Tue | Oct 16, 2018

Disappointed in Holness’ volte-face

Published:Friday | November 24, 2017 | 12:00 AM


Last week, I travelled home to Cane Heap in Richmond, St Mary, a part of the South East St Mary constituency. Noticeably, all roadworks had stopped. My taxi had no difficulty awaiting the direction of traffic flagmen determining when one side of the traffic is allowed. I saw holes circled apparently for patching still now unpatched, and I no longer saw the gang of men and women in green T-shirts with machetes, bushing the roadways.

As I drove through, I became particularly depressed. As a young voter in 2016, though unsuccessful, I had supported Dr Dunn in his first bid to win the South East St Mary seat against the now-deceased Dr Winston Green.

I did so, then, not because of Dr Dunn, but because I believed Andrew Holness' pledge at the time of him being new and different. I didn't vote in the by-election because by then, I'd recognised that he was no different.

I watched and listened to his silence on the contractor general's report on the role three of his senior ministers played in the $800-million bushing scandal in the November 2016 local government elections. I watched no sanctions being levied against Audley Shaw, his finance minister, for running up $8 million in phone bills at taxpayers' expense. I watched the Mombasa grass issue with his industry minister.

This week, I heard him, the PM, announcing another massive bushing scheme to be given to MPs, and this time belatedly he's announcing the inclusion of the contractor general in how this is to be executed.

As a young taxpayer, I ask the contractor general to quantify the value of the bushing, river training and roadwork we saw being done by both the St Mary Parish Council and the NWA across the South East St Mary constituency during the by-election.

I've decided to transfer my vote from South East St Mary to where I am now living in Kingston. I'm not sure I will be voting in the upcoming elections as I've honestly lost hope in the political process in Jamaica. Mr Prime Minister, you have disappointed me. I had so much hope for your leadership of Jamaica.

Tracey Heaven

St Mary