The Keith Mitchell-led government in St. George’s has launched a blistering attack on THE NEW TODAY newspaper following its call for an independent Commission of Inquiry into the affairs of the financially-plagued state-owned Marketing & National Importing Board (MNIB) in keeping with the Commission of Inquiry act and not a Commission set up by Cabinet.
In a carefully worded statement, the government gave the commitment only “to have an open investigation, consistent with the norms of good governance and transparency”.
No mention was made in the statement about a Commission of Inquiry to be headed by a lawyer or judicial official in keeping with the fact.
This newspaper also wishes to challenge the statement made in the release that THE NEW TODAY editorial had “singled out one particular board member, who is just an ordinary director, seemingly suggesting that this director may have failed to give direction on the areas of concern”.
This newspaper wishes to point out that the Director referred to is attorney-at-law, Kim George who by no stretch of the imagination can be considered as “an ordinary member” of the MNIB Board in virtue of the fact that she is a qualified attorney-at-law with many years of experience.
“We are not imputing any wrong-doing on the part of Ms. George since we believe that she is more than qualified than any other board member to know that the CEO of MNIB, Mr. Ruel Edwards was acting outside of the law in failing to have annual Financial Reports prepared and presented to the board in keeping with the requirements of the law”, THE NEW TODAY said.
Following is the full text of the latest government release on the MNIB fiasco:
“Prime Minister, Dr. the Right Honourable Keith Mitchell has made it clear in his public statements, the dissatisfaction and serious concern with some aspects of the management of the Marketing and National Importing Board (MNIB) over the last five years.
On his recommendation, as he has reported, the Cabinet of Grenada has agreed to support a full inquiry into the affairs of the MNIB.
It is a decision that has the full backing of the current board of the MNIB and is a welcomed relief to many members of the past board, who by all accounts, have been blindsided by some of the allegations in the public domain.
The purpose of the investigation – the details of which will be made public shortly – is to get to the bottom of the allegations, and to find answers and solutions that are satisfactory to both farmers and the general population of Grenada.
Without the benefit of such an investigation, it is premature and irresponsible to suggest that any member of the past MNIB Board of Directors had any inkling or direct responsibility, in their personal and professional capacity.
We take note of a recent editorial in a certain local newspaper, which singled out one particular board member, who is just an ordinary director, seemingly suggesting that this director may have failed to give direction on the areas of concern.
Not only does this suggestion not make practical sense, it must be seen for what it is – an attempt at political mischief by a known antagonist who has a long history of showing little regard for facts; and who has been proven time and time again by the legal system to be a known slanderer.
The Government of Grenada is determined to have an open investigation, consistent with the norms of good governance and transparency”.