Accusation has been leveled against Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell for creating divisiveness in the country.
The charge was leveled by educator Joseph Andall who is the caretaker for the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the rural Constituency of St. Patrick’s West.
Andall who was appearing for the first time, on the weekly NDC Heartbeat radio programme said that everything Dr. Mitchell does is aimed at widening the divide between “green” and “yellow” supporters in the country.
The colours – green and yellow – are used by the ruling New National Party (NNP) and the NDC respectively.
Andall told the host of the programme, he wants Dr. Mitchell to remember that he is more than just the political Leader of the NNP, but that he is the Prime Minister of Grenada.
The NDC Executive Member said that when Dr. Mitchell spoke of the campaign being over during his maiden speech at the time of being sworn in as the Prime Minister on February 20, one day after the 2013 General Elections, he really thought that he actually meant it.
“So I would like to call on the Prime Minister to, please, not just talk what you believe is necessary to be said, but to live up to it,” he added.
Andall recognised that in the difficult economic situation the country has found itself, there is need for everyone to work together.
However, he fears that this may not happen once the Prime Minister continues to “spit out venom” often as he does, which he said will just be alienating a large section of the population.
He claimed that in all of Dr. Mitchell’s utterances since becoming the Prime Minister “he keeps spreading divisiveness.”
Andall said Dr. Mitchell cannot be calling on the Grenadian people to make sacrifice while his behaviour demonstrates the complete opposite.
He indicated that Congress is willing to support any programme that will lead to sustainable development of the country and ultimately providing quality jobs for the people.
However, he was concerned about hotel projects coming on stream in the vicinity of the Grand Anse Beach.
Andall pointed to a study that was commissioned by the NNP in 1997 for the benefit of a Tourism Master Plan which revealed, “further accommodation development on the Grand Anse area should be restricted to planned extension of existing properties…”
The study also suggested that all new hotel plants should be put in locations away from the Grand Anse Beach.
He also referred to a section of the report which indicated that the area south of the Silver Sands Hotel should remain undisturbed as that area helps to retain and filter floodwater.
Residents in the south also claim that the Silver Sands beachfront is always left in a muddy state from heavy rainwater that flows from the hilly side in the Golf Course.
According to Andall, the Mitchell-led government should consider diversifying the tourism project as a way of promoting eco-tourism by going into rural areas because since the destruction of the banana industry, and the onslaught of Hurricanes Ivan and Emily, these areas have remained virtually economically depressed.
The NDC Executive Member also addressed the claim by Dr. Mitchell during the budget presentation that the Imani trainees comprise 2,000 of the 4,000 new jobs that have been provided by his administration within the past ten months.
He said that in the Youth Upliftment Programme that was undertaken by the NDC Government, 1,500 young persons were enrolled in the programme but were sent home since the initiative was discontinued by the new regime.
He said that with there being 2,000 people in the Imani Programme, there is just a net gain of 500.
During the radio programme which was the last for the year by Congress, the party’s Political Leader, Tillman Thomas phoned in to extend best wishes to the people of Grenada for the Christmas season.
The former Prime Minister being cognizant of the economic measures the people have to face in 2014 said if ever there is a time for the people of Grenada to be “Soldiers for Christ,” it is now and they need to be creative and productive at this time in their history.
The NDC Political Leader said that as patriotic Grenadians, he and the other leaders of the party will continue to work on behalf of all the people of the State of Grenada.
“NDC has the capacity, the commitment and the dedication to forge ahead. We have not been a party that ever bramble the people of Grenada. We have always been straight forward in what we are doing, committed and focused,” he remarked.
The former Prime Minister believes that if ever there was a time when Grenada needs Congress it is right now.
Deputy Political Leader Nazim Burke who also phoned into the programme said despite the challenges the NDC has gone through during this year, the time is being spent rebuilding the party and preparing for the next General Elections.
Burke, who is an Opposition Senator in the Upper House of Parliament, described the demands on the party as being “great”.
He said that in spite of the challenges and limited resources, the NDC has been able to pull together a small-dedicated team of persons who are working very hard in providing leadership to the organisation.
The second in command in Congress stressed that the party was also been able to maintain a very close relationship with its base especially those persons who voted for Congress in the February 19 General Elections.
The NDC which was in government from July 2008 to February this year lost all 15 seats to Dr. Mitchell’s NNP.