Golding denounces government management of entertainment sector – Jamaica Observer

GOLDING… the government has eggs on its face

PETERSFIELD, Westmoreland – Opposition Leader Mark Golding says he disagrees with government claims that he was unaware of the Mocha Fest party which was held at Rick’s Café in Negril on Thursday night in breach flagrant government COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

The event, now in its sixth year after a postponement in 2020, was advertised on the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) website through May 27. It was later deactivated following an outcry from social media users and the general public.

However, Golding, who was speaking with the Jamaica Observer here yesterday said the government was left with its proverbial face in a mess.

“I think the government has eggs on its nose because it pretends not to know. It sucks because very little happens. So a major event like Negril had to be known to the government,” the leader of the People’s National Party (PNP) said.

The general public and entertainment industry stakeholders say the event breached restrictions on hosting entertainment events, suggesting a double standard in how certain categories of people are treated.

“The truth is that they (the government) quietly tried to facilitate the tourism industry, which I understand, but I think the way entertainment events have been handled locally and affecting our Jamaican people versus the foreigners is simply not correct. We cannot marinate the law with this double standard.

Golding further explained what he said was the lack of equal treatment under the law.

“The life-sustaining entertainment industry has been effectively shut down due to over a year of curfews etc. People lost their livelihoods, people had to migrate, it was very disruptive. Then you see that strangers can come here and party to their heart’s content in complete violation of any form of social distancing etc. “said Golding.

“And, I’m not criticizing the proponents, but I think it’s symptomatic of how the government of the day failed to ensure fairness in the application and enforcement of these laws because that the young people of the area, [and] young people on the streets are being detained, arrested and charged for breaking the ordinances of the Disaster Risk Management Act and in their own country the country of their birth and then foreigners can come here and do the exact same thing without any problem,” said the Leader of the Opposition.