Editorials

End State of Emergency!!!

It’s time for the powers-that-be in Grenada to bring an end to the ongoing State-of-Emergency and to restore normalcy to help in the rebuilding of our battered economy.

THE NEW TODAY is convinced that the political directorate made a serious error and blunder in imposing the State-of Emergency as it had the effect of bringing the economy to a standstill and also the loss of many jobs especially among the ordinary Working Class people.

The Prime Minister of neighbouring St. Vincent & The Grenadines, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves adopted a far different approach in handling the coronavirus pandemic and his people are now in a better position than us.

“The Comrade” as the revolutionary elements within the ruling New National Party (NNP) government refer to Dr. Gonsalves proceeded on the basis of strictly scientific considerations and the need to trust Vincentians to adopt all the safety measures and protocol to battle the virus.

There were no massive job losses on the island as what happened in Grenada under the NNP regime as it allowed things to get out of hand by not closing its borders at an earlier stage and allowing secret flights to come into MBIA at 2.00 a.m in the morning.

This newspaper senses that Prime Minister Mitchell resorted to the State of Emergency in an effort to mend fences with the members of the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) for purely political reasons.

The Prime Minister had angered some of his own loyalists in the force following the unfortunate utterances some months ago on the issue of overtime payment to a small elite band of about 14 members of his security detail.

The police force was upset and many took strong objection to the statement which told RGPF in clear language that Dr. Mitchell do not trust many of them with his life except for this special outfit who moved around the country with him.

As a Prime Minister who only thinks politically, Dr. Mitchell understood the rift and the need to mend fences with the police as that is one of his most powerful and influential bases in the country.

It is the strong belief of THE NEW TODAY that the Prime Minister used the State of Emergency to empower the police force once again by putting them in charge of the running the country to some extent.

And it is this power in the hands of the police that is being abused from time to time as many of the law enforcement officers feel very powerful that they are now back in full charge of things in the country.

There are many signs of the police over-stepping their boundaries with the total power put in their hands by the Prime Minister and NNP to enforce the “lockdown” measures as part of the State of Emergency.

Some of them are quick to remind you that there is a State of Emergency in place and the police are in charge and that permission has to be sought from them to do even mundane things.

This newspaper is getting the sense that the police are not very sensitive to the plight of many of our citizens who are under pressure financially at the moment and struggling to provide for their families in a decent and honest manner.

The complaints are growing about the action of the police to prevent some of the less fortunate from carving out a living but turning a blind eye to the money-earning activities taking place in the more affluent and well-to-do sections of the country like Lance Aux Epines and True Blue.

There was an incident on St. John’s Street on Monday morning in which a small businessman was selling grapes and apples outside his rented place and the police swooped down on him, took him away and closed the business for the day.

The police also forced a woman in the Golf Course area to stop selling barbeque chicken on the side of the road in an effort to put money into her hands to feed her family in these hard times.

The ordinary man is talking out aloud as these kinds of actions by the police are not extended to those areas that are dominated by the so-called well-to-do in the society.

This state of Emergency has to go and go soon as it is now perpetuating in our midst – the two sides of Grenada – one for the less fortunate and another for the more affluent persons in the so-called rich areas.

And the leader who was given back-to-back 15-0 victory at the polls in 2013 and 2018 general elections has seemingly gone underground and not seen by the people leading them in this time of crisis.

The people are seeing and hearing the police more than the leader who is only being heard and seen from afar on radio and television and not on the ground with the people showing empathy for them.

THE NEW TODAY has often questioned the lack of leadership of Prime Minister Mitchell especially in times of crisis since he is more adapt at focusing on winning general elections.

The proof of this lack of leadership of PM Mitchell can be seen in his poor performance as the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Prime Minister to lead the charge of the region in the area of Science and Technology.

Can anyone point to anything that the current Grenada Prime Minister has done in IT over the years in the Spice Isle that others in the region can fly into St. George’s and take a look at and go back to their respective home countries and adopt as something to emulate?

What is it that Prime Minister Mitchell has done at home that can stand out as a beacon of hope in the region after over 30 years as a dominant political figure in Grenada?

THE NEW TODAY is convinced that COVID-19 has provided an opportunity for a much younger, vibrant and articulate person to come forward politically and chart a new course for Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique as the old set of leaders are now too tired and can offer nothing new and of substance at this stage for the rebuilding of Grenada in the upcoming period.

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