Here we go again!! – Randal Robinson’s ranting, innuendos and false accusations about the Prime Minister’s recent visit to St Kitts, is yet another example of the NDC’s attempt to mislead and confuse the minds of this Nation.

How many more times must we listen to their deliberate and irresponsible attempts to distort the facts or resort to downright lies in their efforts to score cheap political points?

The facts on this particular matter are clear and simple:

The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) chartered and paid for a private plane to transport Prime Minister Mitchell, and the other prime ministers and officials from the region, to St Kitts, to attend an ECCB Board of Governor’s meeting. Not one cent of Grenada’s taxpayers’ money was expended on this travel arrangement.

The meeting agenda included interviews with the two shortlisted candidates to determine who shall succeed Sir Dwight Venner as the new Governor of the ECCB – one of those candidates interviewed for this top position was Grenada’s Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Timothy Antoine.

The rationale to charter a plane for the officials was borne out of a need for expediency and time efficiency during a busy Holiday season; enabling the participating Prime Ministers to attend the meeting and return to their respective countries on the same day.

In so doing, they were able to achieve in one day what would have otherwise taken at least two days of travelling when they should be back in their respective countries attending to the affairs of State.

So rather than acknowledging the gravity of the meeting and the importance of Prime Minister Mitchell’s attendance, what did we hear from Randal Robinson? We heard wild and inaccurate statements.

To quote Randal Robinson – “so folks KCM and his bodyguards boarded a Private Jet this morning and is off again to GOD knows where to meet with GOD knows who… Who paying for that flight?….. You think he coming back with a briefcase?

…more questions than answers.

…watching and waiting.”

That was the written contributions of NDC’s spokesperson. Further allegations were made on the television and radio along the same slanderous and misleading theme.

His claim that the Grenadian taxpayer was footing the bill for the trip is false.  His claim that the purpose of the visit was a mystery is false. It was public knowledge that Prime Minister Mitchell was scheduled to attend this meeting – the Prime Minister made the announcement of this impending meeting at the last sitting of Parliament.

And the implication that there was some sort of corrupt agenda to the visit was not only a blatant attempt to mislead, but it is dangerous and libelous.

If NDC spokespersons and officials have a question or concern, the responsible thing to do is to ask for, or establish the facts first before commenting.

Instead, they exercise this perpetual habit of choosing to ignore the facts and fire off one false allegation after another. By so doing, they are continuing to lose credibility with the Grenadian populace.

This is not the first time. We heard only recently their claim that this Government had failed to pay its contributions to the National Insurance Scheme. The facts are, this Government has not only been meeting its financial contributions in full and on time since entering Office, but has also been addressing the significant NIS arrears left behind by the former NDC Administration.

Clearly the truth counts for nothing in the eyes of these desperate accusers!!

This is a transparent NNP Government that has put in place the mechanisms to ensure that integrity in government is upheld. It is this NNP Government that established the Integrity Commission which has the independent authority and means to investigate any reasonable claims presented to it.

Our parliamentary systems also allow for questions and concerns to be raised on the floor. That is what any responsible and effective political party, especially one which claims to be the Opposition, should do: Take their concerns to the appropriate agencies to have them addressed in the Nation’s interests.

They need to stop bringing those “concerns” to the public domain before they establish the facts. But instead the NDC chooses to take the path of this cheap and dirty political charade.

In recognition of the seriousness of these false statements, the New National Party is calling on Randal Robinson to withdraw his remarks or make a public apology. This reckless and irresponsible behaviour must now stop – the people of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique deserve the better. They deserve the truth.

(The above reflects the views of the New National Party)

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