The main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) Caretaker for St. Andrew’s North East, Terry Hillaire is questioning whether or not there is equity in the justice system in Grenada.
Hillaire expressed his concern against the backdrop of a chopping incident involving Agriculture Minister Roland Bhola and a resident of La Potrie, St. Andrew’s Rondell “Lawson” Mitchell earlier in the year.
Bhola, the Parliamentary Representative for St. Andrew’s North East had initially denied in an MTV Newscast on February 25th that during a February 23rd altercation that Mitchell ended up being chopped.
However, days later the senior Government Minister admitted during an interview with a radio station in the north of the country that a wound was inflicted on Mitchell but he had not cut the man.
Bhola, the General Secretary of the ruling New National Party (NNP) government, said “Lawson” who was carrying a knife was in a stooping position with his back towards him when he spotted him dehanding bananas on his farm.
He said when the intruder refused to place the knife in his bag as ordered to do, he planassed him on the left shoulder, and in the process the cutlass twisted and gave him one cut in that area.
According to the Agriculture Minister, the intruder grabbed onto the blade of his cutlass which resulted in another cut being inflicted in the palm of the left hand.
“I asked (him) on three occasions to let go of the cutlass. When he didn’t, I had to pull it away from him, that is how he got a cut in the palm of his hand,” Bhola told the host of the programme.
The senior Government Minister indicated that he used one of the sleeves of a shirt he had hanging in his banana shed to bandage the wound which was bleeding.
“If my intention was to take the law in my hand and destroy him, that is what I could have done, but I refused to approach him from behind. I refused to hit him or chop him up so I called out to him,” he said.
“I never wanted to shed blood, I never wanted to chop the man. That was never my intention, but that’s all right. That is for the court to decide… I had no intention to shed blood with the man,” he added.
Pictures of Mitchell with what clearly appeared to be plasters on various areas of his body made their way onto Social Media.
Mitchell who gave his side of the story that was also posted on Social Media said that he was making his way to the nearby River Antoine Estate to get some fruits to make punch.
He said while passing through Bhola’s farm he noticed some bananas (fig) on the ground spoiling.
Mitchell claimed that the senior Government Minister allegedly issued death threats to him.
“The man say he killing me today… He said long he wanted to kill me,” he said.
According to Mitchell, his MP placed the cutlass in the area of his stomach and it was at that time he grabbed it.
“I grabbed the cutlass with my hand, he turned the cutlass and it cut inside my hand,” he remarked.
Addressing the issue during a recent NDC public meeting at Soubise, St. Andrew’s, Hillaire said although the chopping victim made an official report to the police no charges have been laid on Bhola four months after the incident.
“…If it was me or you, we would have been in Richmond Hill (Prisons),” he said.
Hillaire accused the members of the NNP administration of being able to violate the law and not made to pay the consequences for their actions.
“This NNP Administration feel they could do what they want, all of them. They feel this country is theirs, they could do anything and get away with it. The law, it seems, is like for only one set of people in this country, but I am telling you there is someone watching and keeping record, and we’re going to pay, everybody has to pay for their deeds,” he said.
According to Hillaire, people are now recognising what is happening in the constituency.
There has been no official statement from either the Police or the Office of the Director of Prosecutions (DPP) on the investigations carried out into the alleged chopping incident involving the senior government minister.