Commentary

Admitted: I Am A Little Boy

“It is only a little boy or a little girl who will not admit it when they are wrong”.

The above were the words used by the Prime Minister of Grenada, Dr. Keith Claudius Mitchell during the sitting of Parliament on July 29th 2020. It stands to reason, therefore, that if I am able to demonstrate to you some of the countless cases where this same Dr. Mitchell has been glaringly wrong while holding office, and he has not admitted or will admit to it, then in his own declaration he is a little boy.

One of our deceased great Kaiso bards, “The Tangler”, already concluded on that little boy point long ago.

A tricky little boy, the COVID bill
No, no, no, Mr. Prime Minister, it not just the “roll out” of the bill that is wrong, it is the very bill itself and what it sets out and plans to achieve. Dr. Mitchell is still standing on the floor of Parliament and perpetuating lies and deception. You damn tricky little boy!

The NNP bill, which they deliberately tried to pass right after the weekend when we were scared of an upcoming tropical storm, went against well-established principles of consultation. That move is particularly sinister because they know that Parliament is just a rubber stamp because they have a 14 to 1 majority.

Leaving behind that point, the bill is seeking to abrogate, stifle and remove the exercise of basic fundamental rights of Grenadians. Maybe this bill can be passed in Guyana where the NNP AG is from, but surely not in Grenada! So, I hope when I show how wrong the passage of this bill would be Dr. Mitchell would return to Parliament and try to show that he is not a little boy.

Let me say that I welcome the attempt of the NNP AG to try to defend the indefensible. In doing this he is only showing that he is a true legal mercenary, in the same mold as THE WILDMAN. Additionally, when he speaks we get a better view of the deception of our Prime Minister.

When Dr. Mitchell says they have withdrawn the bill so what’s the big deal, he is trying to give us a false sense of security. Do not believe that the NNP has changed their intention to pass the bill. The NNP AG has very plainly said to the public that this decision not to table the bill is “only a temporary setback”.

Thank God that we have a constitution which is the supreme law. Thank God that we have young people who are beginning to wake up to the   reality of the nature of the person and his group that are in power in Grenada.

Thank God that the constitution prevents the change of some very important parts of itself, the constitution, except by a vote of a two-thirds majority of Grenadians, the same people who voted in the NNP into office. The NNP tried to change important parts of the constitution on two (2) occasions over the 2017-2018 period and the people’s answer was a resounding NO!

Sections 3 to 13 of our constitution guarantees certain basic fundamental rights to all of us and those rights are protected by the two-thirds referendum provision.

Here are some of the rights that the NNP bill seeks to interfere with:

(I). Section 3 – our right to personal liberty,

(II). Section 6 – our right not to have our property taken away without prompt compensation; like taking away our goods or forcing us to pay for tests and for accommodation.

(III).   Section 7 – protection from arbitrary search or entry; the bill says they can break open our homes without a warrant.

(IV).   Section 8 – protection of the law; they want to send us before Magistrates that the NNP has appointed.

(V).   Section 11 – freedom to assemble and associate with whoever we want whenever we want.

(VI). Section 12 – freedom to move about, going where we want to in public places.

Section 14 of our constitution clearly states that those rights which I have identified above may only be departed from if there is a law in place that allows a departure from those rights when such a departure is reasonably justifiable during a period of public emergency.

The plain reason why the NNP wanted to pass the bill was to try to legalise their breach of our fundamental rights under the cover of ordinary law and without the need to have a state of emergency declared.

To break it all down now:

(1). There must be a law that allows the Governor General to declare that a state of emergency exists.

(2) That law must explain the conditions that must exist before the Governor General can declare that a state of emergency exists.

(3). Even if such a law exists the citizen can go to court to challenge:

(i). whether the state of emergency declared was in keeping with the law upon which the Governor General relied in declaring the state of emergency; and

(ii). whether the measures allowed under the law are justifiable for dealing with the situation existing in Grenada, not in the world.

(4). The existence of that public emergency has to be declared by the Governor General NOT under the direction of the Cabinet or some other power or person.

(5).Section 17 of the constitution allows the declaration by the Governor General to last a maximum of 21 days except if it is extended by Parliament for a maximum period of 6 months for any extension.

This wickedness is made all the more apparent because the NNP administration was advised that there was no law in force to deal with the COVID pandemic or any other public health emergency. They were advised to amend one or some of our laws to make provision for a public health emergency or to pass an act to allow for the declaration of a state of emergency by the Governor General in the event of a public health emergency.

Based on the statements made by the NNP AG, they did not want to be restricted by the need to declare a state of emergency in order to interfere with our fundamental rights. They wanted the power to declare virtual martial law on Grenada by means of an ordinary piece of legislation at a time when the Cabinet is essentially the same as Parliament.

There is only one word for this, FASCISM! Yes, our Prime Minister is a little boy and a fascist!

More of the little boy evidence

GRENLEC and WRB/GPP
Of course, Keith Mitchell was wrong about WRB and he knew it and lied about it. He knew that what he referred to as high unit cost of electricity in Grenada was due to his tax regime and his refusal to give subsidies that would lower the price of electricity for each Grenadian, but he lied and said it was because of a greedy WRB.

He later admits in Parliament that WRB, “did nothing wrong”, but only after the ICSID arbitrators said so and after ICSID has punished us with a bill of over EC$200 million and growing.

Instead of admitting wrong, begging WRB/GPP on our behalf and truly working with them to increase renewable energy percentage and lower the  unit   cost   of electricity in Grenada, he remains silent and now it seems that he is determined to do a deal with more foreigners, most likely more Chinese, to take over the WRB/GPP shares. Little boy! Little boy!

CBI confusion and corruption
From a massive deSavary deal with prime real estate conveyed for $1, one of the private benefits of which was massive support for elections; this changed into a proposed real estate development which collected many of millions of dollars without producing the promised real estate development; this changed to a sale of the real estate development for millions of dollars. Keith Mitchell was wrong.

  • A proposed shrimp farm project which was   the front for the collection of millions of dollars from investors for the development of Grenada, from which the millions collected cannot be accounted for.
  • This swindle was   facilitated by the failure or refusal of Keith Mitchell to implement schedules that were drafted to protect Grenada from being deprived of the money collected under the shrimp farm project.
  • Keith tried to cover up by threatening to sue Claudette Joseph for repeating after him that he was an investor too. Keith Mitchell was wrong.

These are just 2 of many more examples of wrongs done under the CBI venture about which our Prime Minister needs to admit wrong, and yet he remains silent. Little boy! Little boy!

Oil and Gas
Who am I to suggest that it was  wrong for the   Prime Minister of Grenada to engage the company GPG to work with us to exploit our marine resources in this field? I am not an expert in the field of oil exploration and development and I dare not utter a word about whether or not the Share Purchase Agreement or other foundation documents regarding the deal sufficiently favoured the people of Grenada. But in March 2018 Keith Mitchell used his declaration of a significant oil and gas find to urge the people of Grenada to vote   for him and not to allow, “Nazim Burke to spend the oil money”, suggesting that financial benefits from the oil and gas development was   imminent.

Keith Mitchell was deceptive and wrong. Our Prime Minister now seeks to gloss over this issue and remains silent, not admitting his wrong. Little boy! Little boy!

Corrupting the Public Service
Keith Mitchell has gone public seeking to defend his decision not to honour the judgment of the court in the Dorset Charles and the Gemma Bain-Thomas matters. He has actively   and viciously promoted a sustained political campaign against genuine public servants who have been appointed to carry out the work of   government on a permanent basis.

Keith Mitchell has sought to cement his hold and control of the Ministry of Finance by an immoral act that he knows too well.

He then seeks to stifle public discussion on the matter by refusing to answer questions on the matter. However, the matter is the subject of an Integrity Commission complaint, which has   been dragging on for many months now.

Keith Mitchell is wrong morally and according to the anti-corruption laws that he himself passed in Parliament. Our Prime Minister now   seeks to say that, as the leading public servant in Grenada, it is his private business and some former administration was wrong to appoint Gemma and to give rights to Dorset and will not admit that he is wrong. Little boy! Little boy!

Just as our Prime Minister has said, it is time for us to get rid of little boys and girls from our Parliament.

Cajeton Hood is an attorney-at-law and served as Attorney General during the 2013-18 period in government of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell and his New National Party Administration.

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