Mon | Dec 5, 2022

Maroon mayhem

Currie says claims of his ouster is fake news amid leadership struggle

Published:Tuesday | September 13, 2022 | 12:08 AMJanet Silvera/Senior Gleaner Writer
Accompong Chief Richard Currie
Accompong Chief Richard Currie
Currie, the youngest chief to be elected to lead the Accompong Maroons.
Currie, the youngest chief to be elected to lead the Accompong Maroons.
Scores of Maroons gathered under the Kindah Tree in Accompong, St Elizabeth, on January 6.
Scores of Maroons gathered under the Kindah Tree in Accompong, St Elizabeth, on January 6.
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WESTERN BUREAU:

MAROON CHIEF Richard Currie says reports that he was ousted by a unanimous vote by the Accompong Town Maroon Council of Elders is fake news, adding that the provision in the maroon constitution by which such an action could have been undertaken was not lawfully invoked.

In a release to the media on Saturday, following earlier reports that he had been ousted, Currie cited Article 1, Section 2 of the Constitution for the Sovereign State of Accompong, which speaks to the procedure to remove a maroon chief, to undermine the claims of the ‘council of elders’.

Article 1 Section 2 states: In the event of impeachment, or removal of the chief, deputy chief, and any of the council members, they will be tried by the executive council. The findings of the executive council will be brought to the Full Maroon Council for review.

If the individual is found guilty, a meeting of the Full Maroon Council will be called with the maroon citizens of the Sovereign State of Accompong to reveal the findings. A vote will be taken by written ballots for the removal or impeachment of the chief, the deputy chief or any council member(s).

“This article has NOT been lawfully invoked by the Full Maroon Council, nor is there any provision in the Accompong Constitution affording any council outside the Full Maroon Council to execute the laws under this said article,” Currie stated.

Like Currie, Ramone Green, the secretary of the Accompong Maroon Council, who was elected to his post in the general election 22 months ago, is also refuting the claim being made by the elders.

“Obviously, someone is doing something behind the scenes. There has been no such meeting that I am aware of, and nothing was brought to the full council,” said Green.

He further noted that the council comprises 16 members, and if a decision like this is to be made, it would need one-third of the votes and none of the members voted.

On a personal level, Green said he remains in a state of shock, as he only heard of the ousting Sunday morning when the report of the ouster began circulating.

According to the constitution governing local maroons, the role of the council, whose members are appointed by the colonel (chief), are clearly defined and not ambiguous in interpretation.

The provision reads as follows: ‘Maroon council members are appointed by the Colonel-in-Chief (Colonel), while the Colonel is officially elected by the community as the Head of Government. Each Maroon Community (Accompong, Nanny Town, Charles Town, Trelawny Town, and Scotts Hall) has its own independent Maroon Council with legislative authority. https://en.m.wikipedia.org.

A telephone number attached to the press release claiming Currie was ousted appears not to be in service or is not turned on, as efforts to get a comment from the elders proved futile.

Former council member Alex Moore Minott, who was appointed minister of foreign affairs at the commencement of Currie’s administration, but recently resigned for personal reasons, said that, up until a few months ago, there was no standing council of maroons.

Moore Minott went on to state that the constitution has no provision for what the elders claimed they did in their press release.

According to the elders, they voted on Saturday to convict Currie on more than 27 impeachment charges, along with a vote of ‘No Confidence’, which they say automatically deposed him from his position as chief of Accompong Town.

However, Moore Minott said the constitution sets out the procedure for impeachment and what the elders said they did, is not how it should be done. He said he had information that persons who ran and lost in the election 22 months ago are the ones behind an alleged plot to oust Currie.

janet.silvera@gleanerjm.co