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Edward Seaga, the Jamaican Visionary but what about Tivoli?

February 28/2018

The ruling Jamaica Labour Party is carving out a legacy for one of their most prominent leader, Edward Phillip George Seaga. The corporate office of Petrojam Limited, located on Marcus Garvey Drive in Kingston, on Thursday (February 22/2018), was officially named ‘The Edward Seaga Building’. It was announced and supervised by the Jamaica Labour Party Leader and current Prime Minister Andrew Holness.

Additionally, it has been announced that the Tivoli Gardens Comprehensive High School in West Kingston is to be renamed in honour of Edward Seaga. Desmond McKenzie, the Member of Parliament for West Kingston, made the announcement at a function at the institution on Monday, February 26/2018

According to McKenzie, a petition was made to the Ministry of Education some years ago, to have the school renamed in honour of Seaga, who was Member of Parliament for the constituency for 43 years. Edward Philip George Seaga was born on 28 May 1930, in Boston, Massachusetts, in the United States. In April 1962, Seaga was elected Member of Parliament for West Kingston.

He was the fifth Prime Minister of Jamaica, from 1980 to 1989, and the leader of the Jamaica Labour Party from 1974 to 2005. He served as leader of the opposition from 1974 to 1980, and again from 1989 until January 2005.

Edward Seaga

According to Loop News, Seaga helped to shape pretty much all the major infrastructure of the area, including the building of Tivoli Gardens Comprehensive High.

Seaga’s introduction to the Jamaican people was very much a champion of the Capitalist agenda, (opposing Manley’s Socialist agenda) and the representative of West Kingston Constituency but mainly rooted in Tivoli Gardens.

 The question is, seen as Edward Seaga is carving out a legacy as one of Jamaica’s most prominent statesman and revered politician, should the media have an obligation to critically analyse and assess Mr. Seaga’s legacy?

In November 28/1988 The New York Times published an article titled “Showdown in Jamaica”. It is a long and detail article of the political climate at the time with Edward Seaga and the opposition of the Peoples National Party, Michael Manley. This paragraph taken from The New York Times which wrote “[t]he three blocks west of Gold Street in Central Kingston support Manley's party but the three blocks east of Gold Street, known as Southside, back the Jamaican Labor Party (J.L.P.) of the current Prime Minister, Edward P.G. Seaga. The Southside gang is led by Chubby, a tall, well-built Rastafarian warlord with an elegant mane of dreadlocks. He was wounded fighting for Seaga in the 1980 election and recalls 10 friends who were killed around Gold Street”.

According to The New York Times, Seaga's greatest economic accomplishment has been restoring confidence.

Delroy Lindsay, the young director of the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica, a lobbying group for entrepreneurs, considers Seaga the greatest Prime Minister in the history of Jamaica. ''He has brought reality to Jamaica,'' he said.

That confidence is what built Tivoli Gardens. Therefore, one could argue, it would be extremely bias and morally lacking to see Seaga’s name on the Tivoli Gardens Comprehensive High School Building and forget to mention that his name is synonymous with Lester Lloyd Coke (Jim Brown). Jim Brown and the Coke family had been a prominent part of Tivoli Gardens. In fact, in an article dated the 4/5/92, the US Paper Newsweek wrote: [t]o his friends, Brown was a hero who rose above the despair of Jamaica's ghettos. In Kingston's slums, he was a key enforcer for former Prime Minister Edward Seaga's Jamaica Labor Party; Seaga himself called Brown the "protector" of Kingston's poor, and helped lead the don dadda's funeral. But to local police-who had tried, and failed, to pin 14 separate murder charges on him-- Brown was the most influential of the city's gangland bosses,

Since the death of Lloyd Lester Coke, (Jim Brown), Tivoli Gardens has slowly went into decline. The world watched when under the Jamaica Labour Party Government with Bruce Golding as the leader, where there was an assault on Tivoli Gardens. Christopher (Dudus) Coke, the son of Lloyd Lester Coke (Jim Brown) was wanted by the United States government for drug offenses. According to The New Yorker, [at the center of this mess was Jamaica’s then-Prime Minister, Bruce Golding, who also represented Tivoli Gardens as a Member of Parliament. Golding spent months delaying the extradition request. His party hired a Washington law firm to lobby against it. Golding has maintained that he was acting on principle and that the wiretap evidence used by the U.S. to indict Coke was illegal under Jamaican law. But many people have argued that Coke had influence over Golding and that Jamaica was on the verge of becoming a narco-state. Hardley Lewin, the former head of Jamaica’s military, has suggested that when the extradition request finally went through, Golding’s administration leaked the news to Coke, giving him time to muster his forces. The result of this was an assault on Tivoli where many people died. The official number is seventy three but many said the total death far exceeded that amount.

The news made International headline. The Guardian wrote, the alleged druglord Christopher 'Dudus' Coke has been arrested on the outskirts of Kingston, Jamaican police said tonight. Coke, 42, is wanted for extradition to the United States and at least 73 people were killed when Jamaican security forces stormed a Kingston slum during an attempt to capture him last month.

The question is, after 43 years as a representative of Tivoli Gardens, did Mr. Seaga left an environment or a legacy that allowed Tivoli Gardens and West Kington to become a successful and safe community? Since the removal of Christopher (Dudus) Coke, Tivoli Gardens have broken out into Turf Wars. Almost a no-go area. One can fairly say, the legacy is one of death, gangs and destruction. There are still holes with gunshots in many of the buildings in Tivoli Gardens.

Tivoli Gardens is known as the Mother of all Garrisons and many foreign media see Tivoli as a downtown slum. The Guardian wrote:In a society burdened by three centuries of the plantation and the lash, top-ranking ghetto dons such as Christopher "Dudus" Coke have become the new lords of the manor, revered by some as Robin Hood-type figures. It might seem strange that Dudus should mean so much to the poor. Yet in the downtown area of Tivoli Gardens where he holds court, the levels of despair and hopelessness have reached tragic proportions.The church, the police and other powerful establishments have long since moved uptown. Charities, free-food programmes and other inner-city agencies no longer want to go downtown: they are too frightened. Parts of Tivoli Gardens, a sprawling housing project built in 1966 by the Jamaica Labour party, or JLP, have become a state within a state, where the residents pay no rent or utility bills and the drug lords give themselves titles like "president", because they pretty well rule the place.

In an article by The New Yorker entitled “Massacre in Jamaica”, it outlined the destruction left behind: At 11 a.m., gunfire erupted as the security forces breached the barricades. Everyone in the street around Building Two scrambled for cover. Many ran to the ground-floor flat of an elderly woman named Murline Campbell, Hinds’s neighbor. (“When they come to my house, they are all family,” Campbell said later.) Suddenly, a J.D.F. helicopter appeared overhead, and Hinds was struck by an explosion. Her yellow shorts were charred black and her hip and buttocks were severely burned. She fell in the middle of the street, and blood flowed from gashes on her legs and face.

Many called Mr. Seaga, one of the best economic leader Jamaica has ever had. They said he stabled the Jamaican dollar and kept the Economy afloat. Nevertheless, there were many who argued then, that what Mr. Seaga had achieved at the time was a facade because he was getting assistance from the United States to keep the dollar stable. The now declassified CIA document, lend some credibility to that argument. Additionally, with the current economic state of the Jamaican finances and a debt which will never be paid back in our lifetime, many argue this is where it all started.

There is no doubt Mr. Seaga has left his mark in Jamaica. Seaga’s passion for politics was probably fuelled from his love for economic/financial matters. This saw him being instrumental in the forming a number of institutions including the Urban Development Corporation – UDC (1968), the Jamaica Stock Exchange (1969), Jamaica National Investment Promotion Ltd. – now JAMPRO (Jamaica Invest), National Development Bank (1981), and the Jamaican Students’ Loan Bureau.

Edward Seaga The Visionary, did you know that the Honourable Edward Seaga founded HEART – Human Employment and Resource Training Programme? Seaga instituted the program in 1983 as an education/vocational training centre that has proved very critical to the empowering of the Jamaican workforce over the years.

Tivoli Gardens is a vibrant community full of many hard working Jamaicans. One could argue that Tivoli have a culture of its own. A culture which was an envy of many in other communities in Jamaica. The people are beautiful and proud and despite what many consider as downfall of an Empire, they still stand with pride. Nonetheless, many would argue that, Tivoli Gardens,the place that made Edward Seaga's political and professional career and therefore his legacy in Jamaica is a missed opportunity for him.

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Jamaica Emancipation Day

August 1, 1834 marked a special day for Africans in British colonies as it was the day they received freedom from slavery. In Jamaica, the Emancipation Declaration was read from the steps of the Old Kings House in Spanish Town, St Catherine, the country's capital at the time.

The Slavery Abolition Act 1833, which abolished slavery throughout the British Empire (with the exceptions "of the Territories in the Possession of the East India Company", the "Island of Ceylon" and "the Island of Saint Helena"; the exceptions were eliminated in 1843), came into force the following year, on 1 August 1834. Only slaves below the age of six were freed. Former slaves over the age of six were redesignated as "apprentices" required to work, 40 hours per week without pay, as part of compensation payment to their former owners. Full emancipation was finally achieved at midnight on 31 July 1838.

Statue stands in Emancipation Park as a symbol of our liberation

Traditionally people would keep at vigil on July 31 and at midnight ring church bell and play drums in parks and public squares to re-enact the first moments of freedom for enslaved Africans.[7] On Emancipation Day there is a reenactment of the reading of the Emancipation Declaration in town centers especially Spanish Town which was the seat of the Jamaican government when the Emancipation Act was passed in 1838.

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Garvey to be cleared of all criminal charges

Friday, August 18, 2017

ST JAMES, Jamaica (JIS) – Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia Grange, says the Government is moving to clear National Hero, Marcus Garvey, of all criminal charges that were laid against him in Jamaica.

Addressing a civic ceremony to commemorate the 130th birthday of Jamaica's first National Hero, held at Lawrence Park, St Ann, yesterday, the minister said a Bill is being finalized that is aimed at absolving a number of iconic Jamaicans, including Garvey, of what she described as “acts of liberation”.

“We continue to argue that Garvey's actions were not criminal, but were acts of liberation with moral justification. The Bill should be brought to the House in October to absolve National Heroes, including Garvey, and other freedom fighters of criminal liabilities arising from their acts of liberation and connected matters. By including Garvey in this Bill, we are moving to ensure that his record will be totally cleared,” the minister said.

Grange said despite several failed attempts to get Marcus Garvey's name cleared of criminal charges in the United States, the Government remains unrelenting in efforts to achieve that goal.

“As a country, we have done a number of things to honour this great son of Jamaica and to remove the blots against his name… . We cannot give up this fight to clear his name,” the minister emphasised.

Meanwhile, Grange said in bad and good times, Jamaicans can take courage from the work of the National Hero as well as the statue which stands tall in Lawrence Park, St Ann's Bay.

“Garvey's statue looms large, and is a reminder of his influence on the world stage, a reminder of his determination, not just to uplift black people but to help us understand our innate power. In true Jamaican style, Garvey showed that nothing is impossible, despite opposition,” the minister added.

She praised Garvey for the role he played in influencing world leaders and power brokers to “stop and take a look, not only at him and his work but at Jamaica, the country of his birth”.

The minister said that the government of Namibia has advised the Jamaican Government that the main street in that country's capital, Windhoek, will be renamed in honour of Garvey, with the ceremony set for later this year.

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Peace Truce Runnings / London 1977: Claudie Massop, Tony Welsh, Bob Marley and Tek Life

Peace Truce Runnings / London 1977: Claudie Massop, Tony Welsh, Bob Marley and Tek Life

Claudius “Claudie/Jack” Massop, the  Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) kingpin and West Kingston enforcer under the Edward Seaga government.  Leader of the Shower Posse Gang, belonging to Tivoli Gardens, Wellington Street, Rema, Denham Town and the surrounding areas of West Kingston, JamaicaTony Welsh rival People's National Party (PNP), He was also a reputed don in Arnett Gardens in the PNP garrison of South St. Andrew, in the 1970s under the Michael Manley government.

Bob Marley was summoned to try and create peace between the two rival fractions and political parties.

Read more:

Back at 56 Hope Rd, Kingston, Jamaica: Tek Life, Bob Marley and Claudie Massop

On the left former Prime Minister of Jamaica Michael Manley, Bob Marley in the middle and former Prime Minister of Jamaica Edward Seaga


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BREAKING NEWS: TVJ has obtain video footage showing new evidence of what transpired before security guard was shot

TVJ has obtain video footage which shows new evidence of what transpired before the security guard tried to take the licence firearm holder's gun.

The building management argues the video supports the allegations that the security guard was beaten up inside the guard room and the reason he decided to retaliate.

According to new reports, one individual seen in the video altercation is a resident of the Gated Apartment Complex on Braemar Avenue in New Kingston, Jamaica.

It is reported that on Monday July 2nd a little after 5:00 o'clock in the evening, one of the individuals were being prevented from leaving apartment complex. He was being prevented from leaving the apartment complex for allegedly non-payment of maintenance fees.

It is alleged the security refused to open the gate. The rules are, if residents are in arrears with maintenance fees, then they have to open the gate themselves when they are leaving or entering premises.  The gate is not automated so it is the duty of the security to open the gate. The gate security duties are paid for with maintenance fees thus the reason the security guard did not open the gate

It is alleged, that irritated the resident and things escalated from there.

A fight was ensued with the tenant and the security guard who was not wearing a uniform.

It is alleged the security guard was beaten up by two of the people involved, one of which is the licence firearm holder. You can hear someone referring to himself as "Vegas", saying, the man just got beaten up, which one of the men in the video denied, saying, he did not touch the security. You can see however, in the video, the security guard shirtless and being held back by another individual. The firearm holder also had a hammer in his hand in a confrontation with the shirtless security guard.

According to our sources, the security guard allegedly press the panic button which is an alleged instruction of the apartment complex in case of emergencies.

This was when the initial fight ensued. The security guard decided to retaliate and tried to dis-arm the licence firearm holder.

A report from the police stated that the security guard attacked the firearm holder and pushed him to the ground. The businessman pulled his firearm and discharged one round which struck the security guard in the neck. Other security guards, who were present, disarmed the businessman and took him into custody.


Statement from the managing director of KingAlarm

King Alarm

I have seen the videos circulating this morning pertaining to yesterday's incident at Braemar Avenue involving a number of our Armed Response personnel who were called to a scene in response to a prior altercation ‎there.
Without the benefit of a thorough investigation into what transpired, I have seen enough on social media to cause me concern as relating to the actions of some of the individuals who were at the scene.‎‎

‎As such, all KingAlarm personnel ‎who were present have been pulled from duty pending the outcome of the investigations by ourselves, the Police and other authorities, all of which are already underway.

I have personally ‎reached out to the firearm holder in the video and expressed my concerns directly to him and assured him of my availability for further discussions in the coming days.

KingAlarm has been in business for in excess of 17 years and we respond to literally hundreds of alarms, disputes and situations on a daily basis. The human rights of others is of paramount importance to us and, in fact, this is deeply ingrained in our Training Manuals. I trust therefore that those who have dealt with KingAlarm, or have been exposed and interacted with our Armed Response personnel, can attest to that fact, as well as to what we stand for, and that we will never condone unprofessional behavior irrespective from which quarters same may originate.

Wherever our personnel are found to have acted in contravention of the law or inconsistent with their training or in violation of the human rights of others, there are serious and severe consequences and I assure our valued clients and members of the public at large that this case will be no different.

I therefore ask that the public allow the process of investigation to take place trusting that the Company will adhere to the highest standards of professionalism in dealing with this incident.

I also wish to make clear that all KingAlarm personnel at the scene in question were in uniform. The gentleman in the blue shirt who was shot is not a member of our staff and is in no way affiliated with the company. That said, we keep him and his family in our prayers as we hope he makes a full recovery.

We remain resolute in the fight against crime and securing and safeguarding our clients while ever cognizant of the fact that our staff must operate within the law in doing so.

John P. Azar

Managing Director




Another angle of the altercation

Security shot apartment

The victim was rushed to hospital, where he has been admitted for treatment.

The victim and the shooter is yet to be identified and according to reports, the police are still investigating.

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Jamaica the latest country to implement HPV vaccine

gardasil (1)
Christopher Tufton, the JLP Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton introduced the measures to be initiated in schools across the nation as of Monday October 2nd 2017

The HPV vaccine has been rolled out in the Jamaican schools under the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) government. The JLP Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton introduced the measures to be initiated in schools across the nation as of Monday October 2nd 2017. Despite a number of concerns from parents and the general public the health minister reassured it is safe, free of cost and optional. The initiative falls under a 100 million dollar school-based programme in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information.

The vaccine become available since 2006, and all are currently licensed in the United States. The first vaccine to be introduced was the quadrivalent (four-valent) vaccine Gardasil® (Merck), known in Europe as Silgard, which protects against HPV types 6, 11, 16, and 18. HPV 16 and 18, the two most common "high-risk" genotypes, cause approximately 70% of all cervical cancers. HPV 6 and 11, two "low-risk" genotypes, cause 90% of anogenital warts (condylomata). First approved in 2006 for girls and women 9 to 26 years of age, Gardasil approval was extended to boys of the same age in 2010.[6] A bivalent (two-valent) vaccine, Cervarix® (GlaxoSmithKline), which protects against HPV types 16 and 18, was approved in 2010 for use in girls and women 9 to 25 years of age, but not in boys.[7]~

The official Gardasil website, explains that “[i]f you haven’t heard about the risks of HPV-related cancers and disease yet, it’s time you did. HPV (short for human papillomavirus) is a virus that can infect both males and females and cause potentially serious diseases. There are approximately 14 million new HPV infections in the United States every year — about 50% of them in 15- to 24-year-olds. For most, HPV clears on its own. But, for others who don’t clear the virus, HPV could cause potentially serious diseases. Unfortunately, there’s no way to predict who will or won’t clear the virus. Understanding HPV and its possible consequences is the first step in helping your child be one less at risk for certain HPV-related cancers and diseases. With the HPV vaccine, your child could be one less at risk for future HPV-related cancers and diseases. GARDASIL 9 is the only vaccine that helps protect against 9 types of HPV (Types 6, 11, 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52, and 58). These 9 types are responsible for the majority of HPV-related cancers and diseases. The side effects listed on the Gardasil website are. Pain, Swelling, Redness, Itching, Bruising, Bleeding, A lump where your child got the shot, Headache, Fever, Nausea, Dizziness and Fainting. Please see website for further details

Despite the promising effects of the vaccine, there are numerous opposition.   Former Merck scientist made a bold claim where he said, “I predict that Gardasil will become the greatest medical scandal of all time”.

The Japantimes reported that a Class Action Lawsuit was filed due to adverse side effect of the vaccine. According to the website, Twenty-eight girls and women suffering what they say are side effects from cervical cancer vaccines that were recommended by the government demanded compensation from the state and drugmakers Monday as their trial opened at the Tokyo District Court.  The plaintiffs, ranging in age from 15 to 22, said they have experienced a wide range of health problems, including pain all over their bodies and impaired mobility, after receiving the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines between 2010 and 2013. Read more:

At the beginning of 2013, the Australian Government began to roll-out the Gardasil vaccination program for all boys aged 13-15. In this interview, BMJ-published Australian GP Dr Deirdre Little tells the story of how a 16-year-old female patient who received the Gardasil vaccine suffered premature menopause. She subsequently discovered that according to the TGA, the Gardasil manufacturer did not conduct studies on ovarian effects of the vaccine or any studies regarding ongoing fertility effects.

Truth and Gardasil: Interview with Dr Deirdre Little

The Metro UK reported that a dancer has been left paralysed after taking the controversial HPV vaccine which helps prevents cervical cancer. Read more:

Similarly, the Telegraph also reported that Shazel Zaman, 13, received a cervical cancer jab five days earlier after which she started vomiting and suffering from dizziness and a severe headache. As her symptoms got worse she was taken to Bury's Fairfield Hospital. She later died. Shazel’s family believe her death is linked directly to her having the vaccine.

In April, the government of India called a halt to trials of the Hu­man Papilloma Virus (HPV) vac­cine.  This came about because of a civil society-led investigation which highlighted serious ethical violations in at least one trial.

As the numerous worldwide controversy loom over the vaccine, the Jamaican government become the latest country to introduce the vaccine. According to reports, the Opposition Shadow Minister of Health, Dr Dayton Campbell is calling for the urgent implementation of a public education programme ahead of administering of the HPV vaccine to the at-risk population. The opposition minister is mainly concerned with reported side effects such as fainting spells and other side effects and believe a school environment may not be a suitable place for such measures as it lacks the facility to monitor the students. In addition, the minister argued that even though the vaccine may be beneficial as there will likely be less adverse findings on pap smears and fewer cases of cancers, the lack of proper public health education would leave many Jamaicans confused and give cause to heightened anxiety.,_questions_exclusion_of_boys

The Social Media sphere has been lit up with comments and concerns. There have been outrage to concerns.

VM~It should be mandatory that all politicians should take it.

NT~ Tell everyone you know and have contact with to be vigilant about their families health.

PG~Please speak to your personal doctor about it. It was introduced to me 10yrs ago for my daughter but couldn't afford it, it was very expensive.

SLK. D It should continue.
As long as persons can refuse it I'm not bothered. Think many people are only complaining because they don't know how serious cervical cancer can be. If it can be prevented by this vaccine, I’m all for it.

As the Gardasil official website stated that for most, HPV clears on its own. One could argue, why risk the lives of a whole nation if most cases will clear on its own? Others may argue that the percentage of known severe side effects are far less of a risk and is worthy of saving the lives of those who may develop cancer. Many argue that the vaccine should not be mandatory and more education across Jamaica is absolutely necessary. Lastly, the vaccine should not be implemented in schools and it should be left to the parents to speak to their doctor and make a decision if the vaccine is right for their child

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Petrojam scandal and alleged corruption. Should Floyd Grindley be investigated by (MOCA)?

Petrojam scandal alledged corruption.
Should Floyd Grindley be investigated by the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency (MOCA)?

On June 13/2018 the General Manager of Petrojam Limited ( Floyd Grindley and his committee members were summoned to the Jamaican Parliament to be questioned on what some deemed as corrupt activities within Petrojam under the management of the General Manager Floyd Grindley. The questioning sessions went on for a little over 3 hours and 31 minutes.

He was asked about a number of budgetary spending, monies provided by the Jamaican government. One amount was one hundred million Jamaican dollars provided by the government and there was some discrepancy and confusion on the monetary expenditure.
Another issue was an Airline ticket in the amount of 1700 US dollars. The money was for a Chairman of Petrojam to travel to London. The Chairman did not go to London because of weather problems. Nevertheless, the money was reimburse to the Chairman.
Floyd Grindley claim the money was reimburse to the Chairman because the Chairman purchased the ticked with his own money. This however, is a breach of government policy as Chair people should not use their own money for government business. The ticked should have been purchased by the government body and therefore if the chairman did not attend the meeting in London, the government would have done an in-house assessment of the monetary damages.

There was a number of other issues discussed and it was clear from the Parliament questioning, the General Manager Floyd Grindley seem confuse, ill-informed and could not answer most of the questions put to him.

The Opposition People’s National Party, (PNP) has calls for MOCA probe of corruption allegations at Petrojam Limited. According to Loop News, the PNP made the call on Wednesday June 21, a day after the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) indicated that the Cabinet had instructed the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology, Hillary Alexander, to prepare a report on the operations of Petrojam, with specific attention to “various allegations in the public domain”. Allegations include cronyism, nepotism as well as breaches of Government procurement guidelines.

Three Jamaican board members to hand in letters of resignation. It has been confirmed that directors Harold Malcom and Richard Creary along with the chairman, Perceval Badahoo-Singh has resigned. This comes two months after the opposition raised several concerns in Parliament regarding the state-owned oil refinery including reports of mismanagement, nepotism, victimization and failure to follow proper procedure when handing out contracts. The opposition representatives and to a larger extent the Jamaican public are curious as to why a Perimeter wall that was estimated by the National Work Agency to cost roughly 30 million dollars, ended up costing the company 96.8 million dollars.
Why and how Asha Corporation, an American company, was contracted for consultancy and other services and why payment was made to a consultant of the company and not to the company itself. Also, questions were raised about why established procedures were not followed when the said airline ticket of US $1700 with additional travel expenses amounting to US $8000 (1 million Jamaican dollars) were purchased for the board chairman, Dr. Perceval Badahoo-Singh to attend a function in London on the company’s behalf in February. Having not attended the meeting, questions were raised as to why the chairman did not refund the money for the ticket until last week when the matter was brought up in Parliament by the opposition representatives. Another point of contention was the employment of a human resource manager whose salary was in excess of $12,000,000 dollars. The opposition questioned her qualifications and why she was being overpaid.
Currently, the Public Administration and Appropriations Committee (PAAC) are seeking more answers on a number of these issues and also an answer to the fact that the company chose to employ overseas based personnel when the specific services being rendered were available locally.
Some in the Jamaican Media has labelled the scandal PETROSCAM. They are calling for actions to be taken immediately and suggested that “it is time to lock up the crooks in high positions”.

In a recent video the Prime Minister Andrew Holness said all members of government was on notice against corruption. He also stated, that MOCA was created for this specific reason.

The Jamaican public will be watching patiently to see how he will respond to this scandal under his government. It will be a testament to his leadership in how the react to this matter.

The Prime Minister on corruption in politics in Jamaica and corrupt politicians in his goverment

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Terror Taxis

It was a normal morning for *Allison. She woke up, got ready, and walked out to grab a cab on Trafalgar Road, close to New Kingston, in order to get to her job.

A car pulls up, the driver says “Downtown”. She scans the vehicle and notices two passengers, one male, one female. She thinks nothing bad can happen to her with other passengers onboard and steps inside.

Unfortunately, she was so wrong.

*Allison, and the other young woman were both held by the driver and the other male who was only posing as a passenger. *Allison, 30, and the other young woman were taken to an ATM where the men demanded their pin numbers. The other young woman refused but gave in only a few moments later after she suffered several blows to her face from the fake passenger. *Allison did not hesitate, hoping that this would deter the men from hurting her.

Wrong again.

For the next several hours, after withdrawing all they had on their individual debit cards, both women were brutally raped by both men, then abandoned on the side of the road.

The Centre for Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA) has reported that over 50 females have been raped and robbed over the last two years by men posing as taxi operators working with crooks posing as passengers; 27 in 2016 and 16 in 2017. These incidents were reported, not only in the corporate area, but also in St. James and St. Catherine. Most of the victims reported being blind-folded, raped and taken to an ATM to withdraw money for the assailants. These men, believed to be serial rapists, have carried out the heinous crimes using both public red-plated vehicles as well as private vehicles.

Sexual crimes against women and children by both heterosexuals and homosexuals continue to escalate in Jamaica. In 2012, the brutal rape in St James, of five females, including three children, left the country stunned. Statistics from the Police Force show that almost 500 women were raped in 2016, 180 of the victims being under the age of 15, some under 5 years old.

*Allison, with tears streaming down her face as she recounted the day that has left her scarred for life, urged females to take precautions when taking public transportation. “Be vigilant,” she said, “Pay keen attention to the persons in the vehicle, just so, in a worst-case scenario, you can provide a good description.”

(NB-Allison-*Name Change)

Women are also being encouraged to try taking a moment to note the vehicle’s registration number and share it with family or friends, and to discreetly take photographs of the car or driver and pass it on, if possible. It is also advised that one keep a close family member or friend up to date on your movements, download safety apps, and have emergency numbers on speed dial.

While we pray that these criminals are caught and dealt with in short order in the most deserving manner, it is obvious that the creeps are finding more and more inventive ways of committing these atrocious crimes! It is up to us women, and the few good men left, to be alert and equip ourselves mentally, and if possible, physically.

The National Council of Taxi Associations says legal operators have seen an increase in business in light of the recent cases of abduction of women and girls while travelling in taxis.

There has been heightened concern about the safety of females amid a recent spate of abductions said to be perpetrated by criminals posing as taxi operators.

According to the Association president Deon Chance, most of the recent abductions linked to taxis were committed by persons driving robot taxis.

He says this has tainted the image of law-abiding taxi operators.

He’s urging members of the public, especially females, to take precautions when travelling in taxis.

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