Black Immigrant Daily News
Justice Minister Delroy Chuck has declared that freeness and “dead lef” mentality is creating problems for the country relative to the outcomes of some family disputes.
Chuck made the declaration while condemning family members who get into conflicts with each other over money or possessions that they did not earn.
At a dispute resolution function at Church Teachers’ College in Mandeville, Manchester on Friday, head of the parish’s police, Superintendent Shane McCalla, outlined such a case involving a family dispute over “dead lef”, which he said resulted in a man allegedly killing his own brother.
“Up to yesterday (Thursday) we had to lay charges unfortunately against a family member who, coming out of a land dispute after they buried their mother, ended up in the murder of their brother,” said McCalla.
The incident he was referring to was the January 19 murder of 48-year-old Michael Brown, who was visiting Mike Town, Manchester from the United Kingdom (UK) for his mother’s funeral.
He was shot dead by a lone gunman at a premises days after the funeral, and his 38-year-old brother, Lemone Brown, was arrested and subsequently charged relative to the killing.
The disclosure of the incident by the Manchester top cop prompted Chuck to make the pronouncement that ‘dead lef’ is creating problems.
“Nothing creates more problems than ‘dead lef’, and it is the freeness mentality that we have in this country,” said an irate Chuck.
“Everybody feels they must get something; if it is not from the Government, if is not from the pastors or the politician, they must get something out of what their parents leave. It belongs to them and they fight over it,” he stated.
He contended that in such cases, “there is no question of sharing appropriately”.
Added the senior politician: “Everybody wants the lion’s share and especially when, regrettably, the parents have not left a will.”
It is for that reason why he is stressing the need for persons to make wills.
“When you make a will, it at least indicates how the property will be shared when you die,” he stated.
According to Chuck, the frequent cases of family disputes is indicative of the wider problem where most Jamaicans, including students, seem unable to resolve disputes peacefully.
On that score, he said restorative justice, within which conflict resolution is a key component, is important, and urged more citizens to utilise it to resolve whatever challenges they may have with each other.