Caribbean News, Latin America News:
NEWS AMERICAS, KINGSTON, Jamaica, Mon. July 20, 2020: A Caribbean reporter got straight to the point with a government minister recently, asking him bluntly if he was cheating on his wife.
The minister snapped back that it was “none of your business.”
The drama unfolded in Kingston, Jamaica, where the country’s health and wellness minister is facing scrutiny over contracts granted to a company there and allegations on social media that a principal of the company was having an affair with the minister.
At a digital press conference on July 16, 2020 to update the country on COVID-19-related matters, Dr Christopher Tufton, was asked by Zahra Burton of 18 Degrees North directly: “Did you cheat on your wife with any of the principals … (voice fades out)?”
The question agitated the minister so much that he added: “I would prefer you would stick to questions around the operations of the ministry, and just as I leave you to your private life, I would like you to allow me mine. Thank you very much.”
The controversy relates to Market Me Consulting Limited, a public-relations agency, which has benefited from coronavirus-related contracts through an unsolicited proposal. The initial contract was in the sum of $15.9 million and another contract was awarded in the sum of $31 million for the Jamaica Moves programme in June 2019.
Allegations on social-media platforms claim that Tufton and one of the principals of Market Me Consulting Limited may be having an affair. This triggered a caustic statement on Thursday from the minister, who threatened legal action against those responsible for the “filthy and scandalous” claims.
“These disgusting, vicious, and false attributions made under the cover of social media have caused great pain and suffering and are clearly aimed at damaging my career, as well as causing emotional distress,” he stated prior to the presser.
Tufton also said he has reported the matter to the Counter-Terrorism and Organised Crime Division of the Jamaica Constabulary Force. He has also placed the issue in the hands of his attorneys “to use all available legal steps to ensure the prosecution of these cybercriminals, and, in any event, to seek recourse in the civil courts when their identities are ascertained.”