Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Questions for the Mayor

The search by the police of Kingston’s Mayor Desmond McKenzie’s recently constructed multi-million dollar residence has raised questions about the acquisition and declaration of assets by public officials.

Based on a Sunday Herald investigation the land in question at Parkway, Waterworks was acquired by the Mayor and his wife Elaine McKenzie for $20 million on the April 23, 2009. An examination of the Certificate of Title shows where the Jamaica National Building Society registered mortgage No. 1594278 on the same day for $15 million. There is now a very large house, which was recently constructed on the land.

Sources in the construction industry advise that the construction costs of the house on the land is in the region of $70 to $80 million. Investigations also show that the mayor and his wife have acquired real estate holdings in excess of $30 million between 2006 and 2009. These include properties at Calabar Mews and Winchester Park.
Mayor Desmond McKenzie
Based on documents seen by the Sunday Herald, transfer number 1409565 transferring the property at Calabar Mews was registered on May 5, 2006 to the mayor and his wife, a housewife, for $5.5 million. A mortgage for $3 million by Jamaica National Building Society was registered on the title.
An examination of the title to the property at Lot 28 Winchester Park shows that a consideration of $8 million was paid for this property. There is no mortgage registered on the Certificate of Title.
These holdings have caused eyebrows to be raised and questions asked about the source of funds for the purchase of these holdings as well as the construction cost of the house at Parkway.
There is a renewed call in the country for transparency in public life has resulted in people wishing to know the answer to the following questions:
  • • How many real estate holdings were purchased by the mayor and his wife since his taking over the post of mayor?
  • • What is the mayor’s annual salary?
  • • What is the total of the mayor’s monthly mortgage payments?
  • • What other source of income does the mayor have?
  • • What is income of the mayor’s wife? .
  • • What is the source of income of the mayor’s wife?
  • • Does the mayor have any connection with the petrol station located at the intersection of Oxford and Half-Way-Tree Road?
  • • Does any public agency have an exclusive arrangement to purchase fuel from that station?
  • • What amount of petrol is supplied to that agency?
Public servants are required to provide information on all personal assets, liabilities and income including those of his spouse and children living with him at any time during the period of declaration and should include assets whether held locally or abroad.
Under the Corruption Prevention Act where a public servant owns assets disproportionate to his lawful earnings and upon being requested by the Commission or any person duly authorized to investigate an allegation of corruption against him to provide an explanation as to how he came by such assets and he fails to do so; or gives an explanation which is not considered to be satisfactory he shall be liable to prosecution for the offence of illicit enrichment and upon conviction thereof to the penalty specified in section 15 (1).

source: Sunday Herald

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