Thu | Aug 17, 2017

Holness losing credibility on corruption

Published:Friday | June 2, 2017 | 6:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

Prime Minister Andrew Holness should be troubled by the latest Transparency International (TI) report, in which Jamaica fell 14 places on the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) for 2016. His inaction would suggest it is no trouble to him whatsoever.

Take the matter of Karl Samuda and the revelation that he benefited from several acres of Mombasa grass being planted on his farm, and mix in the less-discussed, but perhaps more important, issue of Hugh Graham being dismissed, either by the minister or by the Dairy Board, the Dairy Board having either recommended him for permanent employment or dismissed him.

A member of Cabinet is in receipt of benefits from a publicly funded programme controlled by an entity whose CEO was terminated under unclear circumstances involving the benefiting minister, and this does not appear to warrant a whistle from the prime minister.

 

A MESSAGE OF INTOLERANCE

 

Then there is the matter of Danville Walker ('Danville Walker should resign'). My argument from the outset of his appointment was that Walker should not have been made chairman of Customs and the Trade Board. Now that he has been convicted of breaching the Contractor General Act, Holness should have him fired.

A man who disobeyed a Cabinet order to cease an activity while he was chief executive of a government agency, and who has been found guilty of breaching the Contractor General Act, should not be allowed to serve on the board of said agency, let alone chair it. Even more so when the agency in question happens to be the Customs Agency of Jamaica!

Does Holness respect the Office of the Contractor General? He could have sent a clear message of intolerance for breaches of Cabinet rulings.

There is yet more evidence that if Jamaica is to improve our standing on the Corruption Prevention Index, it will not be under Holness' leadership.

OMAR NEWELL

General Secretary

PNP Patriots