Sat | Nov 25, 2017

Simpson Miller lashes out at crime situation - Former PM calls on leaders to speak up

Published:Friday | September 1, 2017 | 12:00 AMRomario Scott
Portia Simpson Miller

Former Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller has lashed out against the crime situation gripping the country, calling on the political leaders to rally against the heartless murderers who have had Jamaicans living in fear.

Her call comes on the heels of the latest Jamaica Constabulary crime statistics showing a chilling 25 per cent increase in murders this year in comparison to last year.

Simpson Miller, a former member of parliament representing some of Jamaica's toughest inner-city communities, observed that some of the persons being murdered are mothers and children.

"I don't know what is [happening] in this country at this time. What I do know is that I am not satisfied with what is happening in the country," an emotional Simpson Miller said during a bursary handover function on Tuesday at the Mayfair hotel in St Andrew.

She called for more respect for women, pointing out that "not a man can have a child.

"When you look on women and you murder them - mothers - you know it's a serious blot on this nation," Simpson Miller added.

The former prime minister also said that parents should take responsibility for their children, denouncing the manner in which some have been treated. She said that parents sometimes were responsible for "beating down children.

"Buff! 'Yuh nah come out to nothing!' Bap! 'Yuh nah come out to nothing'. Bam! 'Yuh this, yuh that...' but, then [they] forget that when they were getting the children, they did somethings that maybe their parents did not like," an animated Simpson Miller said to loud cheers.

Simpson Miller argued that what was needed, instead, was serious effort being placed in "giving the future leaders of Jamaica the opportunity to make it to top".

At the function, 40 students received bursaries totalling $3.5 million from the Portia Simpson Miller Foundation.

The recipients will receive bursaries ranging from $50,000 to $200,000 and will again be given consideration next year, based on their circumstances and grade point average.

romario.scott@gleanerjm.com