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Two Trade Unionists resign from the Board of NHT

  • Written by News Jamaica
  • Published in local news
Featured Kavan Gayle of the BITU and Helen Davis-White of JALGO Kavan Gayle of the BITU and Helen Davis-White of JALGO
KINGSTON, Jamaica Nov. 18, 2014- The controversy surrounding the acquisition of the Outameni property in Trelawny by the National Housing Trust (NHT) has led to the resignation of two Trade Union representatives from the board of that organisation.

Its understood  that President General of the JLP affiliate Bustamante Industrial Trade Union (BITU), Kavan Gayle and General Secretary of the Jamaica Association of Local Government Officers (JALGO), Helene Davis White both submitted their resignations on Monday. 
The NHT board has come in for major criticism, for its decision to purchase the property from businessman Lennie Little-White for J$181-million.

It’s reported that Gayle had come under intense pressure from some JLP officials who urged him to resign in light of the position taken by the Party's leadership over the Outameni debacle. 
It is understood that members of the Management Executive Council of the BITU met on Monday morning, and the matter of  Gayle's position on the NHT Board and the growing controversy regarding the Outameni land purchase dominated the meeting and following the discussion. After being places under "stiff pressure"  Gayle decided that he would tender his resignation to Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller.

Its further understood that alarm bells were raised on Sunday when Gayle was conspicuously absent from the JLP's 71st Annual General Council at the National Arena where the Outameni controversy dominated the meeting.
No apologies were given for Gayle's absence.  He was on the agenda to speak before the JLP's spokesman on Finance, Audley Shaw. 

In the meantime, Oneil Grant, President of  the Jamaica Civil Service Association, who is one of  the nine remaining members on the Board said he saw no reason to step down. Furthermore, he said he remained fully supportive of the decision to purchase the property, which, he asserted, was never intended for housing development.

"We took the decision to invest in a cultural item for our contribution to the Jamaica 50 (the 50th anniversary of the country's Independence in 2012) legacy projects, and we bought the property with the clear understanding that it would not have been for housing development," he declared.

That explanation supports, in part, the reason given by Easton Douglas, Chairman of the NHT Board, in his initial statements on the purchase. Rather than resigning, Mr. Grant said he would await the Prime Minister's decision to dissolve the Board, if that's her choice.

Earlier this year five other members of the NHT also resigned: Reverend  Oliver Daley, Banker Minna Israel, Economist Dr Davidson Daway, and attorney-at-law Deborah Martin. It's not known if their resignations were linked to the now controversial purchase.


Last modified onTuesday, 18 November 2014 13:59