ATTORNEY-AT-LAW and campaign director for Lisa Hanna, K D Knight, yesterday insisted that there is a coordinated attack on the St Ann South Eastern Member of Parliament, who is one of five candidates seeking delegates’ approval for one of four vice-president posts when the People’s National Party (PNP) holds its annual conference this weekend.
Knight’s claim follows comments made by Contractor General Dirk Harrison at an Association of Local Government Authorities of Jamaica meeting in Clarendon. Harrison said the preliminary findings of an investigation into the awarding of Government contracts at the St Ann Parish Council and Hanna’s constituency revealed disturbing breaches involving fraud, forgery and conspiracy.
“It is very unusual in that the report hasn’t been completed yet for the St Ann Parish Council. It is unusual, very unusual,” Knight said.s
“I believe that yes, persons are attacking her having seen the comment made by the contractor general,” he added.
Knight said that while he does not think Harrison’s comment was meant to create a firestorm, it has generated “fierce political comments” that were not favourable for the VP hopeful.
Last October, the Observer reported that Hanna was personally served with a summons to appear before the contractor general for questioning, regarding investigations into the awarding of contracts in her consituency. More than 30 people have been summoned in regards to this investigation.
Hanna’s management of the constituency also came under heavy scrutiny throughout much of last year. During that time, the former Government minister faced strong opposition from three of four councillors from the St Ann Parish Council, including councillor for the Bensonton Division Lydia Richards who, last September, challenged her for the right to represent the PNP in upcoming parliamentary elections. Richards’ challenge fizzled as Hanna was returned as the candidate.
The two-term MP’s stewardship again came under the microscope following a protest over the non-paving of the grounds at Prickly Pole Primary School in Claremont into which an investigation has since been launched.
In the meantime, Knight said he was satisfied with Hanna’s campaign despite the darts being thrown at her.
Sitting vice-presidents Dr Fenton Ferguson, Angela Brown Burke, Noel Arscott, and Member of Parliament Dr Wykeham McNeill, are the other candidates seeking PNP delegates’ approval this weekend.