-Discover new corruption in Old Jamaica-
Gorstew Limited (owned by Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart), one of the parties involved in the construction of the Whitehouse Sandals construction project, has again denied any wrongdoing in the cost-overruns in the project. In a release issued yesterday (July 23rd, 2006), the company said the concept that changed the project from Beaches to Sandals saved money, instead of being responsible for the reported US$22 million of the US$39 million cost overruns.
As if Missa Butch Stewart don’t own enuff a Jamaica yet. Apparently not!!, Im want de Government (Gvt) fi pay fi im new Resort so dat our tax money cyan mek im pocket heavy. An when di Gvt decide fi pay fi im hotel im tink im can jus upgrade so. Dis is not McDonalds. Yuh cyannot just ‘supersize’ your order from one Beaches to a Scandals Resort. Plus if im tink dat im is not responsible fi the 22 million dollar overrun in costs, den who is ? Im tink dat a roach find it way in de bank and jus bite a big ole rat hole inna the Gvt. Bank account.
Responding to media reports that the overruns may have been funded by the Venezuela PetroCaribe oil deal, Mr. Golding says that this may have grave implications, as the move was not brought before Parliament.
So tell mi sum ting. Who a watch the Gvt bank account. Dem mek it seem as if de National Treasury is mango tree in a open lot wey people can jus walk in a pick from it. We nah nobady a watch de money?? When we got de money from Venezuela; wey wi put it?? Pan display at Dunn’s Riva craft market mek Missa Stewart find it, use it and don’t ask Parliament. De money woulda be safer tie up inna one kerchief and stuff inna Miss Mattie bosom dan wid de Gvt.
In the long-awaited report on the Contractor General’s investigation into the beleaguered Westmoreland hotel project, wracked by multimillion US-dollar overruns, Mr. Christie recommended that the legislature ensure public bodies and public officials who breached procurement procedures be held accountable.
Ongly in Jamaica do we “recommend” dat simady who tief 22 million dollas be held accountable. Any odda country woulda lock up everybody in connection wid tiefing de money and leave dem children in de street begging fi cheese-trix.
The 73-page report claimed Dr. Lawrence, who has since resigned from the UDC, which was designated the project manager in 2001, acted in conflict of interest when awarding some of the contracts on the project.
Once again Missa Lawrence look as if he graciously fulfilled his juty as president of de UDC; ‘Unrelentingly and Disgustingly Corrupt’ because im jus use de position fi suit imself and not de public.
Explaining her decision to accept the UDC chairman’s resignation, Portia Simpson Miller said she had repeatedly given a commitment to “protect the public interest and ensure full accountability and transparency” and that the issues raised in the contractor-general’s report on the project were “extremely serious matters” requiring “full and public ventilation”.
‘Protecting’ fi de Gvt mean dat dey are pro-teking wi money and spending it fi demself. De ongly ting dat is ‘transparent’ where Gvt action is concern is de amount of mosquito wey a swim inna de gulley watta in Portmore wey dem promise fi clean up. What is ‘serious’, is dat yuh cyan trus de Gvt wid yuh money as much as yuh cyan trus de bus conductor in Half Way Tree fi give yuh back yuh change.
Of note, the Contractor General Greg Christie said that an J$18.8 million contract was awarded to Jentech Consultants Limited, which is a civil and structural engineering entity in which Dr. Lawrence (who has a PhD in civil engineering from Queen’s University in Canada) is a long-standing shareholder and director.
Dat is de problem wid Jamaica. Educated people jus a study how fi tief poor people money. Missa Lawerence go all de way to Canada fi learn how fi stick im han inna the National Treasury an pay imself when poor people cyant even afford fi buy likkle chicken back fi eat and some tun cornmeal fi feed dem dawg.
Mr. Christie also noted that contracts were awarded to Gorstew Ltd., in the amount of US$421,068, and Appliance Traders Limited, in an unknown amount. Sandals boss Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart is the presumed principal in both companies.
So let me get dis straight. De Gvt. decide fi help pay fi Missa Stewart hotel wid de people money an on top of dat hire a company wey Missa Stewart own imself fi construct de place too. So wi a pay im twice!! Why don’t wi jus print one ad inna de Gleaner dat sey anybady dat ave buff teet an drive a benz cyan stop by BOJ and de Gvt will pay all dere bills because it amount to de same ting. De poor a get poorer while de Gvt jus a spend wi money pan de rich.
A nex ting mi wan fi know is ow Butch Stewart get de Gvt fi agree fi pay fi im hotel in de first place? Dat is de Jamaican people money dat suppose to pay fi de teachas and garbage collectas salary. What Butch going do when di hotel don mek? Is he going to giv everybady in Jamaica a free room fi katch when rain a fall. Dis is why de civil servants in Jamaica de pan strike more often dan tief a brok inna yuh house; because de Gvt jus a dash wey wi money so.
About the Author
Ray Damdar is a Jamaican living abroad in Hartford, CT amongst the third largest Jamaican population in Merica. He is constantly amused by his culture has no odda choice but to comment.
Favorite saying “ Saltfish sid down pan di counta a wait fi bread and butta”
Article Excerpts taken from the Jamaican Observer
‘Bruce Golding queiries Whitehouse funds’ -July 24 2006-
‘The Scandal that should have never happen’ -December 28 2006-
‘And God rested, Vin Lawerence resigns’ – July 25 2006-
Commentry and photos courtesy of Guinep Tree Productions.