KINGSTON, Jamaica – Someone is stalking one of Jamaica’s eminent entrepreneurs, issuing death threats and sending threatening mail, one letter containing a bullet wrapped in tape.
Chief executive officer of Manpower and Maintenance Services Limited, Jamaica’s largest janitorial company, Audrey Hinchcliffe, said her life had been threatened.
She has gone public with the matter, highlighting the contents of four letters mailed to her from someone purporting to be a “concerned nurse“, accusing her of being a political activist and receiving government contracts because of her political connections with the former People’s National Party administration, reports the Jamaica Gleaner.
“At some other time, I will let you know the other ways in which Hinchcliffe’s days are numbered. There is nothing on the face of the earth that can save her,” states the chilling letter – reportedly sent to Health Minister Rudyard Spencer – from the “concerned nurse”.
A high-level investigation by the Half-Way Tree police is now in progress and forensic tests are being done on the bullet.
The letters, copies of which The Gleaner obtained, were addressed to Prime Minister Bruce Golding, the Minister of Health and Environment, Mr. Spencer and his parliamentary secretary, Aundre Franklin.
The name, LAMASA Ltd., another company with government contracts to provide cleaning and other services to three hospitals, also appeared in the letters, with its principal Lascelle Roach, also accused of being linked to the PNP.
The letters sent to Mrs. Hinchliffe are dated, August 4, September 26, October 23 and November 6, 2007.
“As a senior nurse it pains my heart to see what is happening to tax payers’ money via the awarding of these contracts to well-known PNP activists. And what bothers me even more is to know that your senior JLP representatives got this letter, the contents of which can be easily verified and yet nothing is said or done publicly about them,” the letter stated.
Mrs. Hinchliffe said the letters come as a total surprise, noting that she was not in conflict with her workers, competitors or anyone.
“I am of the view that whoever is the letter writer has some kind of obsession with me and that’s what makes it scary”.
She is not “taking it sitting down” as she called on the author of the letter to “come forward or stop it. It’s only a coward who would do this”.
Mrs. Hinchliffe said she has had discussions with Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Grace Allen-Young, and has submitted a copy of the letter dated August 4 for her attention.
Efforts to contact Dr. Allen- Young were futile as her phone rang without an answer and she was said to be in a meeting when we contacted her office.
“I have no reason to believe that anybody would be that vicious coming after me, I have no reason to think that anybody want to come after me for anything because all I do is run a business and live my life, so who would be coming after me with a bullet,” Mrs. Hinchliffe questioned.
“Of course it’s cause for concern – of course it’s frightening, when somebody is threatening you and your family and your property”.
She made it clear that she has won only one contract to provide maintenance services to the Spanish Town Hospital and that this contract was approved through the tender process.
President of the Nurses Association of Jamaica Edith Allwood Anderson told The Gleaner that she has seen copies of the letters.
She has distanced her association and the nursing fraternity from these allegations made against the company.
“Mrs. Hinchliffe is a distinguished manager that has worked in the Caribbean, she is a nurse extraordinaire.
“We the nurses hold Mrs. Audrey Hinchliffe in the highest regard and wish to disassociate ourselves totally from any person who think they can make comment on the character of Mrs. Hinchcliffe”.
She said the NAJ has never been advised about any disquiet about the performance of Manpower Maintenance Services Limited.
Meanwhile, Anserd Williams, Senior Vice President of LAMASA Ltd., said his company has never asked for political favours but has received contracts on merit.
The company provides maintenance services for the Kingston Public Hospital and Victoria Jubilee, Bustamante Hospital for Children and the Mandeville Hospital.
“For anybody to suggest that we have retained these contracts because of political favours is as far as the north is from the south in terms of reality,” Mr. Williams said.