Tue | Dec 10, 2019

Hypocrisy! - McKenzie bashes PNP councillors’ attempt to oust Kim Brown Lawrence from St Ann Municipal Corporation

Published:Wednesday | November 20, 2019 | 12:22 AM
Minister of Local Government Desmond McKenzie addressing the JLP West Kingston constituency conference at the Tivoli Gardens Community Centre on Sunday.
Minister of Local Government Desmond McKenzie addressing the JLP West Kingston constituency conference at the Tivoli Gardens Community Centre on Sunday.

Local Government Minister Desmond McKenzie has rushed to the defence of embattled Brown’s Town Councillor Kim Brown Lawrence, who survived a bid to oust her from the council by People’s National Party (PNP) councillors in the St Ann Municipal Corporation last week.

McKenzie, who was on the political hustings in his West Kingston constituency on Sunday, accused the PNP of being mischievous as they moved to have Brown Lawrence expelled from the municipal corporation.

Brown Lawrence, who is before the courts on charges of fraud, has vehemently denied the charges.

“The PNP councillors in the St Ann Municipal Corporation came armed with a so-called motion against a councillor. You know what hurt me, they as a party were the ones in 2015 who went to Parliament and passed the Local Government Act that gave the control of the operations of the local authority to the ministry; and all because they can’t score political points, they come now with a resolution that was only geared to embarrass,” McKenzie, a former mayor of Kingston, said.

He told his supporters that the PNP was being hypocritical in seeking to remove Brown Lawrence as they, too, have councillors facing similar charges.

“You can’t look inna my eye and tell me that I have matter in a my eye and a go tell me fi wipe out my matter when you have matter in yours. I don’t want to get down into the gutter with them, but there are things that you must say sometimes. They are asking for a councillor to resign and they must expel the councillor, but they have similar situation in two municipalities across the country,” the firebrand politician asserted.

“Down a Manchester!” someone in the crowd of green-clad supporters shouted, seemingly referring to the Manchester Municipal Corporation where there have been allegations of corruption. PNP councillor for the Spur Tree division, Ervin Facey, is currently at the centre of an investigation for breaches at the local government body.

In 2018, he resigned as deputy mayor and vice-chairman in the municipal corporation, in light of allegations that there was payment for work done in the parish for which a cheque was disbursed before the voucher was approved by the required signatories.

McKenzie also took aim at persons whom he said wanted to devalue the contribution of Andrew Holness as the nation’s leader.

“One thing I can say to them: badmind is not a good thing,” McKenzie said.

romario.scott@gleanerjm.com