A large cross section of the people of Grenada are now up in arms against Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell following controversial remarks he made at a Town Hall meeting in Brooklyn, New York on the issue of pilfering at the nation’s General Hospital.
THE NEW TODAY is not in a position to confirm the extent or the level of stealing at the hospital in the absence of any credible information from the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF).
There is absolutely no information currently in the public domain as it relates to arrest and charges laid against anyone for engaging in criminal activities like the theft of groceries including meat etc at the nation’s premier health facility.
As the region’s lead Prime Minister on Science and Technology, it is somewhat strange that after 25 years at the helm of government, Dr. Mitchell has not seen it fit to install cameras at strategic places in our hospital as many other member states of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
This issue goes at the heart of the type of governance and competence of Prime Minister Mitchell over the many years in charge of the nation’s ship.
However, what is clear to this newspaper is that most of the workers engaged in a certain type of service at the hospital – outside of the nurses and doctors – are generally hired by the government of the day.
During the 1960’s and 70’s, the Grenada United Labour Party (GULP) government of late Prime Minister Sir Eric Matthew Gairy would use the nursing profession to provide employment for supporters and the same applied during the 1979-83 Grenada Revolution.
If stealing took place during those eras then fingers could have been pointed at supporters of those regimes for “dipping their hands in the cookie jar”.
The same can apply today to the ruling New National Party (NNP) of Prime Minister Mitchell as its Parliamentarians often take advantage of job opportunities for their supporters in every sphere of government business.
The Prime Minister has angered many because of the broad brush that he used in New York which was interpreted by workers on the whole that they were engaged in mass stealing from government at the hospital.
The aggrieved parties should only accept the invitation extended to them by Prime Minister Mitchell for a meeting when he issues the demanded public apology in good faith following his public utterances in New York.
THE NEW TODAY fully understands the sentiments in the Grenadian society at this point in time but there is more heart-breaking developments to come from Dr. Mitchell and the NNP administration.
Another issue that would surely attract public attention is the flip-flop of Dr. Mitchell and the NNP on the attempt by Ex-army Lieutenant-Colonel, Ewart “Headache” Layne to get admitted to the Grenada Bar to practice at our law courts.
The government had quite rightly challenged the application made by Layne in 2014 when then high court judge Justice Margaret Price-Findlay rejected it on very solid grounds.
It should be noted that among the battery of lawyers who joined with Layne in challenging the State was Dr. Lawrence Joseph who was then in private practice.
The matter is currently before the Privy Council in London and Dr. Joseph is now the Acting Attorney-General of the country and the one engaging Layne’s lawyers in England on behalf of the government and people of Grenada, Carriacou & Petite Martinique.
Where is his integrity? Why didn’t he allow another lawyer in government service to engage the British lawyers? How can government expect people to have confidence in the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) given the behaviour of the current Attorney General which points to a clear conflict of interest?
As a matter of fact, it is the same Dr. Joseph who is leading the government charge to get the electorate to vote “Yes” in the next month Referendum to have the CCJ replace the Privy Council as the final appellate court in this jurisdiction.
The people of Grenada elected Dr. Mitchell as Prime Minister of the country and as such he ought to come clean and explain to the nation the 360 degree turn around of the government on the Ewart Layne issue.
Is he fulfilling some deal that was struck with the RMC elements within the government like Foreign Affairs Minister Peter David and Chester Humphrey for helping to destroy the Congress government and Prime Minister Tillman Thomas to bring him back into power?
Is there some secret pact to install Peter David as Prime Minister of the country whenever Dr. Mitchell decides to exit the national arena?
The Prime Minister cannot remain silent on a very fundamental issue given the history of this country and the pain and suffering of our people by the RMC forces.
Why would a government which won a victory against Layne at the High Court and Court of Appeal now turn around and choose to lose that same victory at the level of the Privy Council?
This cannot make sense to the ordinary man and woman in the country.
There must be something more in the mortar than the pestle as it amounts to a betrayal of the Masses.
The handling of the Layne matter by AG Dr. Joseph and PM Mitchell should serve as enough reason for the electorate to vote resoundingly “NO” on Referendum Day on the CCJ issue.
Can you trust this government on legal matters? This is the all-important question at the moment.