Give ZOSO a chance

September 08, 2017
A member of the Zone of Special Operations joint force interacts with students in Mount Salem, St James, on their first day back to school last Monday.

On several occasions, I have expressed in this space that many Jamaicans don't know what they want. The latest example as proof of this are the conversations surrounding the Zones of Special Operations (ZOSO), which was launched in St James a few days ago.

Immediately, 'experts' from the opposing People's National Party (PNP) began finding fault. They were all over the news and on social media espousing the narrative that the operations initiated to stem the wave of murders sweeping the country were sure to fail. Those critics included the former minister of national security, Peter Bunting, a man, who, at one time during his tenure, claimed that only "divine intervention" could stem the flow of blood. Suddenly, now that he is in opposition, he is an authority on crime-prevention methodology.

Similarly, other members of the opposing party and their rabid supporters went to town when news emerged that the crime figures presented by the security forces to the National Security Council justifying Mount Salem as where the first operation would be were inaccurate.

My understanding is that the initial figures said that there were 54 murders in and around that community. It was eventually borne out that there were "only 34 (murders) and 20 incidents of shooting".




When I saw the mad people jump on the bandwagon trying to make light of the situation, I was forced to ask myself if they have become so desensitised to murders that somehow 34 murders in a community of just more than 4,000 is something to scoff at.

You see, to me, 34 murders is 34 too many.

As for the social-media elements that people have a problem with, all I will say is that if that is what is bothering you, then the problem is not with the execution of the operation and its media-friendly strategy, the problem is with you.

Tens of thousands of people have been murdered in this country in the last 30 years since I moved to Kingston. By one means or another, thousands of guns have made their way on to our shores and into the hands of people who have nothing to do but walk around trying to prove how 'wicked' they are.

The time has come to stem that tide and allow law-abiding citizens the freedom to go about their business without fear. ZOSO might have some problems, and, hopefully, they will be ironed out. Work with the Government and help find those solutions as we all try to take our country back from the criminal elements that seem to be in control.

This is not the time to play politics. This is a glorious opportunity for us to unite against the common enemy.

Those hell-bent on seeing ZOSO fail are not loyal to this country and are more a part of the problem that afflicts us all.

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