Prime Minister Andrew Holness says the government will not intervene in the independent investigations involving former JLP Senator and Education Minister, Ruel Reid. According to the Prime Minister, the Jamaica Labour party is an institution that stands strong against anything that can be characterised as corruption, malfeasance and misappropriation of public resources, and will allow the relevant authorities to carry out their operations.
He made a commitment to citizens: ” We will do everything within our powers to ensure that wherever there is corruption; wherever there is misuse of power, misappropriation of public resources, that this administration will ensure that the mechanisms are in place to ferret it out and to bring them before the courts.”
He was speaking at the Jamaica Labour Party Area One council meeting at the Girl Guides Association in St Andrew, on Sunday.
On Wednesday, October 9, 2019, there was a joint operation with the Financial Investigations Division, Major Organised Crime and Anti Corruption Agency and Constabulary Financial Unit of the Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime Division that led to the arrest and charge of Ruel Reid, his wife Sharelle, his daughter, Sharen, Caribbean Maritime University President, Fritz Pinnock and St Ann Councillor, Kim Brown Lawrence.
On Thursday, they appeared at the Kingston and St Andrew Court for a bail hearing. All five were granted bail with conditions.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness believes that corruption should not be used as a tool for political gain. Instead, it should be used to hold those guilty of the act accountable.
“If you tolerate corruption, if you allow corruption then there is a political price to be paid. This Government understands that and so when we sit together as a Cabinet, when we sit together as a party we have to look into ourselves. We have to reflect on what it is that we need to do,” he says.
The Prime Minister went further to note that the Government remains as one that is transparent and respectful of the law and its processes.
“Ultimately, this matter which is a political matter – when the electorates have to now consider and decide what did this Government do when they were faced with issues of corruption versus what the pretenders did when they had power.”