Jamaica social media scoffs at PNP man’s Grenada engagement

KINGSTON, Jamaica (CARIBUPDATE/Aug 31, 2016): News that former People’s National Party operative Alston Stewart has been engaged by Grenada’s opposition has been widely ridiculed here on social media.

It has been 10 years since Stewart had been near the top of any serious campaign by the PNP, since arms of the party had protested against his engagement in 2006 while he was caught up in the midst of a corruption scandal there.

The PNP is itself currently embroiled in a campaign donation scandal here from the recent general elections.

“Them come fi seek PNP help. lol! In the land of the blind the one eye man is King,” one person posting as Gordon on the Jamaica Observer website said.

Another Fieldgar said: “The PNP is helping the NDC to rebuild their party? Observer, clearly this must be a joke!!!

“Great idea!, teach them how propagandized and stab one another in the back; Just as they did to Jack Stephenson,” another posting as Duke Prepre wrote.

Stewart himself has been a controversial figure, in and around the PNP.

The latest time he was appointed to a senior campaign position in the PNP in 2006, the youth arm of the party rebelled against the idea, and he was forced to step down.

At the time it pointed out that Stewart “was at the centre of a major corruption probe at the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA), to which he was Executive Chairman, in 2005 where approximately JA$2 billion worth of contracts were issued by the agency with flagrant disregard for government procurement procedures and policies.”

Jamaica’s Contractor General, Derrick McKoy, at the time stated that there were “concerted efforts to circumvent” procedures by management and the board of directors. Mr. Stewart subsequently resigned in wake of the scandal.

A year later Stewart was again at the centre of the US$43 million cost overruns for the government led Sandals Whitehouse development project that brought to the fore issues of gross mismanagement and cronyism.

In protesting his appointment then, the youth arm had declared in a press statement: “Interestingly, in October 2005 Mr. Alston Stewart resigned the post of Campaign Manager for Dr. Omar Davies bid for the Presidency of the PNP linked according to media reports to the NSWMA scandal.”

Stewart, a radio station owner, has also been described as a construction specialist.

“What a way the Grenadians desperate eh? PNP in shambles and that is what they are after? Burke, is there a paucity of ideas in the NDC? Have you guys gone that low?” another poster on the Jamaica Observer website posted two days ago.

Another poster HDC wrote: “No wonder u are an opposition NDC, your decision making is a clue,,u picked the right people to assist you in remaining an opposition for a long time!!

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