Distribution of political spoils tramples on citizen’s human rights – Homer Davis
Homer Davis, member of parliament for St James Southern, says the distribution of state benefits on political terms is trampling on the human rights of citizens.
Davis, who is also state minister in the Office of the Prime Minister West, highlighted the travesty on Saturday, October 8, during a presentation ceremony where he disbursed $2.5 million to cover tuition expenses for 35 tertiary students who are pursuing various disciplines at universities across the island.
“We have some recipients here and none of them can ever say that when they applied for the assistance, we ever asked them about the colour of their shirt? We don’t ask that question,” Davis insisted.
“I think it is a travesty and it is trampling on their human rights for me to be giving you benefits [based on your political association or choice],” the St James Southern MP argued.
Continuing, he said: “The only thing I want to be sure of is that you are from the constituency and that you are a product of the constituency, because I am the MP for everyone in the constituency. So, as long as the benefit is there and I can be of some help, I will definitely be of that help to you.”
At the same time, while not demanding that the beneficiaries return to assist with building their communities, Davis encouraged the students to do so.
“I am not saying you must go back to your community to live, but if you have to go there to live do that,” he told the scholarship recipients.
But “you must make a concerted effort to go back and build your community. Go back and contribute to your community. Nobody is coming to do it for you. The Government has social workers who will go in and come out, but you live there”.
Approximately $11.5 million is being spent this academic year in the constituency to cover textbook grants, tuition fees and other school-related expenses. He added that students who are not on PATH but are in need of assistance have also benefited.
In August, 108 students who aced their Primary Exit Profile examination and who are now in grade seven in high school, received $10,000 in cash and an additional $10,000 in book vouchers, as part of the MP’s education support thrust.