The NNP government of Grenada has continuously reminded us and boasted how well the Citizen By Investment (CBI) programme/project is doing.
It is evident that the bonanza from the sale of our passports does not go into the Consolidated fund of the Grenada treasury, but into what has been described as the Transformational Fund for which there is no accountability to the electorate who put them into office, and who are unable to discern any positive transformation in our current depressed socio-political reality.
While all this is happening, and the CBI funds which are in the hundreds of millions of U.S Dollars are accumulating – a government which frequently proclaims its love for the people – refused to honour its legal commitment to pay teachers and public servants the paltry 4% increment which was legally give to them on January 1st 2021, resulting in the employees of government having to pound the pavement of our capital city for months with reverberations in Carriacou and Petite Martinique, and to RING THE BELL, to alert WE THE PEOPLE how a “caring” government treats its workers, by teaching them a lesson as to who is in charge – until relenting about seven (7) months later, when the 4% was belatedly paid without any interest.
But the deception and mamaguy do not end there; the most urgent and heart-breaking evidence extant – is the refusal by the government to pay gratuity and pension which is a constitutional entitlement due to workers at retirement after 20, 25, 30, 35 and even 40 years of service to our country – so that they do not retire in the evening of their lives in poverty – when the rewards of their labour should be assured in accordance with natural and moral justice.
On account of this intransigent response, the teachers and public servants had to resort to taking the government to court to decide not only their future, but the welfare of their children and grandchildren facing a bleak and uncertain future, with a government that does not empower its people, but which is unobtrusively making us 2nd class citizens in our own country, if a halt to this degradation is not forestalled.
After many months of waiting, the court has given its verdict – that the refusal by the government to pay gratuity and pension to its employees is unconstitutional and Null and Void, and that workers retiring as at 1985 are legally due to receive a pension.
What is very interesting is the double talk by the Prime Minister: while waiting on the verdict from the court, he is recorded as saying “that whatever the verdict of the court, the government would comply” (words to that effect).
Now that the court has given its ruling in favour of the workers, his response has changed to “that he would put together a committee to consider all the ramifications, not only the financial requirements but the legal and trade union implications etc” (words to that effect).
In this regard, the Prime Minister convened a meeting which was scheduled for Friday April 22, 2022 with the unions and other stakeholders involved, which was boycotted by the unions on account of the short notice and lack of a relevant agenda pertaining to the urgent matter at hand.
Now that he has stated that he would accept the court’s ruling and would not appeal – he has put in place a costly committee to address the matter, which he described in his recent address as a national issue that involves all Grenadians – considered by the union as a time delaying tactic and a ruse to generate confusion by putting one set of workers against each other, instead of preparing an urgent payment proposal for the unions and stakeholders consideration.
On the other hand – this could be the beginning of a faceless mamaguy, by a leadership that exploits the short memory of the Grenadian public, which provides an enabling environment for continued deception and lack of accountability. A leadership that is caring and proactive would have been preparing for this possibility well in advance – in case the verdict was not in the government’s favour as it happens to be.
But this is the quality and capacity of the NNP political leadership. An ad hoc government, where there is nothing constructively planned and programmed for Grenada’s upliftment and empowerment of its people into the 3rd decade of the 21st century, as we remain at the bottom of the Windward Islands community – without a vision, expect for the enrichment of a few at the expense of the impoverished masses. “Where there is no vision the people perish.”
In a related matter – on the evening of April 17th – Easter Sunday – I happened to have tuned into a WPG-10 progamme titled the BUBB REPORT, where Dr. Bubb interviewed the Chief Election Officer (CEO) Mr. Morain – and later in the programme, Mr. Michael Baptiste, Mr. Kenny Lalsingh and Ms. Mitchell of the Social Partners.
Mr. Baptiste in his opening remarks drew Dr. Bubb’s attention to the omission of the CEO to explain to the public how five (5) plane load of NNP Grenadians from the diaspora were able to vote in the last election, having arrived in Grenada a week before the election, to be registered in time for voting, without the required one year domiciled (residency) in Grenada, which is a constitutional requirement for casting one’s ballot. (Echoes of political corruption in the obstruction of a free and fair election), Dr. Bubb promised to investigate.
Later in the programme Mr. Baptiste who remain an active Politician, even though not engaged in frontline politics, but contemplates returning – drew the NDC’s attention to a formula for winning the next general election in 2023, that is – to bring the fight to the NNP by agitation and addressing the critical issues affecting the nation and how to solve them –such as food security and the high cost of living as Putin’s genocide in Ukraine intensifies, the rising cost of electricity, the collapse of the Rural Economy, a health system that has fallen apart long before the pandemic and an NNP government that implements a formula for keeping Grenadians in constant poverty and mendicancy.
This is achieved in the form of handing out weekly/fortnightly $50.00 envelopes, some food hampers, building materials, new fridges and stoves, and home utensils – paid illegally from the Consolidated fund to thousands of the needy prior to election call, instead of providing well-paying jobs in sustainable employments all year round for people’s empowerment, which should become the people’s mantra come mid-2023 at general election.
And this is why – WE THE PEOPLE must take our destiny into our hands and initiate a new VISION in the creation of a new dispensation for the formation of a just, equitable and prosperous society (Paradise regained).