A frenzied outburst by young Member of Parliament for for Central Westmoreland Dwayne Vaz during a People’s National Party (PNP) rally has blown up big time in the media, Hype Life Magazine has learned.
In commenting on an incident surrounding the circumstances under which the office of a PNP Councillor was burnt down, Vaz began singing a violent song, “Weh Dem Feel Like,” by imprisoned Dancehall artiste Vybz Kartel, at a mass meeting at Mount Salem in St James on Thursday (Dec 10).
While Vaz went no further than the introduction and the DJ played only the first few lines of the dancehall hit:
“Hey, Ryno, a baby strength dem have, gal strength alone dem have
Grants Pen, line up di car dem and di bike and mek we run in pon dem tonight
A weh dem feel like? Dem skin too tough fi bleed?”
The use of violent Vybz Kartel lyrics on stage at a political rally is bad enough, considering that although Kartel was found guilty and sentenced to 35 years to life on murder charges in April 2014, he remains the favourite dancehall lyricist of most Jamaican youths.
[Tweet “Jamaican Political Leader Dwayne Vaz Uses One Of Vybz Kartel’s Most Violent Songs On PNP Rally Stage”]
Dwayne Vaz has subsequently apologised for the incident.
The MP has moved to downplay his use of the lyrics of incarcerated dancehall star Vybz Kartel on a People’s National Party (PNP) stage in Mount Salem, St James, last Thursday, claiming that persons misunderstood the context.
According to Vaz, he was in no way suggesting any form of violent reaction to the fire at the PNP office.
“My repeating the words of the song was only in reference to loading our supporters into vehicles to go to mass meetings as we normally do, and so I want to make it abundantly clear that there was no intent on my part with regard to anything to do with violence or encouraging violence or for any form of retaliation,” claimed Vaz, who has been reported to the political ombudsman and is being investigated by his party.
It seems that the line between crime and partisan politics has become so blurred that even Vaz has missed it. Therefore, it certainly wouldn’t be the figment of anyone’s imagination to think that those lyrics could soon be echoed within the chamber of Gordon House.
In the meanwhile, General Secretary of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) Dr Horace Chang has lodged a formal complaint with the Political Ombudsman following a call by Dwayne Vaz for supporters of the People’s National Party (PNP) to “load up di gun dem”.
Chang said that the statement was a clear breach of the political code of conduct, which could serve to incite political violence and has called on the PNP hierarchy to rein in its members and to discipline Vaz for his “reckless and irresponsible utterance”.
Chang called on all politicians to be conscious of their action and words to ensure that the election campaign is peaceful.
He said the Opposition Leader would be writing to Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller to express his concern and restate his call for a joint symbolic walk of communities to promote peace and political maturity.
It is not the first time that an MP has ventured outside the limits of accountability on the political platform, but it is probably the first time that the society has been so dramatically alerted to how thin the line has become between political correctness and political carelessness.