Head­line mis­lead­ing

Jamaica Gleaner - - OPINION & COMMENTARY -

THE EDI­TOR, Sir: WITH RE­GARD to the ar­ti­cle pub­lished in The Gleaner on Novem­ber 9, 2016, I, Dwayne Vaz, would like to shed some light on this mat­ter. Based on the head­line, ‘Com­mit­tee re­jects MP’s re­quest to buy food for cer­e­mony’, many would have as­sumed that I sub­mit­ted a project to buy food for an open­ing cer­e­mony. This was def­i­nitely not the case. Let me out­line the facts:

1. A sports project for $1 mil­lion was sub­mit­ted to the Con­stituency De­vel­op­ment Fund (CDF). The project was de­clined by the CDF Par­lia­men­tary com­mit­tee for two items, namely re­fresh­ments for open­ing cer­e­mony at a cost of $18,800 and pub­lic ad­dress sys­tem for both open­ing and clos­ing cer­e­mony at a to­tal cost of $30,000.00. Please note that these items take up less than five per cent (5%) of the to­tal bud­get. Thus, to use such as a head­line was very mis­lead­ing and mis­chievous.

2. I was a con­stituency con­sul­tant from 2009 un­til I be­came mem­ber of par­lia­ment (MP). Ev­ery sports project I had sub­mit­ted to the CDF then had the same two items: re­fresh­ments and PA sys­tem in the bud­get. No project had ever been re­jected.

3. There is a sports project be­ing im­ple­mented in the con­stituency as we speak. This project was sub­mit­ted ear­lier this year for net­ball and domino com­pe­ti­tions. This project also had the items of re­fresh­ments and PA sys­tem in the bud­get. It was ap­proved and funds dis­bursed.

4. As a con­stituency con­sul­tant and now MP, I was never at any point made aware that items such as re­fresh­ments and PA sys­tems were not to be in­cluded in the bud­get for projects.

5. Ev­ery con­stituency re­ports to a CDF of­fi­cer, who goes through each project to en­sure all is sat­is­fac­tory be­fore rec­om­mend­ing it to the CDF par­lia­men­tary com­mit­tee. This project in ques­tion was rec­om­mended by the CDF Of­fi­cer.

RUDE STATE­MENT

I must also state that the com­ments made by com­mit­tee chair­man Mr Warmington that was recorded in The Gleaner, and I quote, “Clubs should sell bot­tles to buy re­fresh­ments for guests.” This was un­for­tu­nate, dis­taste­ful and rude and must be re­tracted. This is a con­stituency com­pe­ti­tion where clubs are in­vited to par­tic­i­pate, thus, it should not be the re­spon­si­bil­ity of clubs to pro­vide re­fresh­ments for guests at an open­ing cer­e­mony.

With the above-men­tioned be­ing said, I stand to de­clare that this ar­ti­cle is pompously mis­chievous, bla­tantly mis­lead­ing, and is a play of pol­i­tics. I chal­lenge The Gleaner to get in­for­ma­tion from the CDF on all sport­ing projects for all con­stituen­cies, re­view all bud­gets and then make a judge­ment. I guar­an­tee that you will find many projects, then and now ap­proved with those said items. Please be re­minded that there should be no sin­gling out cir­cum­stances for par­tic­u­lar ar­eas, whether it be spe­cial treat­ment or non-treat­ment. DWAYNE VAZ Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment

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