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Opposition senators join call for Energy Minister to be fired

Opposition senators Lambert Brown and K.D. Knight
 
Opposition senators on Friday piled on more pressure for Prime Minister Andrew Holness to fire Energy Minister Dr. Andrew Wheatley, amid the unfolding scandal at the state-run oil refinery Petrojam.
 
This follows criticism in the public arena that the Prime Minister seems reluctant to hold Dr. Wheatley responsible for the developments at Petrojam.
 
While debating a resolution to extend the state of emergency in St Catherine North, Senator Lambert Brown said there was a direct link between crime and corruption.
 
He also reminded senators of the stance taken by Mr. Holness in 2013 when former State Minister Richard Azan was embroiled in a scandal surrounding the illegal construction and renting of shops at the Spaldings market in Clarendon. 
 
Mr. Brown quoted from 2013 a statement by Mr. Holness which said that the reluctance of then Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller to sanction Mr. Azan was "giving the greenlight to her ministers that they can act in ways that breach public trust and faith and retain their position in government." 
 
But Senator Brown was warned by Senate President Tom Tavares-Finson to stick to the resolution.
 
Senator Brown insisted his points were connected to the anti-crime measure being debated.
 
He said given the allegations of financial mismanagement, cronyism and corruption at Petrojam, it is time Mr. Holness fires Dr. Wheatley "for his loss of public trust."  
 
Opposition Senator K.D. Knight also hinted that he expects that Prime Minister Andrew Holness will do the right thing soon. 
 
Anti-corruption watchdog, National Integrity Action (NIA) on Thursday called for Dr. Wheatley to resign or for Mr. Holness to fire him.
 
 
 
 


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