A new era was ushered in Grenada with the appointment of a 44-year old attorney-at-law Dickon Mitchell to take up the mantle of Prime Minister of Grenada, Carriacou & Petite Martinique.
In his first address as Prime Minister of the country, the Political Leader of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) signalled his intention to be a far different custodian of the people’s business than the man he succeeded in office, the much older 75-year old Keith Mitchell.
The new leader made a public declaration that he intended to steer a course in which nepotism will be swept out the door and jobs will not be offered to Grenadians on the basis of partisan connections.
However, the most notable statement made on Friday afternoon was the commitment of Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell to examine jobs in the public sector on the basis of merit and not affiliation to any political party.
The new Grenadian leader was sending an obvious message to all and sundry serving as public officers that he would be examining their current positions to determine whether or not they deserve to be performing in the job.
This is an important statement against the backdrop of the admittance of his predecessor in office, Dr. Keith Mitchell that the system was broken and nothing was really done by the last administration to try and fix it.
The former ruling New National Party (NNP) government did nothing to address the critical issue of Good Governance in the Tri-island State and in its last days in office was apparently operating on auto-pilot.
Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell has an unenviable task ahead of trying to put right a system that was left to rot by the last rulers for nearly 30-years.
There is a Police Force that has lost its moral bearings and with just too many square pegs in round holes.
THE NEW TODAY expects Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell to assume the post in the Cabinet of Ministers as the Minister with responsibility for National Security to look after the affairs of police officers.
The new boss cannot afford to turn a blind eye to the current composition of the Police High Command and to apply his MERIT scale at some of the recent appointments.
The Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) is in need of a major shake-up and the new Prime Minister will definitely be called upon to get at the bottom of the issue involving senior police officers who have been accused of sexual abuse of Junior Officers and pressure many of them to engage in sexual activities or face punishment on the job.
Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell will have to intervene as a matter of urgency and scrap the so-called three-member Committee appointed by Commissioner of Police, Edvin Martin to investigate the complaints leveled against the “Men in Khaki.”
THE NEW TODAY senses that the new Prime Minister will not make the same mistake like the previous Congress government of Tillman Thomas in the 2008-13 period when it failed to ring the changes in the top echelon of the public service and allowed saboteurs to remain in their positions to destabilise the regime.
A case in point was the late payment of salary in which fingers were pointed at a particular operative that many had warned the former Finance Minister Nazim Burke that he should have removed from the position that he held in the Ministry of Finance.
The NDC government of Tillman Thomas was never able to recover from the constant attacks and barrage of criticisms from Dr. Keith Mitchell and the NNP on the salary issue and they went on to sweep them out of office 15-0 in the 2013 general election.
When Congress was removed, Dr. Keith Mitchell returned to power as Prime Minister and met virtually all his appointees still holding their key and sensitive positions.
THE NEW TODAY can understand the position being adopted by Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell to take in front and deal with a number of critical issues including a review of many positions in the public service.
This newlook NDC Team has to be mindful of the fact that the defeat of Dr. Mitchell and the NNP at the polls was a People’s Victory against a system that had gone astray and was no longer serving in the best interest of all the peoples of Grenada, Carriacou & Petite Martinique.
The NNP leader had not only overstayed his time in office but had become very disrespectful of the very people who helped to put him in office for the better part of 25 plus years.
Dr. Keith Mitchell had also become too dictatorial and often sent out signals that he was not there to serve the interest of the people but that he had become The Master over every living creature on the island.
Such was his contempt of the Grenadian people that when he was asked a question in Parliament about the source of funds to buy back Grenlec from the U.S Company, WRB Enterprises that he insulted the nation, flatly refused to answer and admonished us by saying it was nobody’s business and that they should only confine themselves with the fact that it was bought back.
The Dickon Mitchell administration has a duty and responsibility to get to the bottom of the Grenlec money issue and inform the people of their findings.
THE NEW TODAY wishes the new government a good start on the job as it prepares to get down to work especially at a time when the buzz word in the international community is that a worldwide recession might be in the making.