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PNP calls for removal of Central High chairman over murder charge

Published:Monday | March 25, 2019 | 4:46 PM
People's National Party caretaker for Central Clarendon Zuleika Jess speaking at a party press conference at its Old Hope Road, St Andrew office on Monday, March 25, 2019 - Kenyon Hemans photo

Danae Hyman, Online Reporter

The People's National Party (PNP) has called for the immediate removal of Central High chairman, Henry Morant, amid reports that he is currently on bail for a murder charge.

PNP caretaker for Central Clarendon, Zuleika Jess, said that the minister in charge of education should immediately revoke the appointment of the chairman pursuant to Section 79 (3) of the Education Regulations, pending the outcome of his court case.

"At the time he was appointed chairman, he was before the court. He was appointed chairman in 2017, and he has been on his murder case [since] well before that," Jess told The Gleaner on Friday.

Speaking at a PNP press conference today, Jess said that if Morant does not submit his resignation within the next 24 hours, the minister in charge of education must remove him, based on the regulations that allow him to do so.

"The person who operates the position of board chairman is essentially overseeing the future of our nation's children, and so it is important that that person, his character should never be questionable. The nation's children must be given priority; the nation's children must be of paramount consideration in deciding how we deal with this issue," Jess said.

The Gleaner has sought a comment from the Ministry of Education, but a promised response is yet to be made.

Noting that Central Clarendon Member of Parliament Mike Henry recommended Morant to the position, Jess said that he should tell the public the bases for his recommendation and state whether the requisite due-diligence checks were conducted.

Henry, when contacted, said he was looking into the matter and was seeking guidance from the appropriate government agencies, including the Ministry of Education.

Morant is said to be scheduled to reappear before the Home Circuit Court in November 2020.

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