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NHT board member: Opposition has no moral authority to say PM misled parliament

Published:Wednesday | November 12, 2014 | 3:12 PM
LaTouche... Holness' team should be reminded of the Manatt-Dudus saga

Jovan Johnson, Gleaner Writer

KINGSTON, Jamaica:

A National Housing Trust (NHT) board member says the Opposition has no moral authority to accuse Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller of misleading the Parliament over the controversial purchase of a Trelawny property.

According to Percival LaTouche, the Prime Minister was given the correct information and that is what she presented in Parliament.

He suggests that she would have been more detailed in her answers if she had taken 21 days instead of seven to answer the questions of the Opposition Leader.

But LaTouche has blasted the Opposition for alleging that Simpson Miller misled the House, asserting that Holness' team should be reminded of the Manatt-Dudus saga and that members sat in Parliament as dual citizens in violation of the Constitution.

Meanwhile, LaTouche says the NHT did not have to inform the Prime Minister of the purchase especially given that it was not a major deal.

He explains that the NHT would take the same approach again, noting that the property is required to provide housing solutions that will be developed around it.

According to him, the controversy will soon pass.

The NHT board has been facing calls for its resignation over its use of $180 million to buy the bankrupt Outameni Experience tourist-attraction with another $111 million set to fund upgrades.

Yesterday, Simpson Miller explaining that she learnt of the sale through the media, said the NHT did not acquire the attraction but the 10-acre property, a generator, a fuel tank and office furniture.

She also said the property was never intended to be operated as an attraction.

But Opposition spokesman on finance, Audley Shaw, argues that based on valuation documents, the price included the purchase of the entire attraction which would reopen in 2014.

The Opposition then alleged that the NHT board had misled the Prime Minister.


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