PM picks former personal assistant to head CDF
Kedesha Campbell, the former personal assistant to Prime Minister Andrew Holness, has been appointed to head the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) Programme Management Unit, based in the Office of the Prime Minister.
Her appointment follows the departure of long-standing head of the unit Moveta Munroe.
News of Campbell's appointment was sent in a letter to the CDF Committee of Parliament by the Office of the Prime Minister.
"This is to advise that Miss Moveta Munroe, former director of the Constituency Development Fund Programme Management Unit, left office as of 30th April, 2018. I am now informing (you) that Mrs Kedesha Campbell has now assumed the position as director, Constituency Development Fund Programme Management Unit, with effect from 1st May, 2018.
"I know you will join me in acknowledging the contribution of Miss Monroe during her tenure as we welcome Mrs Campbell to the programme," said Holness in the letter.
Campbell served as personal assistant to Holness during his tenure as minister of education and as opposition leader. He has publicly acknowledged her as "one of my most loyal workers".
Her appointment has triggered questions about the to decision-making process, with at least two CDF committee members querying whether some of the individuals who had worked with Munroe over the years, and who had experience with the programme, were not more qualified.
But government sources last week underscored that Campbell qualified for the post with more than her ties to the PM.
They noted that the quiet and unassuming Campbell is a hard worker who gets things done. She is a project management specialist with more than 10 years' experience in the public sector. Campbell holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of the West Indies, a postgraduate diploma, and is finalising her master's degree.
The sources further observed that Campbell has worked at the administration, project development, and management levels in the public sector and as a senior administrator in the private sector.
Munroe was appointed under the Bruce Golding administration following the 2007 general election and was kept in place by the Simpson Miller administration following its victory at the polls in 2011.
Both government and opposition MPs have had their run-ins with Munroe over the years, but for the most part, the unit's representatives have provided guidance to the parliamentarians.
The former Social and Economic Support Programme was renamed the CDF during Golding's tenure and seeks to improve the effectiveness of MPs by providing designated funding for constituency projects.
The main thrust of the CDF is said to promote human and infrastructure development at the community and constituency levels through the establishment of sustainable development projects.
To date, the CDF has rehabilitated houses for indigents, fixed roads, undertaken agricultural projects, repaired basic schools and community centres, provided back-to-school assistance, and assisted with sports and healthy lifestyle projects.