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‘One hand can’t clap’

‘One hand can’t clap’

Posted  161 Views updated 8 months ago

Crime, inadequate infrastructure, and economic challenges weighed heavily on the minds of some residents of sections of the Corporate Area who turned out to witness a muted ceremonial opening of Parliament yesterday.

Held for the second year under COVID-19 restrictions, a sparse gathering of party supporters turned out to cheer on their political leaders and witness the annual pomp and pageantry.

But residents from Denham Town and parts of Hannah Town, who spoke with The Gleaner, lamented poor housing and an overburdened drainage infrastructure that had not been upgraded in decades, hoping that a change was on the horizon.

“We have a big problem in West Kingston with wastewater and sewage. Most a di yard dem need plumbing. Di pipes dem want change. Dats why yuh have so much wastewater and sewage in a di street. Di gutter dem need fi smooth out back,” said a male resident who wished not be named.

“Di leaders dem need fi address dat, too. Not just di crime, because dat affect everything,” the resident argued as others called on parliamentarians to unite to solve the country’s crime problem, employing more social-intervention strategies to address the root causes.

“One hand can’t clap,” said one male Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) supporter from West Kingston, who opted not to give his name. “We want some unity inside the Parliament to get rid of crime. Unity is strength.”

Delores Williams, another resident of West Kingston, had a similar call for unity among members of the Mark Golding-led People’s National Party (PNP).

“I don’t know what is wrong, but they are putting a fight against Mr Golding, and they need to work with him so that the PNP can have a chance,” she told The Gleaner.

Rae Town Division Councillor Rosalie Hamilton urged the Government to put more effort into creating jobs.

“The ground is hard right now, and the only thing at this stage that can solve some of the social problems is to put the people to work,” said the JLP-aligned Hamilton.

“I know the country is dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic at the moment, but they have to address the issues that create crime,” she said.

Yesterday’s ceremony was marked by the usual state pageantry, with the mounting of a 96-member guard of honour donning scarlet red tunics, the official ceremonial wear of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF).

Marking her inaugural appearance in her new role at the ceremonial opening, Rear Admiral Antonette Wemyss Gorman – the newly installed chief of defence staff – led the escort for Governor General Sir Patrick Allen as he inspected the guard of honour.

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