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NNP forced to leave Mt Helicon

Marietta Mitchell – wants full custody of her Mt Helicon property

General Secretary of the ruling New National Party (NNP) in Grenada, Roland Bhola has confirmed reports that the party is looking for new office space as one of the major players in the Mt. Helicon property on Upper Lucas Street has given them notice to vacate the premises.

However, Bhola said that he was not aware of reports circulating that the wife of the Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell who is believed to have controlling interest in the property has given them until Wednesday to leave the place.

According to Bhola, the NNP has been engaged in discussions with the property owners including Marietta Mitchell for some time now but has not been able to find suitable alternative office space for the ruling party.

The former Minister of Agriculture acknowledged that the property owners have been trying to get NNP to leave the place for several years now.

THE NEW TODAY has not been able to independently confirm that Mrs. Mitchell has officially served notice to NNP that they should leave Mt. Helicon by Wednesday.

“She put them (the party) out of Mt Helicon. They have to move out next week,” said a source familiar with the issue.

He said that NNP was supposed to leave Mt. Helicon at the end of 2020 but because of the Covid-19 pandemic and the disruptions on life in the country, the ruling party was given an additional few months to remain on the property.

He indicated that Mrs. Mitchell is holding firm to her position that there will be “no crossing over this deadline” and that the NNP party must leave the property.

“They have to go at the end of this month – they have no more time and next week Wednesday is the time,” he said.

Asked if any law suit was filed in Grenada against NNP by the wife of the Prime Minister on the eviction issue, the source said: “That action (is) not taking place in Grenada. I am sure that matter (is) filed in Barbados because she is domicile there so she could file it there and just serve him (PM Mitchell) here but it is not filed in Grenada. I am sure it is filed in Barbados. I am sure that she is using a Bajan lawyer”.

The NNP had occupied Mt Helicon on a rental basis with the owner who eventually agreed to sell the building.

According to party insiders, the funds came mainly from the wife of the Prime Minister but that Dr. Mitchell had floated a scheme for persons to make a contribution to the purchase price by buying shares in a company that was being created in the name of the ruling party.

Several persons including some businessmen who are aligned to the party had contributed small sums of approximately $1000 to $2000 to the initiative.

Dr. Mitchell and his wife have been living an estranged life for several years now.

Former Attorney General Cajeton Hood has failed in his attempt to get the Integrity Commission of attorney-at-law, Anande Trotman-Joseph to investigate widespread reports in the country of a relationship between Dr. Mitchell and a former senior employee in the Ministry of Finance.

The Integrity Commission has told Hood that the onus is on him to provide evidence of the personal relationship between the Prime Minister and the individual who is said to be the wife of a former senior employee within the Ministry of Finance.

General Secretary of the NNP Roland Bhola has confirmed that they are now in search of new lodgings for the party Headquarters.

Bhola downplayed the eviction issue saying he is unaware about any such notice and that the NNP has had cordial discussions with the owner of the property.

“The primary owners had indicated to us that they are looking to do something with the property. There was cordial discussions. We knew beforehand. As far as we know from the office there is no eviction,” he said, adding that lawyers have not been involved.

The NNP General Secretary said they are now in search of a rental property to relocate the Headquarters.

Bhola said while Prime Minister Mitchell who is the political leader of the NNP is connected to the ownership of the property it was a family decision to ask the ruling party to move house.

“If you have a family and the family makes a decision then that’s it,” he remarked.

The NNP purchased property in Lagoon Road several years ago and Bhola said it is their intention to construct the Party Headquarters there but they “had some setbacks” due to a lack of sufficient funds.

“We did not raise the money,” he explained, adding that they already have approval from the Planning Department authority to go ahead with the construction of the building.

THE NEW TODAY understands that Mt. Helicon is owned solely by Mrs. Mitchell and that the Prime Minister has little or nothing to do with it.

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