Political Leader of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Senator Nazim Burke has reacted sharply to the admission made in Parliament last week by Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell of blocking a job opportunity he had applied for at the Commonwealth.
While concluding the debate of the 2017 budget in the Lower House of Parliament, Dr. Mitchell told his Parliamentarians that he gave the thumbs down to the Commonwealth Secretariat’s request of him to approve a job for Sen. Burke.
In his reaction to the statement made by the Prime Minister, the Congress leader said after his party lost the 2013 General Elections, a number of ex-officials went into job-hunting in order to support themselves and their families.
He spoke of applying to many schools and institutions, locally, regionally and internationally, including St. George’s University (SGU) seeking employment.
Sen. Burke who confessed to applying for the Commonwealth job said that in August 2013 he received a call from a friend at the Commonwealth Secretariat who informed him of a job opening as Deputy Secretary-General in charge of economic development, and who encouraged him to apply for the position.
“I sent in the application, it left Grenada – I think it was the eighth or ninth of September 2013; we’re not talking about today. At that time… it is public knowledge that I was not the Leader of the National Democratic Congress, I was just the Deputy Leader,” he said.
Sen. Burke became Political Leader of the NDC in February 2014.
The Congress leader said that after hearing nothing with respect to the application, he assumed that someone else had been considered for the job.
According to Burke, PM Mitchell tried to convince the nation in his address to close the 2017 budget debate that the application was current and not done back in September 2013.
“He lied to the nation and told the nation this application was made while I was Leader of the Party, which is totally untrue. The message he was trying to send out… was that I was trying to run out of the country… He wanted to create a sense among the populace, and among the NDC membership and supporters that they were in an unstable situation, their Leader himself was looking to run out, was looking for jobs and opportunities outside (of Grenada), he did (not) believe in the country, he did not care about the country, he did not care about the future of the party,” he said.
The Congress Leader charged that this shows the level of spite and pettiness of Dr. Mitchell whom he said is prepared to stoop to any level in order to achieve his political objectives.
Sen. Burke claimed that he was embarrassed that the Prime Minister of Grenada will resort to that type of conduct.
He said at this stage of his political career, Grenada should not really have to remember Dr. Mitchell as a conman and a crook.
Burke and Dr. Mitchell have been trading bitter exchanges among themselves over the years.
At one stage, the Prime Minister lashed out at Burke as “bound to lie” and the NDC leader responded with the use of the words “bound to thief”.