ones, singing and dancing along with him, at least one elderly Comrade was not amused by his antics.

"Many of these young politicians are too much into themselves. Mr Vaz should know better. We nuh want any more of this kind of talk, especially from an MP, young or old; it's disgraceful," the woman said.

The party's general secretary, Paul Burke, said it could all have been said in jest, albeit noting that it could be subjected to other interpretations.

"I have not seen or listened to the tape, but that it is having such cause for concern makes it a serious issue," noted Burke. "I think he said it in jest, but it can have a negative impact. We are concerned and will be looking into the matter in short order."