THE NEW TODAY is forced to adopt as its own three powerful words used by a former Executive member of the ruling New National Party (NNP) to describe the imminent departure of Attorney-at-law, Dwight Horsford from our shores to become the Attorney-General of Anguilla.
The words used were “Great” and “Our loss”.
It is “great” in the sense that another island has jumped to take in legal quality that Grenada is dilly-dallying with and “our loss” in the sense that a fellow Caribbean island will benefit from Mr. Horsford’s legal acumen and not the people of Grenada, Carriacou & Petite Martinique.
Mr. Horsford’s decision to leave Grenada and work elsewhere must be seen against the backdrop of a particular situation in which it is often said that a King has no honour in his own country.
As one Grenadian remarked: “The Grenada government prefer to appoint Larry Joseph, a retiree before they appoint Dwight for the post of Attorney-General. Am Happy for him (Horsford), he is a very knowledgeable person”.
The above statement is nothing but condemnation of the manner in which Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell has often treated the nation’s bright and independent-minded young people with nothing but contempt for their academic brilliance.
Another case in point is Dr. Brian Francis, a brilliant economist who was appointed to the post of Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance by PM Mitchell and introduced him to the then Cabinet of Ministers as a “bright and shining star”.
Dr. Francis’ tenure came to an abrupt end when he refused to go along with wrongdoing and illegality by facilitating millions of dollars from crooks in Europe through a scheme to wash money into the coffers of government.
This newspaper is fully aware that the job of Solicitor General was not given to Mr. Horsford by PM Mitchell but came about through the insistence of the other two powerful players within the NNP fold – then Deputy Prime Minster Elvin Nimrod and Works Minister Gregory Bowen.
The release from Anguilla indicated that Mr. Horsford was only selected for the post of AG after he emerged at the top of an international competition.
This statement speak volumes as our local attorney-at-law was not handpicked but came out on top of a competition which according to sources in that part of the world included two Queens Counsel from England who also applied for the job.
The message is clear – the authorities in Anguilla were prepared to look beyond the white colour scheme and choose a black boy for the job and demonstrated for the world to see that there was no nepotism in the selection process for a new AG for their small British territory.
But in Grenada, our Prime Minister is refusing to appoint Mr. Horsford, a young brilliant legal mind to the post of AG and allowing the office to be occupied by someone who is not only a retiree but is not highly considered in the legal arena by his own colleagues.
Dr. Joseph has served on many occasions as AG with nothing of substance to show but seems to be the “go-to-man” when the PM is in crisis in the legal field. How can a country go forward and grow under this kind of dispensation?
THE NEW TODAY can also look back at the approach that was made by the Chief Justice of the OECS to attract Mr. Horsford to serve as a judge on the court circuit as proof that he has something to offer in the legal field.
Clearly, the Chief Justice made the move after looking at the quality of performance of Mr. Horsford in presenting his cases before high court judges and the Justices of Appeal as Solicitor General of the country.
This is more proof that this scholastic attorney-at-law in our midst was being recognised by the best legal brains in the OECS court but is being treated with nothing but contempt and disdain by a Prime Minister who refuses to do business with anyone that he cannot control.
This newspaper is aware of another local lawyer who wrote the Chief Justice offering his services to take up a judgeship in the OECS but that was as far as the application went before the Chief Justice.
Information circulating within the local legal fraternity is that PM Mitchell is flirting with a certain Guyanese lawyer who might be offered the post of Attorney General to replace the ageing Dr. Joseph.
If the appointment comes through it will speak volumes of Dr. Mitchell and his contempt for anything local that he cannot control and use, abuse, disregard and discard at his own whims and fancies.
The young people of this country should take careful note of the Dwight Horsford situation as he is a young man who is brilliant in the field of law but is treated with disdain by a Prime Minister who often boast of his love for country and the young people of this land.
It is our view that Dr. Mitchell will continue to keep the young people of Grenada in a dependence syndrome as Imanis with their hands always stretched out for the $800.00 subsistence allowance.
This is where he wants to keep them in order to maintain his political control and stranglehold on them with the 5-year electoral cycle in mind.
The truth is Dr. Mitchell has nothing new to offer the country in terms of its true and total development after nearly 20 years at the helm.
Under his continued leadership it will be the same “ole”, same “ole” thing to campaign throughout the next five years to win elections in order to massage his legacy ego.