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Member of Parliament for South Western St. Elizabeth, Donald Barrington Buchanan was sworn in today (October 13), as the new Minister of Information and Development, at a ceremony officiated by Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Professor Kenneth Hall, at King’s House. Mr. Buchanan replaces Senator Colin Campbell, whose resignation from his Ministerial post took effect on October 9.
The swearing-in ceremony was attended by Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, Cabinet Ministers, family members and well wishers.
In her address, the Prime Minister described Mr. Buchanan as, “a veteran in the business, who now takes responsibility for this very important portfolio in the Cabinet”. Emphasising that the Development and Information areas of Government are major and critical components, with significant expansion taking place in both areas, Mrs. Simpson Miller said Mr. Buchanan would not be afforded “the luxury of any honeymoon”.
She charged the new Minister to, “do unto others as you would have them do to you..I hardly need to remind you that the power we exercise as leaders is on behalf of and in the interest of the people of this country”. Extending her welcome to the Cabinet, Mrs. Simpson Miller said she was confident the new Minister would give effective service to the work of government and exercise the sacred trust of public office.
Addressing members of the media after the ceremony, Mr. Buchanan said that as the Information and Development Minister, he would seek to ensure that greater emphasis is placed on the development of the South Coast, given that the largest deposit of the country’s population resides in the vicinity.
Of the Information aspect of his portfolio, he noted that while freedom of the press has grown tremendously in the last two decades, the Government intends to further media freedom in Jamaica, but also to respect personal privacy in homes and businesses, without undue harassment.
Press freedom, he elaborated, “is a partnership between us [government] and the media, in getting out accurate information and opinions to the people, because if the people are not engaged in discussion, then we become moribund”.