THE NEW TODAY is calling upon the members of the new government of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) of Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell to pay particular attention to this week’s article from Special Correspondent as it focused on those mistakes of the past.
There is a lot of food for thought in the article which appears on Page 18 and should not be ignored by the NDC in its efforts to settle down in government and carry out what it promised for the June 23 general election – a Transformational Agenda.
It is still early days into the life of the administration but all those who are interested in the creation of a better Grenada than what existed under the Keith Mitchell dictatorship should constantly remind the new rulers now in charge of the State of the historical wrongs that they have a duty to correct in short order.
Too many capable and qualified civil servants who were sidelined by the past rulers on suspicion of being sympathetic to NDC are still estranged and watching from on the sideline as the NNP saboteurs continue to reign supreme in the public service.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Joseph Andall is in a better position than many of the new members of the Cabinet of Ministers to give his colleagues a gentle reminder as often as possible about some of those shortcomings that opened the door for the sabotage of the 2008-13 Congress government.
It was not only the unfortunate infighting for power among some members of the previous NDC government that led to its eventual collapse but the many deliberate acts of sabotage by elements who were left in key positions to push the agenda of the NNP and its leader, Keith Mitchell.
Minister Andall knows some of the players back then as many of them are still around and remain untouched even within his own ministry and should caution that this is no time to get comfortable in government.
These are the people who flourished financially under the rule of NNP and cannot be trusted and should be replaced as soon as possible in these positions because of their commitment and loyalty to a different political organisation.
THE NEW TODAY would also like to remind the new rulers that they have to settle down in government as fast as possible and carry out the mandate of the people who voted for regime change and just not an exchange of ministers and other personnel to execute the different portfolios of a government.
There are too many corrupt practices that were allowed under the former NNP administration and should be stamped out immediately and not allowed to fester and become a norm in our society.
Too many credible reports are in circulation of some civil servants receiving “kickbacks” in the awarding of contracts to private individuals for service to the government.
The new Ministers will have to make drastic changes in the policy that became the norm of the ousted rulers to hand-pick three cronies from their constituency as persons to be short-listed to get a contract to provide a particular service to the government.
It is well-known that the NNP elected Members of Parliament will identify these persons from within their respective constituencies and only the names of these specially selected persons keep revolving when contracts are awarded.
This cannot continue and should be rectified by Congress as a government that should be serving all the people in Grenada, Carriacou & Petite Martinique.
The defeated government of Keith Mitchell was engaged in doing the same thing in the debushing programme with only its lackeys and known supporters being hired to do the work.
The NNP had mastered the system so much so that they often masked it by allowing one or two supporters of Congress to get a little action in the seasonal debushing programme.
It was so blatant that even after the June 23 election was held that only the same gangs composed mainly of known NNP’ites were back on the job within days doing the debushing.
The new rulers will have to level the playing field quickly and allow more ordinary Grenadians to get a fair chance and opportunity “to eat a food too” in work that is contracted out by government on behalf of the State.
THE NEW TODAY would also like to make some passing comments on reports that GRENLEC is looking to get approval from the new Board of Directors that was appointed by Congress a few days ago to secure a loan of nearly EC$15 million dollars to fulfill a new contract signed off with the Technical & Allied Workers Union (TAWU) for its employees.
It is rather frightening to think that a company will have to secure a loan from a financial institution to pay salary increases and fringe benefits to its employees.
It appears on the surface that GRENLEC, now back under almost full control of the State, might be heading in the same direction of the Marketing & National Importing Board (MNIB) and becoming a financial burden on the state and taxpayers.
The new Board will have to do a quick assessment of the situation including the agreement that was reached by the previous Minister of Labour, Peter David to bring an end to the dispute involving the company’s management and officials of the Union.
Did the ex-NNP Minister take a rather hasty decision and action to bring an end to the dispute based on political considerations with the June 23 general election in mind?
As a Minister of the then NNP government, was the Labour Minister and the Line Minister who was Senator Norland Cox aware of the precarious financial situation that Grenlec was facing if it signed onto the agreement in its current form?
It will be very unfortunate if the government is forced to resort to using taxpayers’ money once again to bail out Grenlec and even more of a burden on consumers if the electricity company is forced to raise electricity prices to repay the multi-million dollar loan.
It appears that the new Dickon Mitchell-led NDC government is getting ready to venture into uncharted and stormy waters from the situation that it inherited from the previous Keith Mitchell-led regime.