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Phillips questions Holness' silence on Samuda's grass controversy

Published:Monday | May 29, 2017 | 8:21 AM
Phillips ... it is of "no significance" that PNP MP Noel Arscott benefited from the grass project last year because the South West Clarendon MP has no influence over the Cabinet.

People's National Party (PNP) president, Dr Peter Phillips has questioned the silence of Prime Minister Andrew Holness on the conflict of interest issue surrounding his Agriculture Minister Karl Samuda.

Samuda is accused of personally benefiting from state resources to plant 15 acres of dairy-feeding grass planted on his farm in St Catherine.

Just over a week ago, Samuda admitting he had erred paid $546, 000 to the Jamaica Dairy Development Board for the grass service.

IN PHOTO: Prime Minister Andrew Holness

Speaking at a party meeting in St Andrew yesterday, Phillips, who is also the Opposition Leader, said Holness should pay attention to a 2002 Code of Conduct which said a Cabinet Minister must never benefit personally from activities that fall under his official responsibilities.

Phillips also said Holness should say whether that policy remains.


PNP President Dr Peter Phillips

Phillips also said it is of "no significance" that PNP MP Noel Arscott benefited from the grass project last year because the South West Clarendon MP has no influence over the Cabinet. 


PNP president, Dr Peter Phillips

​IN PHOTO: Karl Samuda

Samuda has explained that he allowed the Mombasa grass to be planted on his farm after the dairy board persuaded him to accept the offer.

He said he erred when he did not put in writing, the process, including when he offered to pay for the grass although it was free for farmers.

Executive Director of the National Integrity Action, Professor Trevor Munroe has said Samuda breached government guidelines and should seriously consider tendering his resignation.