Under the constitution of many commonwealth countries including Grenada citizens are given the legal rights to carry out a citizen’s arrest if their safety is in danger. They can also execute such an arrest if the safety of other citizens and their property are threatened. The last successful citizen’s arrest that took place in Grenada was in 2008 prior to the general elections. That arrest was executed by members of the NDC who captured a young police officer who allegedly was spying on an executive meeting of the party. The case brought against the executive members of the party was thrown out by the DPP.
Grenada is in a very serious crisis and it will take drastic actions by the people to ensure that the country don't become a failed state. The NNP administration of Dr Keith Mitchell after winning the February 19th elections by a landslide has demonstrated that it is incapable of running the affairs of the state. A mere seven months into its third term in office the party has lead the country into bankruptcy. The party came into power with great anticipation, promising the electorate jobs, jobs and jobs and the creation of a new economy. The people were promised a different kind of politics. One of non-partisanship and inclusiveness. Dr Mitchell promised a system base on fairness, meritocracy, transparency, accountability and good governance. He stated that he has learned from his mistakes of the 1995-2008 era. The people bought into his vision and supported the NNP overwhelmingly.
Seven months into his administration hope turned into hopelessness , optimism into pessimism, enthusiasm into lethargy , apprehension and desperation. The atmosphere is polluted with the smell of betrayal and lies. Grenadians have quickly come to the realisation that they were duped by the NNP into believing that they have the solutions to the nation problems. MPs are under performing looking for trivial things to blame the previous administration. The country is at a standstill.
The people parliament has been prorogued as the NNP attempts to stifle debate with the introduction of the Electronic Crimes Bill and the Citizens by Investment Bill. Two pieces of very controversial legislation. The ad hoc manner in which this legislation was introduced is a manifestation of the disarray in the policies of the government. The interest of the people seems to have been placed on the backburner as the politicians try to consolidate and centralise political power within the confines of a small and dangerous clique within the party.
Government can't deliver on its promises to the people. The much talked about investors that were waiting to flood the shores of Grenada hasn't materialised. The plan by Egyptian business tycoon Naquib Sawiris to invest in the construction of three five-star hotels on the world famous Grand Anse Beach should be of some concern to the people. With an unemployment rate of over 40% the country is in need of some serious foreign direct investment, however given the political background of Mr Sawiris the government should proceed with concern and scepticism.
The United States intelligence community will become even busier in the Southern Caribbean. The US Southern Command will have to be ever vigilant given Grenada's close proximity to Venezuela and the South American mainland. The citizens of Grenada need to wake up from their deep sleep and execute some arrests if they are to protect the peace and security they have enjoyed over the years. This peace and security should never be compromised for a few pieces of silver.
Let us not forget the bomb blast that took place at the Queens Park on June 19, 1980, that killed two and injured twenty-two. It was an act of terror.
Grenada's plate is filled to the brim with political, social and economic problems and hardship. The International Monetary Fund completed its visit to the island only a few weeks ago, and come mid-October Prime Minister Mitchell is expected to sign an agreement with the fund. This structural reform program will have severe consequences for the people of Grenada. With the country already bankrupt, the people should expect more hardship with the signing of this agreement. Dr Mitchell and his NNP administration have absolutely no choice but to seek an accommodation with the IMF and the island's creditors.
The administration is on the back foot in a defensive mood. The brag and boast of we will deliver has quickly turned to the plea for the making of sacrifices and doing the right thing. It is, however, very ironical and comical that, while the PM is asking the people to do the right thing, he and his administration are doing all the wrong things. He continues to divide the country along political lines. Discrimination, intimidation, victimisation against perceived opponents continue unabated, while nepotism and cronyism flourishes. For a country and people entering an IMF program this approach is extremely ludicrous and ill-advised.
The IMF is here because of the massive national debt of 2.5 billion dollars that was racked up by the NNP from 1995-2008. Any attempt by the government to push this under a rug must be resisted. The people failed to effect a citizen’s arrest then and so they are now suffering the consequences of their inaction. Even when they were warned about the mismanagement and excesses of the NNP they remained oblivious of their fate. Mr Allan Bierzynski on many occasions warned that the Grenadian people were living beyond their means but the politicians paid him no heed. The people missed an opportunity to effect an arrest in February 19, 2013, to try and sentence the perpetrators ensuing that they will never be able to cause them suffering and pain. The electorate has to blame themselves for a gross error of judgement.
As the people awaits the IMF medication, the government has injected its own dose of antigen into the cells of the poor and vulnerable when they announced that the free barrels initiative introduced by the NDC administration in 2008 will be discontinued with immediate effect. While this came at a cost to the country, like all the other safety net programs it provided a great relief to the poor people of this country. Even the middle class and the rich benefited from this program. More pain and hardship on the people of the country while their MPs are sunbathing and driving around in the latest model SUVs. That is the deliverance that the people have voted for.
The “carrot and stick” approach to governance by Dr Mitchell is in full swing. It started by making three of his MPs backbenchers while paying them ministerial salaries. Provide Chester, Peter, Pastor, Dee Gale, Carlton Francois with a carrot; give Willian, Senneth, Thompson , ACPs Bartholomew and Roberts the big stick. Provide NNP supporters a carrot with employment in the public service; give the perceived NDC supporters a big stick. Entice the NGOs, trade unions, the media and churches (so-called social partners) with a carrot and a few days after give the Supervisor of Elections Judy Benoit the big stick.
Dr Mitchell is making the entire Grenadian population look like a bunch of fools to the region and the international community. Like Silvio Berlusconi of Italy he may one day overplay his hand and become of victim of his own arrow. The Grenadian people may be made to look like fools, but they have a history of freeing themselves from any form of bondage, be it social, economic or political. Only seven months in his fourth term as prime minister only time will tell where Dr Mitchell is leading this nation and what his fate will eventually be. In the mean time the people are preparing for the execution of a major citizen’s arrest and come the opening of the second session of the ninth parliament interesting things will evolve. Interesting times are ahead.
Prime Minister Mitchell is leading an administration that treats the Grenadian people in a similar fashion to the Israeli government’s treatment of the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The policy of 'collective punishment' is the hallmark of this administration. One won't expect such policy in countries that are democracies. The NNP will punish the immediate and extended families of anyone perceived as an opponent. The long vindictive arm of the NNP dictates the affairs of the public and private sectors , statutory bodies and NGOs.
Too many young, brilliant and hardworking citizens are denied the opportunity to contribute meaningfully to nation building and the opportunity to look after themselves and families. The NNP is destroying the middle class of the country. It's either you are extremely rich or desperately poor. There will never be unity in Grenada and by extension sustainable growth and development once the policy divide and rule is allowed to continue. The so-called social partners, which include the business community, trade union movement, churches and other non-governmental organisations have a responsibility to hold to the prime minister.
PM Mitchell needs to be truthful and honest with the people. He needs to look at the Grenadian people with open eyes and not through 'fun-house' mirror that distorts their image. The prime minister and the NNP have already betrayed the mandate given to them by the electorate. A very respectable civil servant commented that, if lying was an Olympic event, he has no doubt that the leadership of the NNP regime and their representatives would easily win a gold medal. He lamented that when the PM snores, he lie
Grenada is on a slippery slope. The policies of the NNP and the attitude of the prime minister is a recipe for disaster. A new generation of delinquents is being created due to the lack of real and sustainable job opportunities for the thousands of young men idling on the blocks. The country is now a breeding ground for criminals.
The people have the opportunity to reverse this when parliament reconvenes. The Grenadian constitution doesn't give citizens the right for recall .The only legitimate and peaceful method available to the people to secure their safety and welfare given the pain and hurt that is being inflicted on them by this administration is a major citizen’s arrest. The people's court will be the judge and the jurors. This arrest must be carried out before the reading of the next budget by the Hon Prime Minister to ensure that no more hardship is inflicted on the masses.
Long live the people of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique.