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McKenzie writes PM over councillor's threats

Published:Monday | March 19, 2012 | 12:00 AM

Erica Virtue, Senior Gleaner Writer

Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) deputy leader Desmond McKenzie says he has written to People's National Party (PNP) president, Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller seeking her urgent intervention as employees of the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation (KSAC) have reported threats and intimidation ahead of next Monday's municipal elections.

McKenzie yesterday told a large group of JLP supporters at the Tarrant High School, who came to a presentation rally for the 40 candidates contesting divisions in next Monday's polls in Kingston and St Andrew that workers at the council say they are being threatened by a PNP councillor.

Despite seeking the intervention of senior PNP councillors at the KSAC, he charged that nothing has been done.

"I have written to the prime minister in her capacity as PNP president. There is a certain PNP councillor at the KSAC who is going around the KSAC threatening the workers at the KSAC. Him walking with a list, going to people's desks, and saying to those persons, 'When we win the KSAC, you don't have no work'. This is not mischief I making," charged McKenzie.

He said the members of staff of the KSAC were unhappy and uncertain about their future.

No improvement

He said he spoke with senator and incumbent in the Norman Gardens division, Councillor Angela Brown Burke on the matter. "I spoke with the town clerk (Errol Greene) on the matter. There is no improvement on the situation down there," he said.

As late as Thursday, McKenzie said a member of staff complained to him that the PNP councillor was accusing her of being a JLP supporter.

Contacted yesterday, Brown Burke told The Gleaner that the former mayor had told her that he heard that the councillor was making threats. According to her, she considered the allegation to be "very serious" and spoke to the councillor in question, who told her it was "a joke".

'Extremely serious'

Brown Burke, who is the minority leader at the KSAC, said the matter was again raised by the sitting mayor, Lee Clarke, but she objected to it being raised in council without further investigations.

According to her, it should not be made into a political matter because she considers it "extremely serious".

"This is a serious allegation; is not something I consider to be a joke. It was as serious as the allegations that were made when one of his (McKenzie's) officers was accused of assault and I said it should be raised at the level of the disciplinary committee," she said, explaining her objections.

According to her, "We are still councillors until elections, and all our committees still sit, including the disciplinary committee. It should be raised at that level and not made into a political one because I consider this very serious," she stated.

erica.virtue@gleanerjm.com