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Investigation launched into misuse of Solid Waste funds

Dr Bert Brathwaite – promised an investigation into the credit card

Yet another state-owned body under the ruling New National Party (NNP) government of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell could be under a dark cloud with suspicion of corruption.

THE NEW TODAY has been reliable informed that funds from the Grenada Solid Waste Management Authority were used to facilitate a trip to a country in Europe by a prominent figure of the ill-fated 1979-83 Grenada Revolution.

This follows closely on the heels of a probe being undertaken by the Integrity Commission into alleged massive wrong-doing at the Marketing & National Importing Board (MNIB) during the tenure of former Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Ruel Edwards and the governing board headed by Samuel Andrew.

A well-placed source told this newspaper that the credit card of the Solid Waste Authority was allegedly used to purchase airline tickets from a local travel agency for the top revolutionary figure and his wife to make the overseas trip within the last six months of the year.

He said that the credit card was also allegedly used to pay for other expenses related to the overseas trip such as hotel accommodation and meals.

The former Revolutionary figure is not known to be an employee of the Solid Waste Authority.

THE NEW TODAY contacted newly installed Chairman of the Board of Directors of the authority, medical doctor Bert Brathwaithe who indicated that he was not aware of the issue but did promise to look into it.

However, the Chairman of the Solid Waste Authority admitted that no permission was granted by the board for any such financial transaction with its funds if indeed it took place.

The paper complied with a request made by Dr. Brathwaite to write him officially about the alleged incident in order for him to investigate the matter.

Five specific questions were sent to the Solid Waste Chairman in relation to the unfolding story of the alleged unauthorised use of the finances of the authority to facilitate the trip by the former revolutionary figure.

On Monday morning, Dr. Brathwaite sent an email message to THE NEW TODAY acknowledging receipt of the questions.

He said: “This is to acknowledge receipt of your e-mail dated 28th December, 2018. Kindly be advised that the matter that you raised will be investigated”.

Health Minister Nicholas Steele who is the line minister for the Solid Waste Authority did not answer any of the numerous calls made to his cellphone.

THE NEW TODAY also contacted a person of interest at the Solid Waste Authority for comment Monday on the issue and she requested that the questions be put in writing and this was complied with by this newspaper.

The responses sent to our News Desk at 2. 20 p.m Monday by the Solid Waste employee to the three questions submitted by THE NEW TODAY were “False”, “False” and “Utterly False”.

THE NEW TODAY was also able to solicit a response to the allegation from the person at the centre of the alleged misuse of the funds belonging to the state body through his local attorney-at-law.

He described it as “false, baseless utterances of a wounded soul consumed with hate and malice”.
Speculation is rife about a deepening relationship existing between the Mitchell-led government and the hardline faction of the Grenada Revolution that was blamed for the execution of Prime Minister Maurice Bishop in a bloody palace coup on October 19, 1983 at Fort George.

Former army Captain Peter David, considered as a loyalist of the anti-Bishop camp, currently serves as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Labour in the NNP regime.

Retired trade unionist, Chester Humphrey, considered as among persons who voted for the Joint Leadership proposal put forward by the anti-Bishop faction in 1983 that led to the bitter infighting among the revolutionaries, is now holding the third most prominent position in the country of President of the Senate.

After Humphrey and David were expelled from the Congress party in September 2012 for anti-party activities, the two joined forces with Prime Minister Mitchell and his NNP under the banner of “Project Grenada”.

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