The just-ended carnival was not the most organised or spectacular in recent years.
However, it is unfortunate that it will be best remembered for the apparent signs of incompetence by those running the Spicemas Corporation and the shooting incidents involving the police at two events in the rural countryside.
The police have been rather tight-lipped about the shootings in the early days of the incidents and promised to be more forthcoming with information to the public as the “Field Commanders” in the respective divisions complete their investigations and give the relevant information to the Police High Command.
However, THE NEW TODAY would like to commend the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) for the quick manner in which the lawmen investigated and brought criminal charges against one of their own over allegations of rape and indecent assault.
It is not the intention of this newspaper to comment on the merit of the case since that is something that will be adjudicated upon in due course by the law courts.
The incident resulting in the quick arrest of the Corporal of Police once again raises serious questions about the treatment given to some low-ranking officers within the force as opposed to others in the hierarchy.
An investigation was carried out in short order by members of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) into this police officer based on a complaint made against him.
This newspaper holds no brief for anyone since it believes in due process of anyone brought before a court of law.
However, the quick manner in which the Corporal was investigated and charged is noted when compared with what appears to be a cover-up at the highest possible level within the force of three senior police officers allegedly engaged in sexual misconduct against a female Constable of Police nearly two years ago.
The Acting Commissioner of Police was presented with a letter by the victim in which she named the senior officer who allegedly raped her at a police house in St. John’s.
Another of the officer named by the victim was promoted to sit into one of the top seats at Police Headquarters and interacts very often with Mr. James in meetings of the Police High Command.
It is a rather sad day for the force that Mr. James would sit in the chair as head of the police force and sanction the appointment of an alleged sex predator and not object over the promotion to the Office of the Prime Minister or the Public Service Commission (PSC) in the wake of such a serious allegation.
Mr. James was informed by this newspaper in person that a claim made by the Head of the CID that he interviewed someone in THE NEW TODAY which broke the story about the rape of the female officer is very erroneous because nothing of the sort ever took place.
This newspaper has come to the conclusion that the “big boys” in the force are engaged in a cover-up for each other coupled with the fact that two of the officers alleged engaged in the acts of sexual misconduct are said to be operatives of the ruling party.
Mr. James did issue a public statement about the investigation that was launched into the sexual misconduct allegation involving three of his top officers and months later is still to brief Grenadians about the conclusion of the so-called investigation.
This so-called investigation is very suspicious in light of the “lies” already told to the head of the force about an interview that was conducted with someone with THE NEW TODAY newspaper when nothing of the sort happened.
Did Mr. James investigate this officer for blatantly misinforming him on the conduct of the investigation? If so what action did he take against the officer for misleading him?
Sad to say, RGPF is turning out to be a force of two colours – those who line up behind Green are now in charge and being treated differently while those who favour the Yellow are waiting for their time to come one day again.
Finally, THE NEW TODAY calls on the relevant authority to do something now and not wait until tomorrow to rescue the sinking carnival ship in the Spice Isle.
It is agreed by all and sundry that Carnival has the potential to be a major money earner for a number of persons in the country and all avenues should be pursued to help this important cultural artform to grow.
The level of dis-organisation is too much and some kind of overhaul of Spicemas Corporation is badly needed.
The lack of money due to the almost empty coffers of the government is not only part of the problem but the incompetence demonstrated by some of the persons who are members of the corporation should not be overlooked.
The Minister of Culture, Senator Brenda Hood only need to look at the problems encountered with getting judges for some of the shows – and no further – to understand the failings of the committee under her watch.
The numerous complaints from the many artistes involved in showcasing our premier annual cultural extravaganza the likes of Inspector and David “Peck” Edwards should not be ignored but taken on board as the country charts a better road ahead in order to save our Culture.
It is better to do something now to the sick patient known as Spicemas and not wait until it becomes a corpse to try and bring it back to life.