PM slams ‘bad mind’ persons ‘weaponising’ corruption locally

PM slams ‘bad mind’ persons ‘weaponising’ corruption locally

In suggesting that the issue of corruption has been “weaponised” locally by “bad mind” people, Prime Minister Andrew Holness has signalled that the controversy surrounding a recent Integrity Commission (IC) report concerning him, presents an opportunity for a review of Jamaica’s anti-corruption framework.

Such a review, said Holness, is to make the country’s corruption laws more precise.

“I believe that what has happened has presented Jamaica with an opportunity to take a serious look at our anti-corruption framework and legislation,” he said.

“I think that there is now an opportunity to make the legislation more precise, to make it more practical, and to refocus it on where the problem really exists,” Holness added.

He made the remarks amid jubilant supporters of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) who converged on the grounds of it Belmont Road headquarters in St Andrew to greet their party leader on his arrival from a CARICOM meeting in The Bahamas.

While at the meeting on Wednesday, an investigative report was tabled in Parliament and released by the IC, that implicated Holness in a potential conflict of interest relative to the awarding of Government contracts to Westcon Construction Limited during the period 2006-2009.

A day later, the IC’s Director of Corruption Prosecution, Keisha Prince-Kameka, said no criminal charges would be brought against Holness, this after a referral from the commission’s director of investigations.

Holness said on Friday that the Government remains committed to fighting corruption.

However, he lamented that the IC report concerning him has been weaponised by some in politics, labelling the act of such persons as sheer “bad mind”.

“We must use this as an opportunity to reaffirm our own commitment to treating with the issue of corruption which has been made into a political weapon,” declared Holness.

“It has been weaponised and it has been used in a way that detracts and distracts from the real focus,” he continued.

He said as the Government continues to achieve success in some areas, “there are those who see themselves constantly receding to the side-lines, and they have become desperate, they have become corrupted in their minds and in their thoughts and in their deeds as well.

“We have a term for it, it’s called ‘bad mind’, and when they see the success happening, the glorious international recognition being given to Jamaica, they are not able to stomach it,” stated Holness.

Continuing, he said: “I would say to those people of those persuasion, put Jamaica first”.

While stating that he is a now seasoned politician, Holness said he was able to “compartmentalise” and focus on issues at the CARICOM meeting relative to Haiti and crime in the region.

“I was really tied up looking about issues to do with Haiti, issues to do with crime…, and then I saw something in the paper that amounted to a distraction,” he said  in reference to the reports on the IC report.

To his JLP members at Belmont Road, he lauded them for the support, and said it signalled that the political party is “strong”.

  • PublishedFebruary 18, 2023

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