By Grenadian Class
Grenada’s landlord, the Hon Dr. Keith Mitchell seems frustrated and confused as to what his next move will be with his 133 square miles of re-acquired real estate. Having acquired the title deed to his property that he leased from 1995 -2008 he named a senior management team of eighteen, employed three watchmen paying them the same salaries as the members of the senior management team, re-organised the forces responsible for the security of his property using one of his most trusted lieutenant as chief security officer, dismissed hundreds of workers he deemed unproductive and then decides to restructure the finances of his property.
Having fought and won the legal battles to regain his property, Dr Mitchell didn’t realised that managing his estate won’t be as easy as in the past. His failure to use the right type of fertiliser in the proper ratio has resulted in the degradation of the estate. Its value depreciated rapidly. Poor farm managerial skills, monitoring, supervision and agricultural practises resulted in the estate becoming depleted of nutrients with massive leaching and soil erosion.
His ‘lash and burn’ farming technique used extensively throughout the rainy seasons from 1995-2008 was extremely detrimental to the productivity of the estate. Too many makeshift and fly by night farmers were given excessive subsidies with very little or no returns to the estate.
While some farmers become very rich the vast majority of the labourers remained in poverty. The net result of these poor practises is that the estate became riddled with a massive debt of close to two (2) billion dollars. The estate is no longer in a position to produce to effectively service it debts and pay its creditors.
For four and a half years a new transparent and credible landlord and his team made a gallant effort to make the estate more productive. The team engaged in various forms of soil conservation techniques including contouring, terracing, irrigation and re-aforestation.
Despite some serious financial pressure the new landlord and his team kept the estate at break even. But as the demand of the customers increase for more and more from the estate the management team cracked. Some members didn’t have the patience and lobbied for the team to introduce new measures such as casino trading and joining of ALBA in an effort to get some much needed resources.
The former landlord who for thirteen years depleted the resources of the estate saw an opportunity to re-acquire his estate and so in collusion with members of the current team criticised consistently the performance of the new landlord. He begged the customers for forgiveness after selling them rotten produce for thirteen years. With severe economic pressure facing the customers many of them foolishly embraced the ‘fairy tale’ policies of the once failed landlord
The former landlord promised to employ 1,000 new workers in his first 100 days of re-acquiring his estate. He falsely claimed that he has many investors waiting to invest on his plantation. On February 19th the customers gave him the permission to manage the estate for a fourth time hoping that as he claimed, he would unite the workers, bring an end to victimisation and discrimination and ensure mass production using modern and new technique. What the landlord didn’t explain to the customers is when he will deliver the produce.
We are now in the wet season and six (6) months after re-acquiring the estate the customers are waiting for their produce, however work on the estate is on a standstill. The landlord seems to lack the managerial skill and just can’t deliver to the customers.
With all the necessary equipment, marketing and advertising tools at his disposal it seems that the landlord is confused and frustrated. The landlord solicited the assistance of five senior technocrats yet they are all unable to get the estate productive and profitable.
Weed has taken over the estate and this has forced the landlord to employ a number of ‘de-bushing’ teams on a rotation basis in an effort to get his estate productive. The problem facing the landlord is that he has managed the estate poorly and he is now faced with debts and deficits right up to his throat.
Faced with a massive cash flow problem and a busted budget the landlord has defaulted on major payments to his creditors. The value of his estate has been devalued and so he has no other choice but to call the IMF for rescue.
In the interim the landlord and his team are attempting to sell some acres of his estate to raise some monies by passing the Citizenship by Investment Bill. Peter De Savary and Miss Steele, wife of the Foreign Minister are assisting the landlord as he attempts to raise funds.
The problem facing the landlord though is that after attempting a similar program, his customers were barred from entering the borders of Canada without a visa. Many crooks and con men purchased lands and ended up in US prisons.
The landlord’s options are very limited. He either allow the IMF to rescue his estate, leave the estate to fallow, transfer the management of the estate to another real estate agent or continue to run up debts and deficits. He has no easy options. The most plausible one is turning over his estate to the IMF irrespective of how hard that decision may be. He had fought hard to re-claim his estate, however his previous mismanagement of the resources left him with no other choice but to surrender his authority.
In the meantime his customers are not receiving their products from the estate based on the agreement with the landlord. The landlord can’t deliver but he isn’t honest enough to tell his customers the truth. He prefers to have the estate in decline with the customers struggling and cling onto the title deed.
Customers are not inclined to wait very long for good service. They have already lost patience with the landlord who sold them fake goods and may soon take some action against him.
Estate Grenada is stuck in reverse gear and it would take another landlord to get it moving forward. The current landlord can’t expect to make the same mistakes over and over and get a different result. This is just not logical.
As the next audit of the estate accounts approaches sometime in December, the customers are anxiously awaiting the new measures that the IMF may force the landlord to implement.
Let’s all hope that the landlord convince the IMF to dispense the medication bit by bit since the customers just can’t take more. There is a saying that a promise is a comfort to a fool. It’s only a matter of time before the customers know whether they were fools or not.