The New Today

Commentary

You’re fired, CEO

One day before the Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics its show director Kentaro Kobayashi has been fired! A clip of his 1998 act surfaced on social media, in his comedic routine he used a holocaust joke in which he used the phrase ”Let’s play the holocaust”! He was fired because of a JOKE he made about a sensitive issue!

Mr. Kobayashi apologized profusely after his dismissal and accepted that he ought not to have said what he did. The organizing Committee chief apologized to all who would have heard or witnessed the clip.

Our Prime Minister was not making a joke when he played that racist card in our Parliament! By far the most sensitive issue in the world today is that of racism and especially the topic of black and white. The Prime Minister, Khief, our CEO, was deadly serious and even threatened to do or say even more if he had not been in Parliament! He has refused to apologize and no one has even demanded an apology or any form of expression of remorse from him! Is this what our standards are, Grenada?

We have the virtual CEO of our country conducting himself in this despicable manner and yet no one dares to make any demands of him. The truth is that he must be a relic, a dinosaur, or so wrapped up in his sense of self-worth that he is unable to see the effects of his conduct and words on the country that he leads.

Our Prime Minister is the literal face of our nation and he sets the tone and sends the message about what our country stands for! Do we accept such conduct or are we going to just “sweep it under the carpet”? If not, it is time to say to his group, the NNP, you’re fired!

It is time to say to this reckless man who has shown no proper class or standard or statesmanship, CEO, you’re fired! Khief, you have disgraced yourself and the entire country! It is said that the late Dr. Eric Williams used to simply present an unsigned letter of resignation to the minister who was to be fired to give him a chance to resign and save face. Well, Khief, CEO, has a chance to do just that right now.

Moral decay
Our CEO has presided over the moral decay of our public service and our country by his personal decisions and choices. He has actively undermined the rule of law and the functioning of the democratic institutions and bodies that have been set up to ensure that fairness and equality reigns in Grenada.

Khief unashamedly controls the Parliament, the Police Force, the Public Service Commission, the Integrity Commission, the lucrative CBI program, the NIS, and even Planning and Development; all to their demise! When he brazenly has his son and his concubine working in the ministry that he constitutionally presides over as Legal Adviser (sic) and Permanent Secretary, respectively, that says everything about our dear Prime Minister.

The longer he remains as our CEO the deeper our country sinks into the mire of decadence and the more work we will have, to literally dig ourselves out when he is gone. Remember Grenada, no one remains in power forever; even Queen Elizabeth II will have to leave office soon enough! We need to and have to move on whether we like it or not.

Under our CEO, Khief, Grenada has developed a name as being a haven for crooks and con men. Shady individuals and criminals have found a destination over the years where they are able to operate with little fear of reprisal and some are even appointed as our diplomatic agents!

Khief fought and failed for years to have Victor Kozeny (the Pirate of Prague) approved by Her Majesty’s office in London as a diplomatic agent. This is a man who he ended up in jail soon thereafter. And all Khief had to say was that he didn’t know! Wow! He means that he just didn’t care!

As a nation we keep on going from Ponzi scheme scandal to passport scandal to offshore bank scandal; all under the same CEO, Khief! Resteiner, Van Brink, Kozeny, the Shrimp Farm people and many more crooks were all brought here by our CEO. While Grenada’s name is dragged in the mud, while Grenada gets poorer, while our nation’s poverty index grows, our CEO unashamedly declares more and more personal wealth!

Grenada, when are we going to say, enough is enough? When are we going to say, you’re fired, CEO?

Squandered resources
When deciding whether to fire a CEO you look at the financial impact of his time in office. You consider the profit and/or loss caused to the company by his decisions. You cannot be fooled by his speeches and his grandiose schemes, promises and plans. You look at what has actually been achieved or done.

Where are the unaccounted development funds that have been lost in the Shrimp Farm project? How do we account for the tens of millions thrown away in the fight with WRB? In spite of the fact that we had to pay many times over for the shares and had to throw away almost EC$40 million in lawyer and expert fees, we still have lower efficiency of service, lower prices offered to private generators of electricity and no lowering of the price per unit of electricity.

It was all a very expensive political game and campaign of spite and ill will played by Khief and his cohorts; all at the expense of Grenada. We still have hundreds of millions to spend on the repairs to our Western Main Road which was damaged due to obvious political interference in the decision-making process of the Planning and Development Unit.

Our CEO has refused to commission an inquiry so that the public would know clearly why we now have to waste several hundreds of millions of dollars on further road construction. Now, the very ambassador chosen by our CEO has gotten the World Bank’s own ICSID to accept his complaint against the government that is run by our CEO, regarding unfair treatment and the malicious destruction of a multimillion-dollar project in Grenada. Another loss and potentially tens of millions of dollars wasted due to the conduct of our business by our CEO!

I am sure the lawyers of Ambassador Newfield will raise Khief’s racist comments in Parliament to convince the court on their discrimination point just as the owners of Rex Grenadian used Khief’s common and nasty words to them in the private meeting in his office in the Ministerial Complex. The results of those words was that the court held up the otherwise completely legal acquisition of the Rex Grenadian hotel by the government. We can go on and on!

Our CEO really does not care about the outcome of his reckless actions because he knows that he does not have to pay for them personally. Look at how many court judgments that we have to pay as a people! Judgments that could have been avoided and millions of dollars that could have been saved and used for our benefit and development, but for the vengeful, stubborn and reckless conduct of our CEO!

Is about time to say to Khief, you’re fired, CEO!

No proper action plan
What is even more alarming for our country is that there does not seem to be a proper and workable plan in place for our development as a nation. Where is the 2030 plan that was promised? By the way he is blaming Dr. Patrick Antoine on that matter! Well maybe Khief should exchange places with Dr. Antoine! This is most Laughable!

It seems that our economic hopes are centered and based upon tourism, selling passports and the School of Medicine. No plan for agricultural development! No plan for education! No plan for youth development! No plan for manufacturing! No plan for industrial development! The jobs that this CEO speaks about are all very low level, low-paying service jobs with little or no real prospects for personal development for our young people.

As a result, the brain drain of Grenada has amplified as our brightest sons and daughters seek employment and personal development elsewhere. I truly fear that an entire generation will be mismanaged and lost while we allow this CEO to continue to mismanage our affairs and economy; while we allow him to stumble his way and use his powers and influence to manipulate election victory after election victory by his schemes and tomfoolery.

The size of the informal and official Public Service continues to grow as more and more traffic wardens, health and other wardens are hired. Jobs requiring no real skills and training. I now see several strange and untrained people giving traffic directions and issuing orders for the flow of traffic in the middle of St. George’s on a busy business morning.

What is happening to our country? Our CEO Khief seems to revel in arbitrariness and the rule of the untrained and unprofessional ones in our society. This is where his real kingdom lies! He has mastered the numbers game to good effect because a vote is a vote in our democracy. It is therefore high time for the thinking and caring ones in our country to rise up from slumber and apathy and exert influence in our communities to ensure that proper governance is reestablished in our country. It is high time to say to Khief, you’re fired CEO!

Grenada, let us agree that we are really going nowhere under this CEO, Khief. Let us open our eyes and realize that we need to change course and take our chances on a new leadership direction for our country. We cannot take back what has been lost but surely can “stop the rot”! It is time to move on! This CEO must go now!

Cajeton Hood is an attorney-at-law and served Attorney General under the 2013-18 New National Party government of current Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell