By Ken Richards
BASSETERRE, St Kitts (WINN) -- Communications consultant Charles Jong of St Kitts and Nevis is in trouble with the opposition in Dominica.
The Lennox Linton-led United Workers Party has formally called for funds that Jong has received to date to be refunded to the state.
The UWP is pressing for the immediate cancellation of a contract between the government of Dominica and Jong, and has threatened legal action “to ensure that justice is done in the public interest.”
In a letter to Cabinet Secretary Steve Ferrol, opposition leader Hector John described Jong’s appointment as an “overtly political assignment”.
It’s an assignment he insisted should be paid for by the governing Dominica Labour Party and not the state’s treasury.
According to the Dominican opposition leader, Charles Jong has been “conspicuously engaged in blatant political campaign work for the Dominica Labour Party” since the commencement of the contract and for its duration to date.
However adviser to the Dominica government, senior counsel Anthony Astaphan, an associate of Jong, said the opposition in Roseau is making a huge fuss over nothing.
Astaphan has dismissed allegations that the communications consultant is an alleged hacker, and described him as a professional wanted for his expertise.
“From the time Charlie Jong started walking through the town of Roseau, the United Workers Party started to freeze, like they had seen a ghost, I just don’t understand it,” Astaphan told WINN FM.
He recalled that the opposition party and its supporters have been alleging that Jong is involved in “hacking, telephone tapping, I mean espionage. The hysteria is extra-ordinary”.
Asked whether those allegations were being made because of an assumption that the communications consultant has been engaged in such activity, Astaphan said that was not the case as far as he was aware.
The attorney told WINN FM that Jong had come “highly recommended to the prime minister by the government of St Kitts, by the government of St Vincent”.
Meanwhile opposition leader John also alleged that Jong has openly violated the legal arrangements under which the proceedings of Parliament are broadcast live to the people of Dominica.
He also accuses the communications consultant of having “threatened to be the worst nightmare of the leader of the opposition in the Parliament of Dominica”.
Dominica News Online reported last week that the Roosevelt Skerrit administration had entered into a one-year contract with Jong totaling $96,000 payable in 12 monthly payments in arrears at the rate of $8,000.
The UWP is calling for an EC$40,000 refund it said Jong has been paid to date.
The opposition in Basseterre described Charlie Jong as a political activist of the governing St Kitts and Nevis Labour Party.
Republished with permission of West Indies News Network