Reggae Superstar Buju Banton has warned the Jamaican Government that it is “pushing the people to the brink” with the restrictions being imposed to control the spread of COVID-19.
The Gargamel, an outspoken critic of restrictions imposed on Jamaicans by the Government in the fight against the virus appeared to be referencing fines imposed on 42-year-old Stephen Witter of Stony Hill, St Andrew.
The Grammy Award winner, said the State was perpetuating “oppression and tyranny”.
Witter had pushed back against the police who attempted to reprimand him in Hellshire, St Catherine. Witter was convicted of breaching the Disaster Risk Management Act, disorderly conduct, indecent language, obstructing the police, and using abusive and calumnious language.
The Destiny hitmaker said that he has noticed a trend whereby persons are pressured by state actors or members of the general population whenever they express certain views. He said that there are many people who would like to speak out, but because of their status, or the fear of offending others, they choose to keep quiet.
“You Jamaicans better wake up before dem come kick off unno door one-one and do like yuh see dem a do all over the place,” he warned in a video posted on social media.
The Government has been using the Disaster Risk Management Act to control the movement of people as the world battles the COVID-19 pandemic. Jamaica has been under night curfews for a year, there is mandatory mask mandate, entertainment venues have been shutdown and gathering limits are set at no more than 10 persons.
Buju Banton has not been pleased.
“Do not use the Office of the Prime Minister or the office of whichever politician yuh is to pressure the citizens. You are creating tyranny,” he said.
“Everybody lockdown inna dem house but nuhbody nuh waah talk because dem and unno a friend. Me nuh waah nuh friend and me nuh waah nuttin from unno. Me waah unno free the people and mek the people dem live and stop this tyranny weh unno dealing with. Unno pushing Jamaica people to the brink,” the Gargamel said.
“Unno a lock we down and a try mek wi extinct. Its crazy! Free the people dem.”
Buju Banton’s rebuke of the Government’s approach to dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic comes as Jamaica embarks on a programme to vaccinate its citizens against the virus. Politicians over the age of 60 are due to get the jab today, Tuesday. However, Prime Minister Andrew Holness and Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton have not yet taken to vaccine.
“Unno a tell we bout shot and none a unno naah tek nuh shot. A who unno a try fool bout yah,?” Buju queried. “We waah see unno tek weh unno a try gi my people fi tek.”