Christopher Tufton and Jamaica Moves: Just Doing His Job or Did He Overstep The Boundaries?
Health Minister Dr. Christopher Tufton pushed for the government’s initial funding of Jamaica Moves and helped oversee the implementation of the health and fitness campaign, an 18º North investigation has found.
The campaign was a project of Market Me, whose principal was alleged on social media to have been romantically involved with the minister, allegations that have not been proven or explicitly denied.
The details of the role the minister played come from the minutes of an agency of the Ministry of Health & Wellness, the National Health Fund (NHF), which funded the project. The latest round of minutes was obtained in November 2021 under the Access to Information Act (ATI), even though 18º North had requested the records a year earlier in December 2020.
The minutes of the Feb. 15, 2017 Finance, Operations & Institutional Benefits Committee meeting reveal that NHF CEO, Everton Anderson, reported to the members that “meetings” had been “held with the Minister [Dr. Tufton] and the Permanent Secretary [Sancia Bennett Templer] who indicated that this project was one of their top priority and we may more than likely be sustaining an annual grant for this programme.”
Video: One of Jamaica Moves’ public service announcements featuring Health Minister Dr. Christopher Tufton, who had been the main spokesperson for the initiative. Credit: Jamaica Moves.