The New Today
Editorials

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Three weeks after the change of government, there is still a lot of goodwill for new Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell and his National Democratic Congress (NDC) government.

The people spoke loudly on June 23 to change from the Green Machine of the New National Party (NNP) of the aging 75-year old Keith Mitchell to the Yellow of Congress which had been in the political wilderness for nearly a decade.

Grenadians have given the NDC another opportunity to look after the affairs of the nation and they should be mindful of the need to stay the course and remain focused on the job and do not disappoint the people like what happened in the 2008-13 period with so much infighting among some sections of the then Tillman Thomas-led government.

THE NEW TODAY is aware that several of the new Ministers are very mindful of the tragedy that took place back then and do not want to walk that road once again.

It is imperative that they quickly understand that the electorate voted for change in the general election and not an exchange of the driver of the Ship of State and his subject ministers.

Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell has a task ahead of governing the country and ensuring that growth and development take place in keeping with his Transformational agenda along with cleaning the swamp of corruption and wrong-doing.

He has to perform the almost perfect balancing act of shuffling the pack in the Public Service and finding the right and suitable persons to put in key positions to make sure that the agenda of the Congress government is carried out and not sabotaged by certain hostile elements.

The Tillman Thomas government paid a heavy price as it failed to ring the changes and allowed too many pro-NNP workers to remain in their key and sensitive positions to help the cause of their leader, the Rt. Hon. Dr. Keith Mitchell.

The new Dickon Mitchell-led Congress government should be very decisive in taking action and making decisions and do not for one moment adopt the policy of the former government by just removing persons suspected of not supporting it and throwing them on any desk in the public service with nothing to do except collect a pay cheque at the end of the month.

The new Prime Minister as leader of the government should make a firm decision on whether some of the more dangerous workers who will not think twice about sabotaging the Congress administration be retired from the service in the national interest and for the public good.

He should look at the possibility of paying off some workers and just sending them home and not keeping them on the job as productivity should become the order of the day.

It was not in the country’s best interest to see the hundreds of public officers who fell out of grace with the NNP regime of Keith Mitchell and had nothing to do on a daily basis.

Too many of these workers were being seen each and every day just walking all over the place and looking for a place to hang out and to engage in some kind of conversation  and chit-chat with friends in order to “kill” time before going home.

The new Prime Minister should be congratulated for his strategic move and sensible decision in bringing back senior civil servant Jacinta Joseph as Chief Personnel Officer (CPO) in the Public Service Commission (PSC) and removing Naomi Jeremiah who is considered in many quarters to be a satellite of the NNP government.

The new CPO is seen as the gate-keeper of things reaching the members of PSC and would be able to blunt the impact and effectiveness of the Beryl Isaac-led Commission that is known to be closely aligned to the defeated Prime Minister Keith Mitchell.

In a democracy, the members of the PSC and the Integrity Commission and similar bodies should offer their resignations whenever there is a change of government and to allow the new rulers to make a decision on whether or not they should continue in office.

There is a classic example in neighbouring Barbados, where the Prime Minister made a Cabinet reshuffle and the entire Board that was appointed by the previous minister offered their resignations but were re-appointed by the new Minister.

This is the hallmark of democracy at work but not so in Grenada where some people will put all kinds of stumbling blocks in the way of a new administration to get rid of them from State Boards.

THE NEW TODAY would also like to make some passing comments on an issue that was on the front-burner prior to the June 23 general election in which some female police officers pointed accusing fingers at some senior officers of engaging in sexual abuse and harassment against them.

This is an issue that should not be allowed to “die a natural death” and covered up by those who have influence in the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) which is our premier law enforcement body in the country.

The so-called “Focal Point” group appointed by Commissioner of Police Edvin Martin is nothing but a sham and joke and should be scrapped and replaced by an independent body with teeth that can get at the bottom of the allegations from those female police officers.

The new Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security is the “boss” of Commissioner Martin and should use her good office to send a clear signal to him that the allegation is of such a very serious nature that a more independent body other than the police should be allowed to investigate these senior cops.

This is a new dispensation and any officer who is fingered by a proper investigation should not be allowed to remain as a member of RGPF but instead be purged from the organisation.

THE NEW TODAY knows as a fact that a number of senior officers are fully aware of what they did to these female officers, including the one involved in the nude photos that came from a Traffic Warden at the Grenville Police Station to deep inside the High Command on Fort George.

A change of government in Grenada should also result in a change of operation and style of leadership in RGPF.

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