Gloom on the ‘Gaza Strip’ in Waterford

Dwayne Hibbert, a resident of
the area of Waterford known
as ‘Gaza Strip’, is a picture of
dejection yesterday as he
struggles to come to terms
with the news that his hero
Vybz Kartel was found guilty
of murder. (PHOTO: GARFIELD
ROBINSON)

 
WATERFORD, Portmore — Dwayne Mexican Hibbert was in a joyful mood hours before
the Vybz Kartel verdict was handed down in the Supreme Court yesterday.

Hibbert, a resident of the section of Waterford called ‘Gaza’, where
Kartel has had considerable influence, moved around happily as he
flashed the Gaza strip ‘W’ on his fingers, predicting that there would
have been a not guilty verdict for his hero Kartel, who is also known in
that tough section of the Portmore municipality as the ‘World Boss’.

Hibbert, apparently enjoying the moment as the cameras focussed on him,
took reporters on a tour of the section of Waterford where Kartel, whose
real name is Adidja Palmer, lived.

Just over an hour after the tour, Hibbert began singing “Free World
Boss”, again flashing his ‘W’ as the verdict was being announced.
Cameras trained on him, he carried on until a reporter told him “It’s
guilty, eno”. 

His countenance immediately changed, and so too the mood
of the other people who had gathered and were optimistic that their
‘godfather’ would be freed of murder.

Those gathered around radios as they listened to the report from the
Supreme Court seemed crestfallen. They said nothing for a while, trying
to make sense of the news.

“Send in the children,” one man said in a
serious tone. His order was immediately obeyed.

Police, aware of Kartel’s influence in that section of Waterford, maintained their presence in the community.

Hibbert, lingering in the general area, was seen slumped against a shop
made of a shipping container with his hands on his head, looking close
to tears. His hands then fell limp to his side and he trained his head
skyward as if asking God why.

“Mi caan believe,” he moaned. “Kartel a mi deejay. Gaza fi life. Him
have him youth and babymother to take care of. Dem sink the deejay.”

Long faces could be seen all over in the community as people spoke in hushed tones.

“He never did anything wrong,” said a woman who gave her name as ‘Gaza Too Sweet’.

“The Bible said if yu right hand offends you, cut it off,” she said, but did not explain what she meant by

that statement.

Another woman, who refused to give her name, said that Kartel should
have been given a chance because he didn’t kill anyone who belonged in
the upper echelon of society.

The police came under verbal assault from female residents who jeered
them when they instructed the crowd to leave the road and go home.

“Unnu can gwaan now. No more $5,000 fi unnu,” said one female resident.

Earlier, as children bearing placard and shouting “Free world boss”
converged on Chantilly Road where Kartel once lived, the police warned
that the kids would be taken and their parents called to account.

The first radio announcement that the verdict was 10-1, without saying
what the verdict was, caused some confusion among the Waterford
residents, but they remained confident and continued their intermittent
chant of ‘Free world boss’.

An elderly woman, who gave her name as Hope, stood by watching her
crestfallen neighbour. She, too, seemed broken. “I thought he was going
to get a second chance,” she said after the jurors had returned for
further deliberation.

Their hopes were, however, dashed as they
painfully listened to the guilty verdict against Kartel and three of his
co-accused.

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