The citizens of Grenada are wary, and deeply concerned about the reckless manner in which the government is dealing with state assets. For years, Dr Mitchell and his administration have been disposing of national assets in a very loose and covert manner. Many a time, these dealings have either been easily forgotten or gone unnoticed by the general public. This is a situation for grave concern, and the consistent restraint symbolises the lack of vigilance and action on the part of the Grenadian people.
For too long, hundreds of acres of lands have been taken away from the people, and handed over to so-called foreign investors. These actions are taken by government without explaining the true nature and terms of such agreements. More times than not these shady deals collapse, leaving heavy burden on taxpayers while adding to the national debt stock.
Most recently government announced a US$2 billion dollars project for the south of the island. This project will no doubt involve a few hundred acres of lands. The people are yet to know whether the lands in question are freely given to the investor or whether the lands are being sold.
What is the arrangement made between the government and the investor, in respect to the hundreds of acres of land involved in the project? The people need to know. Is the property sold? If so, how much did the investor pay for the property? Is it a public-private partnership, where government contributes the lands and the investor provides the financing? Then should this be the case, what percentages of the share will government own on the investment?
How much concession is government willing to compromise on this project and for how long? Any government worth its salt should be willing to provide these answers to their trustee without having to demand it from the people who voted them to act on their behalf.
The authorities are often found rabble rousing, trying to stir up public emotion after those deals are already negotiated and settled. The present fight for Camerhogne Park is a typical example of a government that is out of touch with the will and wishes of its people. A petition of over 15,000 signatures to save Camerhogne Park for use by Grenadians has been simply brushed aside as not being legitimate. Instead what the authorities see as legitimate is the selection of a committee to look at the ramification of the project and mediate the way forward.
After almost 20 years of corruption and victimisation against the people of Grenada, it is inconceivable that the NNP administration is now boasting of having all stakeholders under their wings supporting all their policy agenda. This includes some of the NNP’s most former bitter political enemies.
Let me interject, a word to the wise is sufficient… if this administration’s track record means nothing to all stakeholders who are presently colluding with Dr. Mitchell to keep him in power and create further hardship for Grenadian and Grenadians.
How can the global community be motivated to come to our assistance to offer budgetary support to a country led by an administration that they have little or no faith in? This must be the context and picture from which the social partners must view the current saturation, and not for just selfish and political gains or reasons.
The National Democratic Congress has had many challenges in the past trying to restore Grenada creditworthiness from the mutilation inflicted by the New National Party administration’s poor leadership of the economy. Due to the lack of public knowledge of the economy, the real benefits of such efforts often times go to waste.
Dr Mitchell’s New National Party is a ruthless political party that will stop at nothing to gain and maintain political power. The NNP mantra of jobs and more jobs and zero taxation has helped them to win many elections leaving behind huge trail of debts of unmanageable proportions, which resulted in the detriment of the country and the people.
For the first time in his reign, Dr Mitchell is being boxed in by the IMF. This resulted from his refusal to pay external creditors. Had he not submitted to the IMF, no credible financial institution was willing to sit or listen to him on the basis of his extremely poor management record. He anticipates at the end of the IMF program later this year, he will squander some of the gains realised from the painful sacrifice Grenadians were asked to make during two-and-a-half years in an effort to hoodwink the electorate.
It will be remiss of me not to call upon Grenadians to become more political astute by getting more involved and engaged in the political process, to first bring an end to the politics of spite and victimisation and work towards the types of changes needed to take the country into the future and live the Grenadian dream.