Is Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell turning Grenada into a new Haiti like what existed in the Duvalier era in the Western Hemisphere’s poorest nation?
The throne was passed from Francois “Papa Doc” Duvalier who ruled from 1957 to 1971 when he died to his son Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier until he was overthrown in a popular uprising in 1986.
THE NEW TODAY is forced to ask the question above in light of Dr. Mitchell’s appointment of his own son, Olinga Mitchell, a U.S-trained attorney-at-law with no experience in governmental affairs to the post of Legal Advisor in the Ministry of Finance.
The people of Grenada seem to be not looking at the bigger picture that is emerging before their very eyes – the creation of a Mitchell dynasty in the country.
This newspaper understands that the appointment of Olinga was done unilaterally and singlehandedly by the Prime Minister without any notification to the Cabinet of Ministers that he was bringing his son into the realms of the government.
It should be noted that Dr. Mitchell did nothing wrong as the Constitution of Grenada empowers him to make the appointment in his own deliberate judgement.
The fact is that all Ministers of government are given Cabinet positions on the pleasure of the Prime Minister in accordance with the dictates of the Constitution.
What is significant about the Olinga appointment is that the important Ministry of Finance for the first time in the history of Grenada will be run by a Father and Son combination – Dr. Mitchell as the Supremo and Olinga as the one providing the advice to his father.
This is dangerous in light of the fact that in the coming years, government is looking to earn most of its revenue flowing into the coffers of the Treasury through its oil and gas resources now in the hands of the Russian outfit, Global Petroleum Group (GPG).
So, in effect, the stage is being set right now for all the oil money due to Grenada to be placed under the control of the Mitchell family. This can indeed be frightening and setting a dangerous precedent for the country.
After the March 13 election, Prime Minister Mitchell relinquished the Energy portfolio to his long-standing deputy and confidante, Gregory Bowen.
This is merely of academic interest as there is nothing of interest or significance that Minister Bowen can now do in terms of negotiations with the oil and gas agreement with the Russians.
What is there to negotiate further with the Russians? Absolutely nothing. The negotiations have already taken place and the GPG outfit has an agreement in hand outlining what is expected of them in the oil deal including the disbursement of funds to Grenada from the proceeds of oil and gas sales.
Once the oil and gas money start to flow, only two persons – Dr. Mitchell and his son in the capacity as legal advisor in the Ministry of Finance can determine the use of this money within government.
The persons within the ruling New National Party (NNP) should take note that the stage is also being set for Olinga Mitchell to become a serious and significant player in the political direction of the country.
Olinga is already amassing serious wealth from doing business on the island under the watch of his father.
THE NEW TODAY has documents in its possession from the Supreme Court Registry concerning a company set up by the son of the Prime Minister to engage in the importation of sand most likely for sale to the state-run statutory body known as Gravel & Concrete.
Olinga is also involved in the sale of passports through the Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programme set up under his father’s government.
In addition, the son of the Prime Minister is involved in another company that is seeking to become a major player in the export of GCNA nutmegs to the Russians and others in Europe.
Olinga’s name also came up in the secret deal in which a fleet of vehicles were brought into the country for the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) in which the line minister is Prime Minister Mitchell.
It was alleged back then that the son of a former Custom guard was used as the “frontman” to help facilitate the importation of the vehicles but that others hid in the background and came up with the finance to purchase the fleet.
The Mitchell family is already in control of the headquarters of the New National Party (NNP) at Mt. Helicon and the exit of Dr. Mitchell from frontline politics could see the grand entry of his son in the St. George North-west constituency.
And those who are “eyeing” the job of political leader of the ruling party could face the prospect of having to engage in a serious encounter with the Mitchell family and Olinga in particular for continued use of Mt. Helicon.
The 2018-2023 period of NNP rule in Grenada might be noted for one thing of significance – the passing of the baton from Father to Son as was the case with the Duvalier family in the impoverished island of Haiti.