Thu | Aug 17, 2017

PNP insists de-bushing programme in its constituencies was to win votes

Published:Thursday | June 29, 2017 | 6:29 PM

The Opposition People’s National Party (PNP) is insisting that money spent under the controversial de-bushing programme in constituencies represented by its members was simply a brazen attempt by the governing Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) to bribe voters.

A report by the Office of the Contractor General (OCG) has found that more constituencies represented by PNP MPs benefited from the programme, which was rolled out ahead of last year’s local government elections.

In a release this afternoon, the PNP said the work done in PNP-held constituencies was carried out without any consultation with the party's leadership.

In addition, the PNP said it was the government ministers who chose the contractors and the workers.

It also says the OCG report clearly lays the basis for further investigation of charges of corruption and misappropriation of public funds.

Contractor General, Dirk Harrison, has noted in his report that three government ministers may not have told the truth about their role in selecting contractors, subcontractors and setting payment terms in the execution of the programme last November. 

However, while the PNP is adamant the contractor general’s conclusions are damning for the government, the JLP sees the findings as a vindication.

The JLP says the findings do not validate the often repeated assertion that the programme was a political ploy.

JLP general secretary, Dr. Horace Chang, notes that the report revealed that more PNP held communities were cleaned than JLP communities.