Sun | Apr 21, 2019

Did CMU pay for Ruel Reid's yacht party?... PNP demands answers

Published:Monday | March 25, 2019 | 11:31 AM
In this contributed April 2017 photo, president of the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) Dr Fritz Pinnock pays tribute to then Education Minister Ruel Reid during a party on a yacht in Kingston. In the background is a CMU student..
Patrons mingle on the deck of the yacht at dusk for the party for then Education Minister Ruel Reid in 2017.
All aboard... Patrons about to set sailing for Ruel Reid's party in April 2017.
Students of the Caribbean Maritime University wait on the jetty for ahead of the departure of the yacht for the party of then education minister Ruel Reid in 2017.
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Damion Mitchell, Integration Editor

The People's National Party (PNP) is turning up the pressure on the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) demanding answers to questions about birthday parties and celebrations for resigned Education Minister Ruel Reid.

Opposition Senator Lambert Brown first raised the question in the Upper House on Friday, suggesting that the CMU played a key role in a party for the former minister on a yacht in the Kingston harbour.

This morning, former permanent secretary in the Education Ministry Elaine Foster Allen said it was her information that the CMU paid for Reid's celebration. 

However, Foster Allen who is also the chairman of the PNP's Education Commission, has released a series of related questions that she is demanding answers about who paid for the party. 


IN PHOTO: All aboard... Patrons about to set sailing for Ruel Reid's party in April 2017.

"If you ask if we have more information about the questions that we have raised, the answer is yes," interjected Opposition Spokesman on Education, Ronald Thwaites during a press conference at the PNP's Old Hope Road Headquarters.

He later sought to clarify, however, that the Opposition does not have answers to all the questions.

Photographs of Reid's party on the yacht in Kingston in April 2017 showed the CMU president Dr Fritz Pinnock and some of his students actively taking part.

In a statement last night, the CMU acknowledged allegations circulating in the media about the institution's involvement in some instances of impropriety.


IN PHOTO: Students of the Caribbean Maritime University wait on the jetty for ahead of the departure of the yacht for the party of then education minister Ruel Reid in 2017.

However, it did not specifically address the matter of Reid's party or any other saying a probe was under way.

"The university is unable to respond to or comment on the investigations as they are ongoing and currently being executed by the relevant authorities, outside the scope of the CMU," said a spokesperson in the statement.

The CMU also said it stood by the integrity of its brand and will continue to provide the highest standard of education, certification and training for the benefit of Jamaica, the Caribbean and the wider international maritime community.


IN PHOTO: Patrons mingle on the deck of the yacht at dusk for the party for then Education Minister Ruel Reid in 2017.

Last Wednesday, Reid was sacked by Prime Minister Andrew Holness amid corruption allegations. 

It's understood that the corruption involves the CMU, the National Education Trust and HEART Trust/National Training Agency.

Reid, who also resigned as a senator, has reportedly denied any wrongdoing.

The police are currently investigating the corruption allegations while the Office of the Prime Minister has also launched its own review.

In the meantime, the Prime Minister has assigned Minister without Portfolio Karl Samuda to the Education Ministry.

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