'PNP talking nonsense!' - Chang insists ZOSO not influenced by politics
General Secretary of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), Dr Horace Chang, is insisting that the declaration of Mount Salem, St James, as a zone of special operations (ZOSO) was not influenced by politics.
Chang, speaking at a JLP Area Four political meeting in Montego Bay, St James, on Sunday, argued that a political decision could not have been made without his input as general secretary.
"I had nothing to do with selecting the zone. They (the People's National Party (PNP)) [is] out there saying it's a political decision. Nothing political was going to be done in St James without my knowledge," Chang said.
"With the party leader that we have and the party chairman, and the other officers of the party, no political decision was going to be taken in St James without consultation with Dr Chang."
Chang, also the member of parliament for North West St James, said that he had no clue Mount Salem would be declared a zone of special operations.
"I heard like everybody else on the news the morning," the JLP general secretary told Labourites packed in the Montego Bay High School auditorium.
Peter Bunting, the opposition spokesman on national security, has taken the Government to task over the declaration of the zone, questioning whether politics was involved in Mount Salem being declared the first zone.
OBSERVING THE LAW
On a recent tour of the area, Bunting said: "... Our insistence is that the law must be observed. And as long as the law is observed, and a part of that is that it must not be political selection of the zones, it must be based upon the written recommendations of the heads of the security forces."
But while acknowledging that several areas of the crime-stricken parish of St James could have been declared a ZOSO, Chang told supporters that the judgement of the police should be respected.
He expressed confidence that the ZOSO strategy was working to claw back communities from the stranglehold of criminals.
At the same time, Chang blasted the PNP, saying the Opposition party fears the initiative's success.
He said that the PNP's "deception" would be exposed.
"They have no respect or interest in the quality of life for the poor and hungry people in this country. They use and abuse people and come on the platform and tell lie and talk nonsense," Chang stated.