Taxpayers are footing the bill of Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Kamina Johnson Smith’s bid for the post of Secretary General of the Commonwealth, it was revealed today.
In a press release this evening, Johnson Smith stated that she was nominated by the Government of Jamaica as Jamaica’s candidate for the position, therefore, “As I previously advised publicly, travel costs are being met through the budget of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other support is being provided by the Office of the Prime Minister. Furthermore, no financing has been provided by any other government.”
The Gleaner has sought to get answers regarding several issues about the race for the office for quite some time, including financing, but to no avail.
Yesterday, The Sunday Gleaner probed the matter further, as analysts noted that the Government was accountable to the people of Jamaica and they have a right to know the details.
According to Minister Johnson Smith, “There are no secrets around the financing of this campaign. We remain fully committed to transparency and accountability. The cost of the campaign will therefore be reported at the campaign’s conclusion.”
Minister Johnson Smith also thanked “all Jamaicans who continue to express their support and encouragement for the campaign”.
The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting will be held from June 20-25 in Kigali, Rwanda.
Johnson Smith is going up against incumbent Commonwealth Secretary General, Baroness Patricia Scotland.
SOURCE: JAMAICA GLEANER