Hope Men Charged with Murder

Murder charges have been laid on two men from Hope, St. Andrew’s – Alvin Jackson and Bevin Ettienne – in connection with the death of an elderly citizen of Soubise.

Dead is Desmond Joseph, 78 years, who was discovered lifeless by his caregiver on July 4.

Desmond Joseph – was found dead by his care-giver

Jackson, a 33-year old shopkeeper, and Ettienne, a 28-year old farmer appeared at the Grenville Magistrate’s Court on Monday and were remanded in custody by Magistrate Henry Paryag to reappear in court on July 30.

A police spokesman told THE NEW TODAY that the deceased was apparently killed by the suspects as they broke into the house to stage a robbery.
This newspaper understands that the Caregiver whose name has been given as Allina Modeste went to visit the elderly man and met him lying on his back on his bed.

Modeste routinely visits Joseph to assist him with his needs given his age.

A source familiar with the investigation said that when the Caregiver arrived at the house and called for Joseph, she got no response from the elderly man, made her way into the bedroom, by passing through through the kitchen that was unlocked.

She found the elderly citizen lying on the bed and he appeared to be dead. The house was also ransacked.

Alvin Jackson – charged with the murder of an elderly citizen

A post mortem conducted on Joseph’s body concluded that he died as a result of suffocation, and that he had sustained four broken ribs.

After intense investigations by homicide police officers attached to the Grenville Police Station, two men were detained for questioning.

Jackson and Ettienne are also charged with two counts of housebreaking and stealing in two other unrelated incidents.

Both men are accused of stealing from a 71-year old man of Hope City, St. Andrew’s on two different occasions.

On the first occasion on June 16, they made off with articles valued at $2,220.00, and three days after they allegedly killed Joseph, they removed another set of articles from the same house at Hope City valued at $2,990.00.

THE NEW TODAY understands that Police have been forced to intensify patrols in Hope and other neighbouring areas within recent days due to a rise in housebreaking incidents by criminal elements.

Police have not been ale to link the arrest of both Jackson and Ettienne with the removal of anything of substance from Joseph’s house.

The death of the elderly man came less than one week

Bevin Ettienne – charged with the murder of an elderly citizen

following the murder of 18-year old Samuel Gabriel of Belmont, St. George’s,

Grenada has now recorded seven murders for the year.

The issue of rising TAMCC fees

Whatever the final decision is regarding the declared raising of fees at the T.A Marryshow Community College (TAMCC), THE NEW TODAY would like to raise some  important issues which need to be addressed by those charged with the responsibility of running our only state-owned tertiary educational institution in the country.

TAMCC needs to look inside at its own operation and see if the possibilities and potential might exist for the college to earn some of its own funds and use it for operating expenses.
The fact is that Government has drastically cut its subvention to the College this year, which it intends for the institution to raise by itself.

But let’s look carefully at TAMCC: Many persons are currently unable to pay the fees so they cannot enter, period. Some students that are currently enrolled at the college cannot attend all classes per area of study in order to save on travel, cost of attending, etc. However they will have to meet their 80% attendance in order to graduate based on the College’s Student Handbook.

How feasible could it be to add this increase in an already depressed economy with many parents on almost fixed incomes?

On the other hand, THE NEW TODAY is forced to question whether TAMCC has done enough to raise some of its own operational/working capital. Non-students of economics know that in times of a downturn, the first measure for financial survival is to cut expenses where possible.

One can also look for niches in order to raise income where possible. If one passes any school day outside TAMCC, one will see a private mobile food wagon parked outside TAMCC’s campus doing what TAMCC could do within its walls and make money.

MNIB also operates another food shop inside the TAMCC gate, then there is a third such operation. It is public knowledge that TAMCC runs a Domestic Arts programme for students, which includes food preparation. So anyone with a little common sense can make the connection.

Here’s another: How about the sale of stationery? There is a ready market of more than 2000 students right on campus. Many other viable options are at TAMCC’s disposal. If as the Prime Minister recently said, TAMCC should operate as a business, then it should be able to establish profit-making operations in addition to providing a public (intellectual) good.

TAMCC must be made to operate efficiently. It must cut its cost of operations.  Too much manual work is required where there are cheaper electronic solutions that can be integrated into a central IT system.

Students were seen a few days ago getting library clearance: a piece of paper that says they are cleared of debt to the library. Isn’t that easy to input in a database? Or consider how many Deputy Registrars are currently employed to assumedly take the weight off the Registrar and to what end? How many square pegs are in round holes at TAMCC bleeding the purse strings?

There is need for someone to conduct an independent job evaluation to determine how the administration staff could be repositioned to bring better and greater results through high performance and productivity.

The Ministry of Education will recall years ago Fedora Grant now deceased, was the College’s registrar. She did not have a Deputy and managed seemingly much more efficiently than the current large team. If there are a couple hundred more students now there are four times the personnel. So?

Two years ago TAMCC hired a Deputy Principal, for what? The principal’s job description is not clear because the registrar is responsible for among other things, “the day to day operations of the college”.  That is strange.

Anyway between the two of them plus the team of about three deputy registrars much more could be done to spearhead transformative programmes and raise finances.

By the way does the college have a strategic plan? How will they know where they are…or are going? It appears some project planning expertise reside in the Chairman of Council.  That should help in the forward thrust that is necessary.

And while on the subject of direction by the Council, that body should be reminded that it is important to have a vision and action plan for the college that are aligned to the national agenda or the common pillars of development of the economy.

As if those failings are not enough, one of the College’s council members is a representative of its competitor institute, St. George’s University (SGU). Will SGU have a member of the College on its Board?

SGU terminated its lecturer-sharing agreement two years ago with the College as soon as it was able to use less college faculty as part time lecturers. The Grenada School of Nursing, which was recently being run by TAMCC, is hinted to be on its way to be taken over from TAMCC by SGU.

Recently SGU attempted to run its independent nursing programme but failed. With a new local teaching hospital on the way, why would the College not want to get a benefit by continuing to train our nurses in collaboration with the staff from the General Hospital?
Grenada’s nurses are also in high demand. Additionally some students go directly to SGU from high school, skipping TAMCC, paying well to attend SGU and spending 2 years of prepping time there with no Associate Degree to be had, and some might argue end up intellectually unprepared to be a meaningful part of an undergraduate degree programme until year 3.

How could SGU’s involvement at the College Council level ever help TAMCC? The business equivalent is like sharing trade secrets with your competitor from the top.
TAMCC is our premiere local tertiary institution and has to take the lead in providing the intellectual think tank we need to develop Grenada and to turn out trained personnel in practical areas of work.  No other tertiary institution operating in Grenada has that responsibility. It is obvious that TAMCC does not even have a research arm.  That is pitiful.

The College was recently approved by Parliament to grant degrees. This is another opportunity. Other universities are making profits right here on our shores. We must develop our own – and we dare add – on our own because we have enough local talent to do it.

Raising TAMCC fees is not the answer, evaluate from the work of the Council downward and review and redeploy college resources to work to achieve viability.  TAMCC must be made to deliver more to the nation!

Huggins gives a double

Randy Campbell (left) makes the presentation to GOC Treasurer Kingsley Ashby

The firm of George F. Huggins and Company (Grenada) Limited has made a double monetary presentation to the Grenada Olympic Committee (GOC) for the Olympic Team that would be participating in the London Games.

A presentation of $1,000.00 came from one of Huggins products, Kimberly Clark Huggies and Scott Brand.

The money was raised out of a decision taken by the firm to reward each six and four scored during the West Indies/India A Teams cricket match that took place at the Grenada National Stadium earlier this month.

Four hundred and ninety dollars was raised, but Huggins saw it fitting to bring the total sum to $1,000.00.

Huggies and Scott Brand Manager Randy Campbell made the presentation to the GOC Treasurer Kingsley Asby who indicated that every bit of money collected counts.

The biggest donation came from the form itself in the sum of $10,000.00.
Assistant to the Chief Executive Officer Anya Chow-Chung who made the presentation to GOC President Royston La Hee.

GOC President Royston La Hee receives the mock cheque from Huggins Director Anya Chow-Chung

Chow-Chung said the company is privileged to be able to contribute to the local athletes participation at the London Olympics.

She said they see it as their corporate responsibility as Huggins is a one-hundred-percent Grenadian company.

Chow-Chung who is also a Director of Huggins advised the GOC Officials to admonished the team to continue to represent Grenada with humility and with excellent sportsmanship.

La Hee who was pleased with another presentation from corporate Grenada said the GOC is heartened by the contributions that have been made so far.

To date the GOC has collected approximately $175,000.00.

The GOC President believes the entire country is into the excitement of having a team at the Games, and the prospects of the team doing well.

“We all look forward to their performance and trust that we’ll be smiling by the end of the Games on 12th August, 2012,” he said.

Just last week star athlete Kirani James won a Diamond League race in London.

James powered his way to the finish line in 44.85 seconds in the race, which occurred just three weeks before the start of the Olympics.

The 19-year-old Grenadian beat Chris Brown of the Bahamas into second place, while Tony McQuay of the United States was third.

Former Olympic 400 meter champion, American Jeremy Wariner, was fifth.

The ten-member team has been in camp in England since the middle of July, and are due to enter the Olympic Village in London today, Friday July 20.

 

NNP is ready for Gov’t

The main opposition New National Party (NNP) has outlined eight reasons why the electorate should return the Keith Mitchell-led team into public office.

Former Finance Minister Anthony Boatswain say NNP is now ready to govern

Addressing party supporters during an NNP rally at Telescope Playing Field, St Andrew last week Sunday, Shadow Finance Minister Anthony Boatswain said that a major economic and financial crisis is looming over Grenada under the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the NNP was better able to deal with the problem..

According to Boatswain, an NNP led government will be an action-oriented one and will operate on the basis of consensus as the key to policy formulation and implementation, will be a more fiscally responsible government and will increase spending on public sector investment programme.

The former government minister sought to entice Grenadians to look towards his party since it plans to offer the electorate more incentives and an enabling environment for the private sector to invest more into the country.

In addition, Boatswain said that if the NNP is brought back into power, it will restructure the tax regime to make it more conducive and responsive to economic growth, will seek to renegotiate treaties and agreements that have been placed on Grenadians thus creating a disadvantage to the local economy.

The Opposition has been accusing the Tillman Thomas-led Congress administration of negotiating a bad treaty with neighbouring Trinidad and Tobago to delimit the boundaries between the two States.

NNP supporters at Telescope Playing Field

The current rulers have sought to set the boundaries in order to put Grenada in a better position to tap its offshore oil and gas reserves.

Boatswain promised that a new NNP regime will restore the micro enterprise project that provides soft loan financing for persons in the rural areas who cannot afford to approach the bank due to a lack of collateral.

In reference to the division that exists within the Congress government, Boatswain said that those involved had simple put a marriage of convenience together out of pure hate for former Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell but the arrangement has now failed.

Charging that after four years of nothingness, it is now time for a divorce (between the two factions of the NDC) as evidenced by the two separate events held at La Tante, St. David’s and Gouyave in St. John’s to celebrate the ruling party’s fourth year in office.

Boatswain warned that Grenadians are already heavily taxed and as such any more taxation is not an option and that any attempt to do this will be counter productive.
He said there are only two options available to this Government – go on bending knees to the Washington-based International Monetary Fund (IMF) and ask for a bailout or vacate the seat of Government.

“Call fresh elections because for Grenada to grow NDC must go”, Boatswain said, adding that Grenada is in this present economic and financial predicament as a result of unrealistic budgets and implementation of wrong policies by the Thomas-led government.
He accused the NDC rulers of using the global economic fallout to mask its incompetence and impotence in office.

“Better days are coming … The shelf life of the NDC government has expired… you can ensure the quickening of the burial of the NDC by doing what you have to do, register and when the time is right go out in your numbers and vote overwhelmingly for the New National Party”, Boatswain told supporters.

In its 13 years in office from 1995 to 2008, the NNP was accused of taking the national debt from around EC$373 million to a whopping EC$ 1.8 billion due to a massive borrowing and spending spree on non-productive projects such as a National Stadium and guaranteeing loans to questionable foreign investors like those linked to the so-called Ritz Carlton hotel at Mt. Hartman.

General Hospital faced with major structural problems

As the Tillman Thomas Government prepares to move head with plans to build a new hospital for the island, Health Minister, Senator Ann Peters has spoken about some of the main problems being experienced at the St. George’s General Hospital.

Health Minister Sen. Ann Peters – every single area needs help

Sen. Peters who was a guest on the programme, “Sundays With George Grant” said while plans are afoot to build a new hospital, there are serious structural problems with the existing facility.

She cited for instance the almost one and a half years which it took the Ministry of Health to have the air-conditioning unit fixed at the hospital.

According to Sen. Peters, the AC unit is not a model with a brand name that would enables engineers to immediately lay their hands on a spare part.

“It seems to have been a unit that has been custom made for our institution, and now that it has problems, we have significant problems finding the replacement parts. I am happy to report that finally we have been able to address the issue,” she said.

A similar problem had existed with the elevator at the hospital, and according to Sen. Peters, in collaboration with the Cuban Government, engineers have been trained to enable them to reconfigure things as they happen.

The St. George’s General Hospital – built by the NNP Government

 

Sen. Peters said the Ministry of Health has also had to relocate the male ward to the building that once housed the School of Nursing due to structural problems.

“All of these adjustments and readjustments cost significant sums of monies to the health sector, so that is why it is not unusual for me… to go back to the Cabinet over and over to get funding that we had not budgeted for,” she remarked.

The female government minister reminded the host of the programme that government knew it had to build a new hospital due to reports that were submitted by the Pan American Health Organisation about the current location.

She said the new hospital earmarked for Calivigny, St. George’s would be of international standards.

Sen. Peters said special attention would be paid to the Accident and Emergency (A and E) Department of the new facility.

There would be a bay area with trolleys, a resuscitation bay, an observation bay, and a plaster room to facilitate the volume of people seeking attention at the A and E Department.

Sen. Peters disclosed that the current department at the General Hospital treated 35,000 persons last year.

The Senior Government Minister said the infrastructural needs of the health sector do not only lie within the General Hospital.

Subsidiary institutions including Princess Alice Hospital at Mirabeau, St. Andrew’s, Princess Royal Hospital in Carriacou, Mt. Gay Mental Hospital, 36 medical stations, and six health centres are crying out for attention.

Sen. Peters said the infrastructural needs are significant, and every single area needs help.
She said when the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) took office four years ago, it faced a number of challenges with some of the medical stations and health centres.
The Health Minister said refurbishment work had to be done in Carriacou, and Union, St. Mark’s.

In addition, a building was purchased in Grand Anse, St. George’s which has been remodeled and is now operating as the health centre.

That facility offers a doctor’s clinic, a nurses’ clinic, dentistry, and pharmacy service.
Government is now in search for a partner to assist with the funding for the Gouyave Health Centre.

Sen. Peters said due to the state of the physical structure, it was demolished and at present a number of services that were once provided at the health centre is now relocated to different areas of the Parish.

Sen. Peters said dignity and privacy have been brought to the residents at the Richmond Home with the installation of cubicles.

Just last week, the Ministry of Health received harsh criticisms in a call-in programme on the AM Division of the Grenada Broadcasting Network (GBN) in a show hosted by Godfrey Augustine when it was revealed that the elderly are finding difficulty in obtaining medication.

In response to the charge, Sen. Peters noted that through her ministry there is a necessitous programme where many persons requiring a particular medication would receive it through the Social Welfare Department.

The minister also said there is a policy for persons over the age of 65 to get all of their prescription filled at public facilities without any cost.

Sen. Peters mentioned the existence of a protocol for doctors to give priority to the elderly whenever they visit the clinics.

She also said government provides a subvention to a number of senior citizens’ Homes in the country.

Grenadian national bludgeoned to death in Trinidad

Port-of-Spain — Eighty nine year old Ann Corrion migrated from Grenada to Trinidad in the 1950’s and was well loved and known in the area where she lived.

Her life was cut short this week when she was bludgeoned to death with a stone at her home by a 26-year-old Princes Town man who relatives and neighbours said was either “demon-possessed” or a drug addict.

Police say around 8.30 a.m. they found the suspect in the front yard of the house with his clothes drenched in blood.

He had earlier attacked Corrion, as she sat in the porch of her home at Railway Road.

The man, according to reports, appeared disoriented and did not speak to police, they said the suspect also killed a chicken and ate its raw flesh, and ripped apart Corrion’s pet parrot.

A neighbour said: “Around half past seven (Saturday) I heard him pelting stones. There were children sitting in the gallery with her (Corrion). He went up in the gallery and she told the children to go. He took a stone and knocked her out. She didn’t bawl or anything. She fell and he was just bashing her head.”

Roger Lewis charged with fraud

Owner of the Sea Port Restaurant and Bar that is located on the Kirani James Boulevard in the Lagoon area of St. George’s, Roger Lewis is facing a charge of fraud in connection with an alleged will left behind by his father, the late Allan Lewis.

Businessman Roger Lewis – to face the court on fraud charges

Chief Magistrate Tamara Gill committed Lewis to stand trial in the Criminal Assizes of the High Court after she determined that there was sufficient evidence for him to face trial before a judge and jury in a fraud charge brought against him by the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU).

Lewis is accused of defrauding his siblings in connection with the Estate left behind following the death in 2009 of Lewis, a popular businessman who was associated with a mechanical garage and radiator business.

Speculation is rife that Roger Lewis might have inherited most of the multi-million dollar estate left behind by the father.

One of the siblings, Keith Julien who spoke to THE NEW TODAY Newspaper about the matter said immediately following the father’s death and burial, he was instructed by the other members of the family to enquire from their brother, Roger, who had lived in the house with their father if he had left a will.

Julien said although Roger spoke of Lewis having left a will he failed to present it to them.
As a result they made a search at the Supreme Court Registry on three occasions without any success in finding it.

Julien said the service of a prominent female attorney in St. George’s was obtained to assist them in locating the will that Roger said was left by Lewis.
After making a check at the registry for the fourth time, the attorney finally laid her hand on a will.

Julien said when the attorney read the will to them, they suspected that it might have been forged when the names of the two witnesses were referred to them.

One of the witnesses served their father as his gardener on a parcel of land in Westerhall, St. David’s, while the other witness, as a seaman, used to sell seafood to Roger for his restaurant business.

According to Julien, neither of the two witnesses knew each other until they came to court to give evidence during the preliminary inquiry into the charge brought against their brother.

Julien said without any malice on the part of the siblings, the matter was taken to the FIU for investigation. Julien stated that the children of the deceased were only trying to satisfy themselves that their father had left behind a will and were seeking to ensure that his wishes were carried out.

He spoke of ten brothers having received $15,000.00 each from Roger on the death of their father.
“I would not have mind if dad said give me ten cents or nothing, I would have felt better,” he said.

The fraud-related charge against Roger Lewis is expected to be among the list of cases down for hearing in the October Criminal Assizes, which begins on October 9.

Digicel unveils Spice Mas plans

Bands sponsored by Digicel – Summer Crew, fancy mas and Jouvert and D Real Jab Jab

Telecommunications provider, Digicel, is promising yet another fun filled Spice Mas 2012.
The company last week Friday gave details of its involvement in the 2012 festivities during a press launch at its Headquarters at Point Salines.

Digicel is again partnering with Westerhall Rum and Flow for the third consecutive year for Monday Night Mas, J’ouvert and Fancy Mas.

The Digicel-Flow partnership enables Pay Per View, which provide customers who choose to or cannot attend the various major shows the luxury of enjoying them at home.

Digicel will also continue to be a main sponsor for several carnival activities such as the controversial White in the Moonlight.

Marketing Manager Kirk Seetahal said that the stakeholders are still engaged in discussions which could be reached this week to determine whether or not the event that is scheduled for Carnival Saturday night at Moonlight City, La Potrie, St Andrew will be allowed to proceed as planned.

Digicel also provides sponsorship to Helen Marie & Associates (fancy mas) and Summer Crew and Digicel Florida All Stars Steel Band, Ten to Ten, D Real Jab Jab band, Spice Basket Calypso-rama tent and St Andrews Carnival Queen Show.

This year, the company’s will be bringing out “JAB by DAY, JAB by NIGHT”, a $75. 00 package for Monday Night Mas.

The package includes a quality T-shirt: various styles, jab jab helmets, Flow water bottle, glow pitch forks or axe & necklace, waterproof pouch, bandanna, $5 Top Up Card, unlimited drinks, prizes and additional lights on the night.

Country Manager, Patricia Maher said that Digicel has been and continue to be a proud sponsor of Grenada’s Carnival even before the company officially opened its door to the public in 2003.

In light of Digicel’s need to satisfy its customers, the company announced its Spice Mas offer to locals and visitors alike. Digicel assured its customers that “with Digicel you’re covered for Carnival”.

Summer Crew Mas Band, bandleader Bobby Steele, was on hand with eight models displaying eight sections of his band that will hit the streets of St George for Spice Mas 2012.

Steele told the media that the assistance received from Digicel allows other mas bands in the country to access the Government of Grenada’s annual subvention to stakeholders.

Steele is one of the key people involved in the introduction of a shuttle from Trinidad and Tobago that will bring scores of revelers from the neighbouring islands to play mas with Summer Crew.

Steele said Summer Crew revelers would enjoy premium drinks and that at night the costumes will light up for partying.

Mitchell seeks to woo local journalists

Dr. Mitchell had taken out a record number of lawsuits against local newspapers and journalists

Former Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Mitchell is trying to repair his image with the media in Grenada by promising them greater freedom to do their work without hindrance if his New National Party (NNP) was re-elected back into office in the upcoming general elections.

Addressing a public meeting of his party at the Telescope Playing Field last week Sunday, Dr. Mitchell sought to assure.

Media practitioners that under a new administration by the NNP, they will not be intimidated when carrying out their job.

During his 13-year rule between 1995 and 2008, Dr. Mitchell had taken out a record number of lawsuits against local newspapers and journalists.

One of those lawsuits sought to get a local court to impose a prison sentence on a charge of criminal libel brought against former Editor of the now defunct GRENADA TODAY newspaper, George Worme.

With the case bogged down in the court system, the former Prime Minister retaliated by forcing the sitting Chief Magistrate, Patricia Mark to proceed on retirement after she allegedly resisted his moves to force her to cut short the Preliminary Inquiry into the matter against Worme and send the matter up to the high court for trial before a judge and jury.

Mitchell also filed a lawsuit against Worme and GRENADA TODAY in connection with an article written by Iranian-born Steve Fassihi in which he alleged that the former Prime Minister had brought in crooks and criminals posing as investors into the country.

Mitchell was able to succeed with the lawsuit since at the time none of the controversial investors had been sentenced to jail term for their alleged crimes.

The former Prime Minister proceeded to enforce his judgement against the newspaper and forced it to close down two years ago.

The closure of the newspaper in 2009 saw the immediate unemployment of six persons who had been employed with the company for in some cases since the inception of the newspaper in 1990.

In a clear attempt to woo voters into believing that he was a changed man, Dr. Mitchell told supporters last Sunday that the media have as role to play and will not interfere with them and cause anyone to loose their jobs.

“There is no profession in this country that is without sin. Under an NNP government my friends, we are not going to spend our time in doing everything to make people whose profession it is to bring news and information to the people to go around and try to make them try to loose their jobs”, he said.

“No media person will be afraid of the New National Party’s government. (The) media have a right to bring proper information and it (has) a responsibility to educate and inform and there are in-fact weaknesses there, but that weakness does not give any government the right to attack individual media person and to go and try to make them be on the breadline, my friends. The NNP government will respect that right to earn their livelihood my friends”, he added.

Apart from THE GRENADA TODAY newspaper, Dr. Mitchell was often criticised when in government for engaging in tactics of intimidation against media practitioners.

The NNP government was cited for being involved in the distribution of leaflets accusing journalists Linda Straker and Rawle Titus of working for the main opposition (then National Democratic Congress) party, and the deportation of Jamaican Journalist, Tenesha Thomas who arrived to cover the country’s 2008 general election.

Prime Minister Mitchell and NNP also filed lawsuits against GBN, as well as talk show hosts, Stanley Charles and Eddy Frederick in connection with allegations that the regime was engaged in a plot to assassinate the resigned Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Raphael Fletcher.

In addition, the NNP was accused of being involved in the forced resignation of News Director of GBN, Odette Campbell in protest at a one-week suspension imposed on her for objecting to government’s threats to prosecute anyone who put out reports that Mitchell was corrupt in the face of the US$500, 000.00 Switzerland bribery issue.

The Opposition Leader told supporters that hope is coming under an NNP led government since the NDC is already history as they have destroyed themselves.

“They have shown the people who they actually are”, he said, “Hope coming soon my friends, hope in the New National Party”.

According to Dr. Mitchell, the NNP first order of priority when if it is returned to office will be to unite the people of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique.

“When the election is over the NNP will be concentrating on national unity, bringing everybody together to build Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique”, he said.

“We are going to do away with the politics of divisiveness … There will be no attack under the New National Party’s next government, on investors local and foreign”, despite their affiliation to an opposition party or not,” he added.

General elections are constitutionally due in Grenada in 2013.

Nimrod slams George Mc Guire

Speaker of the House of Representative, George McGuire has been told to keep out of the US$150, 000.00 allegations made by former Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell against a senior member of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) government of Prime Minister Tillman Thomas.

Parliamentary Representative for Carriacou and Petite Martinique, Elvin Nimrod say it’s not the Speaker’s place

Parliamentary Representative for Carriacou and Petite Martinique, Elvin Nimrod bashed the Speaker during the New National Party’s (NNP) Rally held Sunday at Telescope, St Andrew.

Nimrod took strong objection to the Speaker’s announcement during the Sitting of the House of Representatives last month that he will write a “take note” letter to the management of Republic Bank (Grenada) Limited.

“…I shall therefore write a take note letter to the bank named by Dr. Mitchell to ensure that confidentiality has not been breached”, the Speaker told the sitting.

The ongoing battle originated from an allegation made by Opposition Leader Dr Mitchell on May 15 in Parliament that he has solid evidence that US$150,000.00 came into Republic Bank for a senior official of government (NDC) from Saudi Arabia.

The Opposition promised to provide the nation with evidence of the transaction but in recent weeks announced that Dr. Mitchell had passed it onto his lawyers.

Speaker of the House of Representative, George McGuire say he will give the Bank a “take note” letter

Prime Minister Thomas has told the nation that he collected US$50, 000.00 in his personal account at Republic Bank as a political contribution to his Congress party.
Nimrod accused McGuire of demonstrating bias since his appointment to the post of Speaker by the NDC-led Government.

He said the Speaker sat in the seat for four years while allegations were made against the Opposition Leader about the “briefcase affair” without asking anyone to present evidence.

This is reference to allegation made by a Miami-based publication that Dr. Mitchell had journeyed to St. Moritz, Switzerland in June 2000 to collect a bribery payment of US$500, 000.00 from imprisoned fraudster Eric Resteiner in exchange for a diplomatic posting.

Resteiner’s former Chief of Security, Timothy Bass who claimed to have videotaped the transaction had given testimony in an affidavit that his former employer had indicated to him that he had made a similar payment of US$500, 000 to Mitchell in Grenada in order to land the job.

The former Prime Minister has consistently denied the allegation, stating that he collected “approximately US$15, 000.00” from the fraudster as promised reimbursement for undertaking an investment mission to Europe on behalf of government.

In addressing the Speaker’s “take note” letter to Republic Bank, Nimrod said: “That is not his business, that is not his place, he’s trying to usurp the authority of the judiciary”.

According to Nimrod, a former Minister of Foreign Affairs, the real proof to the controversial transaction is the Prime Minister admitting that he received money from a source that he failed to disclose and credited the NNP for exposing the transaction.

The MP for Carriacou & Petite Martinique also pointed accusing fingers at other members of the Congress administration for collecting monies.

“The Prime Minister is not smart and we are not surprised that he isn’t smart because others received monies but did not receive it in their personal account. They send it over to their families in Barbados and other parts of the region, and they set up Uncle Tilly. My friends…they set him up”, Nimrod said.

The opposition parliamentarian chastised PM Thomas for not disclosing the name of the person who made the donation, charging the Prime Minister’s refusal to disclose the source of the contribution is a demonstration of arrogance, lack of transparency and contempt on his part.

Nimrod said he is more convinced now that the continued refusal by the Prime Minister to disclose the source of the US$50,000.00 is a telling indication that the money might have possibly come from an illegal source such as money laundering, drug trafficking or terrorist financing which violates the island’s regulation on Terrorism.

He felt that the Grenadian leader is more interested in protecting the identity of some suspicious Foreign Donor rather than upholding the laws of the country and satisfying the needs of the people.

Nimrod used the NNP platform to call on Prime Minister Thomas to demonstrate his commitment to the principle of accountability by giving a full and accurate account as to how the US $50,000.00 was spent and the source of the contribution.

He said that until and unless such disclosure is made, the Prime Minister cannot claim the moral authority to lead the nation or continue to utter words such as transparency, accountability, good governance and integrity in public life.