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JAMAICAS | PNP demands apology from Holness regarding scandalous capture land statement

  • Written by Calvin G Brown - wiredja.com
  • Published in local news
Member of Parliament for North Trelawny, Victor Wright Member of Parliament for North Trelawny, Victor Wright
KINGSTON, JAMAICA. JULY 20,2020: The People’s National Party (PNP) says Prime Minister Andrew Holness’ outburst at his Area Council One meeting on  Sunday shows the extent to which he will go to create a false equivalency as a smokescreen to cover his Ministers, who have been caught several times in wrongdoing, corruption and breaches of the government’s land divestment policy.

In a statement today, the Party said his reference to a PNP Member of Parliament being involved in land capture, electricity theft and illegal use of government assets was untrue, defamatory and ought to be withdrawn immediately with an apology.

The Party said it had done extensive consultations with its Members of the House of Representatives, following the Prime Minister’s accusation. 

Mr Victor Wright, the Member of Parliament for North Trelawny is the only PNP MP who currently occupies government-owned land. While he was Operations Manager of the Frome Sugar Factory in July 2011, five years before he became a Member of Parliament, he applied for and was selected to enter into a lease arrangement with the SCJ Holdings for a parcel of land, known as Fontabelle Estate in the parish of Westmoreland.  

The original lease, which was for one year with an option to purchase, has expired.  However, in September 2011, Mr Wright exercised his option to purchase, and arrangements are in place to conclude the transaction. The SCJ currently owes him money related to his former employment, and there is an agreement to apply those funds to the purchase. In addition, electricity was supplied by the factory owners, Pan Caribbean Sugar Company Limited, and all payments are up to date.

The Party said it has examined all correspondence from SCJ Holdings Ltd, the Sugar Company of Jamaica and Pan Caribbean and is satisfied that the legal arrangements as outlined by Mr Wright are consistent with the documents. It further believes that all the documents were available to the Prime Minister from SCJ had he been interested in the truth, rather than attempting to manufacture a scandal to hide the misdeeds of his administration.

Mr Wright has been very transparent in this arrangement. He has declared the matter to Parliament, and it was examined by the Ethics Committee of the House of Representatives. Further, it is included in his annual filings with the Integrity Commission.

The PNP said Mr Holness’ statement is a blot on the Office of Prime Minister, and the Party expects a full apology, now that we have provided him with the complete information, which he can easily confirm. Wherever corruption exists, we are prepared to make the law take its course. There will be no cover-up and no pointing of fingers to the other side to justify our action.

Corruption is corruption, and we must steadfastly commit to removing it from our ranks. 

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  • Countries: Jamaica