A board meeting of the National Health Fund (NHF), an agency of Jamaica’s Ministry of Health & Wellness, had just gotten underway. Businessman Christopher Zacca took the reins as he’d done at all the meetings since being appointed chairman in April 2016.
According to the minutes of the NHF board meetings obtained under the Access to Information Act (ATI), he’d announced he was stepping down as chairman to take a position in the private sector. Former Member of Parliament Gregory Mair, also present that day, was to take over. Other newly-appointed directors were in attendance as well since there had been three recent departures on the 10-member board.
“This meeting would primarily be for information gathering and transition,” the minutes recorded Mr. Zacca to have said while also revealing that the minister was expected to arrive later in the meeting. “All major decisions would be deferred until the next meeting of the Board.” At 8:55 a.m., Health Minister Dr. Christopher Tufton joined, and Mr. Zacca suspended the agenda and handed over to him.
It’s what happened after that could begin to shed light on whether Dr. Tufton had a role in influencing the awarding of millions of dollars to a company co-owned by Lyndsey McDonnough, said to be personally linked to Dr. Tufton, to execute his ministry’s healthy-lifestyles program, Jamaica Moves.