I recall a key mantra of the Grenada Revolution, “Not just a society, but a just society”. This is exactly what our people are crying out for today! Simply a fair chance to make it on this little rock! A chance to make it without having to show fealty, loyalty and obedience to a person or a group.
Peter Tosh puts it this way, “I don’t want no peace, I need equal rights and justice”!
To those who wish to rail upon the teachers, I say, let’s begin with fairness and justice! The Prime Minister has declared himself to be a multi-millionaire and yet he still depletes the scarce resources of our Treasury to give a high paying job to his son within his own ministry!
The NNP administration continues to hire very high paid political advisers, yet then say to us that the Treasury has little money and our revenue collection is below the projection for 2021. The NNP administration now has the highest number of Permanent Secretaries in the Public Service at any time in Grenada’s history. This is because Khief and his administration simply breaks up ministries into smaller and smaller pieces to accommodate his loyal servants and to sideline those he says that he cannot trust.
There are scores of people in the Public Service who are being paid every month to do nothing at all. Is this how we do it when we have little money to spend?
Khief likes to quote from the Bible when he does his public addresses, because his view is that Grenada is a religious community and he wants to say that he relies on the Holy Scriptures. Well let me share one with you that he will never even try to implement.
“He has declared to you, O man, what is good;
And what does Jehovah require of you,
But that you would execute justice and love mercy
And walk humbly with your God”
Yes, justice, mercy and humility; qualities that cannot be seen in our leadership.
Khief recently ran for cover and support from the religious community and they reminded him of when he did the same thing after he took away money from the very low salary of teachers in 2018 and he promised to get back to them on their recommendations and he never did.
Khief is lying to even the pastors and priests! Unfortunately, they were not bold enough to remind him of his, “Don’t go there!”, because he himself was ashamed of his relationship with the young worker in his very own ministry; a relationship that was rewarded by a promotion to the rank of Permanent Secretary. Khief will not even declare his marital status, and his personal relationships, a requirement of Grenada’s own AML/CTF regime and Integrity legislation that was passed in Parliament by this very NNP administration.
Khief wants even members of the Boards of State-Owned Enterprises to declare the assets of their husbands and wives while he will not declare the assets of the numerous Politically Exposed Persons (PEPS) that are associated with him.
Where is the justice, when you can just shut down the restaurant of a local person with no notice, no proper investigation, no due process; while a few feet away there is a similar establishment of a minister where similar conditions prevail?
Where is the justice when week after week similar establishments owned by NNP supporters are allowed to operate in the same parish and other parishes, in the presence of police officers and with members of the police force as patrons, without any question or interruption, outside of the so-called Covid protocols?
Where is the justice when the NNP members and their supporters are able to host mass gatherings of hundreds of persons, outside of the so-called Covid protocols, in an unhindered manner and yet you get the “Pocket Commissioner” to arrest the President of the Grenada Union of Teachers and question him for hours about alleged violations of Covid protocols?
Why isn’t the “Pocket Commissioner” arresting the NNP Caretaker in St. George’s North East constituency, the Prime Minister and his other ministers and NNP leaders when the same Covid protocols are breached in their mass gatherings and fund raisers?
I understand that the “hands” of the hierarchy of the Royal Grenada Police Force are tied because as far as they are concerned there is supposed to be no gathering of over a handful of people according to law.
It is a reasonable conclusion Khief and his NNP have deliberately created this state of uncertainty so that his servants and agents can “use their discretion” under his direction, and so do his bidding without committing clearly unlawful acts.
I am advised that the Minister of Health criticised the acting CMO for not properly “using his discretion” when he shut down Coconut Beach last week. What a ball of confusion!
This is what Khief has done to our country!
(I). Maintain a State of Emergency even when there is no Covid in Grenada!
(II). Keep the State of Emergency until an undefined and arbitrary percentage of Grenadians accept the vaccine!
(III). Make laws in Cabinet that are deliberately arbitrary and imprecise!
(IV). Use the powers of the state machinery to pressure any person or group that will not fall in line!
It seems that, as a nation, we do not learn from our mistakes. We do not appear to be good students of history. I was living in Grenada just before the Grenada Revolution in 1979 and the GULP administration was implementing the very same “playbook” as Khief’s NNP is using right now. Is it that they do not really care about poor people or that their main priority is to continue in power?
Our young people picked up arms in 1979, but I thank God that they are good students of our history, even though Khief and his NNP have tried their best to hide it from them and not promote it.
Our young people will not be involved in a violent revolution again, but change will come and this NNP regime will fall!
This NNP regime has failed or refused to even attempt to find a way for poor people to survive the economic disaster caused by this State of Emergency that has been imposed, not by Parliament, but by Khief and his gang in his Cabinet.
His Cabinet continues to enforce a curfew which makes no sense except to impose hardship on the poor persons who are hustling on a daily basis to make ends meet. The little bars and restaurants, the little shops and parlors, the Wall Street vendors, the people who make a dollar outside the locations of the entertainment events; these are the persons more seriously affected by this unconscionable, ridiculous and oppressive curfew!
Why does our Prime Minister hate poor people so? It seems like, “Everything he does he does against the poor people in Grenada”. Just this week they forced the vendors in the Vendor’s Market on Grand Anse beach to close for business at 10 p.m. while other more established and bigger places were allowed to open up until 11 p.m.
Young people, poor people, struggling people; there will be no real justice in Grenada until Keith Mitchell is sent into retirement with his concubine into the poorest parish in Grenada, to Lord it over the poor people there. That is where he feels safe; where his money can buy him favours and “protection”.
Just justice, that’s all we ask for and need in Grenada! The NNP under Khief has shown that they are incapable of giving that to us!
Cajeton Hood is a practicing Attorney-at-law who served as Attorney General during the 2013-18 rule of the New National Party government of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell