Minister of Health and Wellness Christopher Tufton did not mince words on Thursday afternoon (July 16) when directly questioned by journalist Zahra Burton if he cheated on his wife.
Tufton, fielding questions from the media at a virtual press conference, responded that his personal affairs were not up for discussion, and frankly no one’s business.
“I just want to ask thoroughly, did you cheat on your wife with any of the—” she probed before being cut off.
“First of all, that’s none of your business and I would prefer you would stick to questions around the operations of the ministry. And, just as I leave you to your private life, I would like you to allow me mine. Thank you very much,” Tufton quipped.
Permanent Secretary in the Health Ministry Dunstan Bryan, who initially fielded the question from Burton, mouthed “Oh, my God!” upon hearing the inquiry as the room and its occupants fell deathly silent.
The conference also addressed the ministry’s relationship with public relations agency, Market Me Consulting Limited, which the country was told had benefited from contracts upwards of $46.9 million.
Bryan, responding to media queries on Market Me, said the company made an unsolicited proposal, “which required that a direct contracting was approved and that approval was granted by the National Contracts Commission on December 2, 2016”.
He further indicated that the initial contract was in the sum of $15.9 million. Another contract was awarded to Market Me in the sum of $31 million for the Jamaica Moves programme in June 2019.
The direct and accusatory nature of Burton’s question elicited mixed reactions by Jamaicans on social media.
The sentiment being upheld was that of staunch condemnation as many felt the journalist was out of line with her questioning.
There are those, however, who defended Burton arguing that the question was important because it speaks to Minister Tufton’s character.
Do you think the question was appropriate, BUZZ fam?