THE NEW TODAY is urging all Patriotic Grenadians with an interest in national development and respect for independent institutions to pay particular attention to an incident of theft which was reported very widely and prominently last week in the local media but treated very lightly.
It involves the stealing of money in the Parliament Building from the purse of the Secretary to the Leader of the Opposition, Tobias Clement.
This newspaper is not concerned at this point on whether the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Michael Pierre and the President of the Senate, Chester Humphrey did the decent and honourable thing and ask the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) to press charges against the culprits.
It is bad enough for the theft to take place in one of the most important institutions and buildings in the country where the laws of the nation are debated and passed to govern the affairs of the State.
However, the theft of money inside Parliament raises serious questions about how the ruling New National Party (NNP) government of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell is running the country.
The Parliament is supposed to be an independent institution but is not allowed by the current political directorate to operate as such.
Two main issues that arise from the incident is that the functioning of Parliament is under the control of the Ministry of Works headed by Gregory Bowen and financed directly from the Ministry of Finance which is under the portfolio of Prime Minister Mitchell.
The information which cannot be disputed is that the Parliament did not select the Cleaning company that was hired to do work at what should be an independent body as defined by the Grenada Constitution.
The culprits who stole the money inside the Parliament Building at Mt Wheldale were recruited and hired by the Cleaning company whose operators are linked to the NNP Green Machinery.
The Opposition Leader had earlier announced that even the keys to his office within the Parliament Building are controlled by Bowen’s Ministry of Works. Where is the independence of Parliament?
There is also the information coming out that Prime Minister Mitchell has removed the Budget of Parliament from under its own control and now safely placed within his portfolio and that a private company has been hired to take control of the expenditure of all Parliamentary offices around the island.
The information suggest that the main person behind the company is an individual who is politically aligned also to Dr. Mitchell for over 30 years.
THE NEW TODAY is submitting that the nation cannot get any much clearer proof and evidence of how the Prime Minister is using State resources and finances to achieve his political objectives of putting money into the hands of his supporters.
And this practice of the NNP is widespread in every facet of life in Grenada as the Prime Minister is using this methodology to entrench his dictatorship and political stranglehold on the country.
Dr. Mitchell has deliberately dismantled the Public Works Department and turned and replaced it with the policy of giving out private contracts to do the work mainly to NNP operatives as part of the quid pro quo that is now deeply rooted into the daily life of the society.
Today when the Magistrate’s Court in the city is leaking and forced to halt sittings and dispense justice due to running water on the inside, it is all because the Public Works Department has been dismantled and cannot send in a crew to do the necessary repair work quickly on the building.
The Judiciary has to wait on the NNP Political Directorate to award a contract to one of its supporters to get the work done and to allow the independent courts to properly function.
The political opposition is asleep to this reality and cannot seem to understand that this widespread practice by the so-called “Green Machinery” has to be constantly opposed and rejected as it always puts the NNP in poll position long before any general election is called for the people to elect a government into office.
It is one of the most vulgar practices of the NNP regime to constantly use taxpayers’ money to feather the nest of its supporters.
There is no need for this newspaper to repeat the old adage that corruption by any other name is still corruption.
It should be noted that the bastion of democracy and integrity in the country is our Parliament but the so-called and questionable Integrity in Public Life Committee headed by the very much compromised female attorney-at-law, Anande Trotman-Joseph has not issued a word of condemnation against the act of stealing there.
The NDC, as the party with the largest block of opposition votes, should wake up and engage others in a serious struggle and fight to advance the need for co-operation of liked forces to stamp out this corrupt waste of scarce taxpayers’ dollars.
If Congress is blind, deaf and dumb to this reality it is setting up itself to another defeat at the polls at the hands of a now much weakened COVID-19 NNP Green Machinery which is still hungry and thirsty for power.
It is time for Grenadians to realise that the fight in this current dispensation is for independent institutions to function and not the entrenchment of “One-manism” in the country.
THE NEW TODAY will also like to make some passing remarks on the recent series of articles put out in our pages in which some nurses at the St. George’s General Hospital highlighted some of the glaring problems at the institution.
It is clear to us that COVID-19 has presented an opportunity for our government, the policymakers and administrators especially in the area of health to do some serious introspection.
The concerns raised by nurses at the General Hospital need to be urgently addressed by the Management in the interest of providing better health care for the population.
There are some glaring weaknesses in the system as pointed out by the nurses that should be immediately rectified in case there is any serious outbreak of COVID-19 and other dangerous diseases on the island.
As one nurse points out, the Management should not be looking for the gun to shoot the Messenger for bringing to public attention the shortcomings at the Hospital but rather focus their attention on dealing with the message.
The Hospital Management needs to wise up and learn from other entities in the private sector and the police by engaging in its own simulation exercise to better prepare the staff especially nurses on the do’s and dont’s in order to prepare adequately for any potential disaster.