Anthony B lashes West Kingston probe costs

16 Jan

RASTAFARIAN firebrand Anthony B is criticising the exorbitant costs associated with the West Kingston Commission of Enquiry which is being held at the Conference Centre in downtown Kingston.

“My view is that our leaders are blind to the suffering of the people. While I respect the learned lawyers who are giving their services to this West Kingston enquiry, I believe that the money being paid over could have been used instead to transform the community of West Kingston and a lot more communities here in Jamaica,” Anthony B told Splash.

Media reports speculate that the enquiry, is aimed at finding out if the constitutional rights of citizens were violated during the 2010 operations which led to the death of more than 70 persons, could cost over $250 million.

“The government is wicked to do this. That money could be used to give interest-free loans to start businesses for women from these communities, or fix the infrastructure of the ghetto,” he said.

The enquiry, which started on December 1, is slated to last 64 days.

Sir David Simmonds, who is chairing the Commission, will receive a maximum US$459,170. He is being paid US$370 per hour for a maximum nine hours daily for each sitting.

Co-Commissioners Justice Hazel Harris and Professor Anthony Harriott are paid US$300 hourly and will each take home a maximum of US$372,000.

Legal Counsel to the Commission of Enquiry Garth McBean could pocket up to US$446,100 while the Junior Counsel Symone Mayhew has signed on for US$371,750.

A maximum of US$249,600 has been set aside to pay Secretary to the Commission, Maria Jones.

Anthony B, whose given name is Keith Blair, believes the commission is an exercise in futility.

“After our so-called leaders pay out our hard-earned US dollars for an enquiry which will not achieve much, what then will be the course of action for the actual victims and their families? What will they get in the end? Those who witnessed it first-hand and suffered the most, stand to gain the least. How can our leaders sleep knowing this? How do they sleep when the nation cries?” he asked.

Anthony B has released a single How Do You Sleep? on his own Born Fire Music label. He will be releasing a video for the project this week.

His other tracks include Fire Pon Rome, Raid the Barn and Mr Heartless.

 

Source: Jamaica Observer

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