Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, has committed to ensuring that significant repairs are done to the dilapidated house in which the family of the late Susan Bogle resides.
It is alleged that Ms. Bogle, 44 years of age, was killed at her home during a joint police-military operation in the community of August Town in St. Andrew, on May 27.
Mr. Holness has also appointed son of the late Ms. Bogle, Omari Stephens, as a Goodwill Ambassador for his Positive Jamaica Foundation, and will provide him with a monthly stipend for one year to help care for his three dependents.
The Prime Minister made the announcements during his visit to the family’s house in August Town on Wednesday (June 3).
“As far as I can intervene to deal with this, what I have done today, is to speak to the National Housing Trust (NHT) to say to them that there is a case to make about having some repairs done; significant repairs, because I think [their house] needs to be demolished and rebuilt. So, I have spoken to them (NHT) and they have agreed that both through their staff welfare and through other resources, they will deal with this situation,” Mr. Holness said.
The Prime Minister emphasised that renovation is not enough, and that a proper structure that can accommodate the son and his three dependents will be provided.
Mr. Holness said he is “personally touched” by Mr. Stephens’ story of how he cared for his mother and siblings.
“I take note of what you said to me, that you have three dependents that are otherwise abled, [which] you have to take care of, and I have heard the story. I have been asking about you and how you manage, and I heard before you go to work, you have to take care of them and provide them with breakfast and when you come home, you have to make sure that they have dinner and that you’re basically the sole bread winner, and Jamaica needs to hear this story,” Mr. Holness said.
“I wouldn’t mind you working with us on the positive side of things to show Jamaicans, out of the depths of despair there is hope and we can still keep a positive outlook on life,” he added.
In response, Mr. Stephens thanked the Prime Minister and other members of Government for their visit and inputs.
“Thank you for taking the time to be here. I really appreciate it as myself and my family face this tragedy… . We appreciate everything that you guys have been doing,” Mr. Stephens said.
“It is a trying time, and as you [Prime Minister] rightfully said, we’re just seeking justice and to ensure that something like this does not repeat itself and with your reassurance, we are grateful and it’s promising,” he said.