|Letter: Hon Nazim Burke: A leader with a vision, a leader on a mission|
|Published on March 15, 2014||
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The election of Hon Nazim V Burke as the political leader of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) is significantly important to the people of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique. Having been elected by the vast majority of delegates to this esteemed position he now has the political legitimacy to speak on behalf of the thousands of persons who oppose the discriminatory policies of the New National Party (NNP). These people include supporters of the NDC, other political organizations and independents.
What is so significant about this political transition is that democracy is alive and well within the NDC and the entire country should be proud of this. The NDC is in sync with the political dynamics occurring globally as more and more countries look to younger visionary leaders to lead their people into the future and unto prosperity.
From Beijing to Washington, London to Roseau, young leadership has emerged as countries position themselves to benefit from the ever changing global economy where access to information, innovation, and creativity are the driving forces of sustainable economic growth.
A paradigm shift is essential if small economies like Grenada's are to survive in a very competitive environment. Small economies can no longer depend on donor countries to provide them with loans and grants to move their economy forward. Leaders in these small economies have to be innovative and creative.
The election of Hon Nazim Burke as political leader of the NDC is a step in the right direction for Grenada. The time for "political and economic adventurism" is over. The economy of Grenada is where it is today because of the failed economic and social policies of the past. The borrowing spree of Mitchell and the NNP for 13 consecutive years resulted in a unsustainable debt of over $1.8 billion. The lack of vision by Grenada 's longest serving prime minister hasn't resulted in the type of sustainable economic growth in relation to the monies that his administration had at its disposal. The country is bankrupt as a result, with an unemployment rate of 50% and rising.
Hon Nazim Burke, when he is given the opportunity by the people, will reverse this trend. He is a leader with a vision, and he is on a very important mission -- to restore the trust and confidence in the office of the prime minister. He understands the responsibilities as the political leader of the NDC. These include the dual role of uniting his party around a set of common goals, preparing his party for the next general election and, most important, uniting the country . A people divided among themselves are doomed to failure. The calls made by Mitchell for unity are just words. He hasn't followed up with action. Nazim Burke will take the necessary actions to create an atmosphere of unity and unite the people.
Grenada is too divided among political and economic lines for there to be any substantial economic growth that would benefit the entire country. Under Mr Mitchell and his NNP the political divide and the gap between rich and poor has widened. The leader of the NNP isn't capable of uniting the people and really doesn't care if the country remains divided. He has lost the trust and confidence of a large section of the population as a result of his discriminatory policies.
Hon Nazim Burke as a new leader is well place to unite the country. Having sent out the call to meet with the various sectors of the society he now has to follow up on his word with real action. He understands the gravity of the economic, social and political challenges facing the people, having served as minister of finance in the previous NDC administration. He appreciates that there is no "quick fix” to the nation’s problems. As minister of finance he demonstrated great prudence and thought in the management of the nation's finances. While he was heavily criticised by Mr Mitchell and the NNP, he received great commendations from leading world financial institutions . Grenada was able to maintain its creditworthiness.
The Grenadian economy and social fabric of the society is been ruined by Mitchell. Dr Mitchell has proved to the people of Grenada, the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and Grenada's creditors that he is a "specialist” in economic failure. His track record as minister of finance is deplorable and abysmal. He has wrecked the Grenadian economy. And continues to do so with his policies of increased taxation.
Nazim Burke would take a different approach to the governance of the country and the management of the economy. He understands the dynamics and driving forces within the economy and will be able to come up with micro- and macro-economic policies to propel economic growth. The five transformational pillars of the NDC tip the foundation upon which he will build a strong economic base.
Under Dr Mitchell and the NNP, is the economy "stupid"? Yes it is. Are you better off today than you were a year ago? Hell no! Why do you think that the economy is stupid? It's all because of the economic policies of the "visionless and shortsighted" minister of finance who seems not to have a clue of what to do. There are just some of the questions I have been asked and comments made by persons who are suffering under this government.
One year ago the chant was “Lord put ah hand, save us from Nazim and Tillman.” Today this has been replaced by “Lord put ah hand save us from Keith Mitchell the Taxman, we down on our knees save us from the IMF please.”
Nazim didn't raise taxes on the people neither did he implement a structural adjustment program. This is a man with a vision and a clear mission. He know where he wants Grenada to be by 2025 and he is working feverishly to accomplish this. He envisage a country where unemployment is at an all time low, every child has access to free education and health care, every able bodied and normal citizen is literate, women have equal opportunities as men, free health care for the elderly, a vibrant and trained work force, a society base on merit, equality and fairness, independence of the judiciary, police force, media, etc., genuine people-participation in the developmental process.
Unlike his political opponent Dr Mitchell, who is old, jaded, tired, burnt out, lacking energy and passion, Hon Burke is young energetic, vibrant, full of energy and ready, willing and able to take on the manly challenges confronting the country and its people. Nazim has the passion and renewed vigor to do what it takes to move Grenada forward. As a boy he always had the passion for public service at the highest level. His dreams will be realized sooner rather than later. There is no stopping him now. He has survived the worst of times with his family and supporters rallying around him. Despite all the attacks and accusations made against him he has demonstrated his maturity and leadership qualities by remaining cool, calm and collected. His calmness is so refreshing, especially with the arrogance of his political rival. Grenada needs to look to Nazim Burke and carefully assess the benefits he bring to the political, economic and social platform.
The people of Italy, in keeping with the latest trend in world politics, now has a prime minister who is 39 years old. Far too many of the old players who have been around since the 1970s are involved in Grenada modern day politics. They have caused the country too much pain and the time has come for them to make way for new leaders such as Nazim Burke. Dr Mitchell has been around from time immemorial and, despite his political feats, he has been the main architect of Grenada's economic decline yet Kennedy Budhall is asking the people to give him another three years to "fix" the economy. I assume that Kennedy, who has been a player in the downfall of Gairy and Maurice Bishop, once a member of the NDC and is now a supporter of the NNP, doesn't know the different between the words "fix” and "finish". Kennedy is seeking his own personal well being, hence why should this people give Dr Mitchell three years to "finish" what he stated from 1995, the destruction of the economy and the standard of living of thousands of Grenadians. Seems like Kennedy expects the people to dig their own graves. Just imagine what would have happened if my our ancestors gave the slave masters three more years. Mr Mitchell’s policies aren't working and it's time for a change of course and leadership. The country just can't afford to go down that road with this type of leadership. This NNP administration is too incompetent.
There is a political leader with a clear vision, who is on a mission to rescue Grenada from the clutches of the NNP. A leader who is in sync with the economic dynamics of today's world. He understands the importance of education, tourism, agriculture, health and wellness, energy, ICT, manufacturing and agro processing for the revival of the economy . Generally he understands the socio-economic challenges facing his people and has a wealth of knowledge and experience to address them in the short and long term. Having steered the Grenadian economy for four and a half years without any retrenchment, increased tax measures, he has demonstrated his superiority to the current minister of finance who is at a loss of what is happening in this ministry. In theory, all economists are statisticians, but not all statisticians are economists. Mitchell needs to know his limitations.
Hon Burke has the trust, confidence and respect of the international community and leading world financial institutions . A patriotic Grenadian .A lawyer, an economist a brilliant son of the soil As a people we should recognize his talents and skills, join hands , head and hearts and support our country. Support Nazim V Burke for the next prime minister and finance minister of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique.
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Nice, nice. You're working; the NDC PR committee must be proud of you. Let's say everything you write about Mr Burke is true. The thing I don't understand though is where was his vision to see that the role he was playing as Finance Minister and Deputy Leader between 2008 and 2013 was going to make him lose his seat and cause the complete collapse of the government.
It's amazing what passes for leadership today.Nazim Burke and the word leader should never ever be used in the same sentence.He never was a leader and never will be.The writer should explain to us at what point or time in his life did Nazim show or display any real leadership qualities.His so call expertise as an economist is as non existant as is big foot.That reputation was gotten from his days of working in the PRG under a real economist Bernard Coard.It however appears the he learned nothing given his recent performance as MOF in the NDC govt where he had Tillman's blessing to do as he saw fit.For decades people who know Nazim and have worked both for and with him will tell you that he's condescending,arrogant and never fails to pass himself off as the smartest person to walk earth since Albert Einstein.He has zero political skills or insight and outside of wanting to become PM has no clear vision or for that matter vision at all as to where he would take Gda.Had Nazim had any political skills and truly cared about the people of Gda the complete and utter disaster that was created by himself and Peter David wouldn't have happened.Peter made many unforced errors,was misguided and politically immature in his apporach,but Nazim was equally and one can also argue was even more responsible for the civil war created within the party and visited upon the Grenadian people.
Given all the bad Finance ministers we have had over the years Nazim turned out to be the worst by a mile and its a shame and terrible indictment on the NDC party that they couldn't find a better person to lead the struggle against the ideas lacking,morally bankrupt and compassionate less NNP.Nazim has had many chances to show his leadership and political bonofides and on each occasion he has flamed out in spectacular fashion each time more glorious than the previous.He was by far the biggest looser in the last election and the fact that he's today the party leader is beyond the pale.Gda needs two strong political parties with a caliber of people who has the nation's interest as task number one to argue,discuss and debate the future of our beloved country, currently we are in a deficit in that department.Am tempted to believe that this article was written by Nazim himself or was shown and edited by him before its publication.Please tell me it aint so,for the abundance of self congratulation and praise in the article for someone who in many ways expedited the disastrous mismanagement and collapse of Gda's economy is nothing short of the kind of hubris thats not only ill advised but also dangerous.So NDC,people of Gda its time for us to demand better more qualified leaders who possesses the vision,skills and integrity to lead.Sadly Mr.Nazim Burke isn't one of them.
Anthony David your comments appear aimed no at good reason but as seemingly grudge against Hon Nazim Burke. Nazim inherited a country that was completely devastated by the dictator Keith Mitchell and the NNP . The national debt was at a record all time high of over 1.8 billion dollars, the global economy in the worst recession since the Great Depression, He endured gaily attacks from an unpatriotic opposition and had a permanent secretary in Timothy Antoine who is an NNP operative. If there is any thing I would fault Nazim Burke for is not replacing Timothy Antoine as his permanent secretary . In my view that was a gross error. The new today called for him to be replaced and rightly so. Despite all this Nazim Burke as finance minister DID NOT and I repeat DID NOT fire a single public servant. DIID NOT imposed any additional taxes on the back of Grenadians, !!!! DID NOT take Grenada to the IMF or into a structural adjustment program! SAP. So Anthony your argument is pure hate for Nazim and rhetoric that is disingenuous and wreck less.
The WORST and I repeat THE WORST minister of finance Grenada has ever had since independence is KEITH MITCHELL . No amount of attack against Nazim can erase the fact that KEITH MITCHELL as prime minister and finance minister is an ABYSMAL FAILURE? You are been conniving in your comments. Nazim Burke has been vindicated for all the accusation made against him by NNP and people like you. You didn't give a single reason why you think Nazim didn't do a good job. You talked a about Nazim been arrogant and he feels he is the brightest. There no politician with a DOTISH EGO as big as KEITH MITCHELL who has overseen the destruction and devastation of the GRENADIAN ECONOMY. Without Keith Mitchell the Grenadian economy would have been in a much better state and every Grenadians including those in grade K is aware of this. The only person who seems not to be aware of this is Anthony David. Anthony David seems to be in a state of a coma or drunken.
Nazim stablished the Grenadian Economy , workers jobs were been preserved. Nazim has the vision, skills and integrity to lead both the NDC and the country. The one lacking the vision , skills and integrity in KEITH MITCHELL . He is. A Complete FAILURE? And for Grenada to grow Keith MUST go. If you forgot let me remind you of some of Keith economic mismanagement of the Grenadian economy
1 Remove personal income tax in 1995 creating a false sense of wealth and growth in the minds of the citizens. The IMF, World Bank and Caribbean Development Bank advised him against this.
2. As a result of his wreck less ness he borrowed millions of dollars from commercial banks at height interest rates causing the national debt to rise from 340 million in 1995 to over 1.8 billion in 2013 . And you have the guts to say that Nazim is the worst minister of finance . Anthony you have to be MAD.
3. Give millions from the treasury as loan guarantees for international crooks and conmen and Grenada received absolutely nothing in return .Anthony do you remember who said these words. Pick quote " creditors can't go with Grenada when loans are not paid back to them" . Can you remember ?
4, Constructed a National stadium for over 159 million , made from recycle paper. A small hurricane completely destroyed it . Can you remember he said that Grenadian won't have to pay a cent only to have the Taiwanese take the country to court for their monies. Anthony David can you remember is you are not still drunk?
5 The failed off shore banking sector , THE CALL CENTER! LEVERA! MT, HARTMAN , etc . KEITH allegedly took monies from the consolidated fund and give it to his family to date not a cent has been paid back to the treasury.
6 Keith Mitchell spent millions in the non productive sector. Talked about infrastructural development .. Massive cronyism and nepotism under his rule. Poorly constructed roads , bridge etc. Anthony when last you visited the general hospital to see the EYE SORE that cost Grenada millions of dollars.
7. Keith Mitchell devastated agriculture, fishing , manufacturing , agro processing. . Anthony it is people like you and the many other Grenadians who lack the knowledge , and understanding that voted for such a FAILURE that have Grenada in this situation. The list goes on and on.
Sometimes in bothers my imagination to believe that there are people who are so wotless and vindictive to see a spade , know it is a spade and call it a fork for their own selfish reason.
Anthony I would advise that you take a TRUTH bathe and clean yourself of the filth that surrounds your brain, your thinking and understanding. But then again that's may be impossible !!!! still try though.
My posting was not a cry for help or to be attacked personally or even be called names. At best your response is beneath your years of writing and posting on this site and maybe other places. My hope had been to start a serious debate about the future of our beloved country and to express my opinion on Mr. Burke’s election as political leader which I believe to be a huge mistake by party members. Then again the party is very weak and is plagued over the years with visionless, timid and incompetent people passing themselves of as leaders. Therefore my bro, I kindly ask that you resist the race to the bottom approach by making personal attacks in what is called practicing the politics of personal destruction. It does us no good as a people, country or region. We ought to be able to debate, argue and flesh out the issues affecting our country without the useless and unwarranted name calling.
By the way I agree with you that the Mitchell Government has been disastrous for Grenada and I have no doubt that this time would be even worse. That however does not in anyway excuse the performance or lack thereof of Mr. Burke and his team of transparent and accountable do (nothingers). Nazim, Tillman and Peter forgot that the first rule outside of providing for the security, health, well being and education of its people, everything else is just white noise. You noted that Mr. Burke’s only seemingly failure was his refusal to fire or move Mr.Antione. The question therefore must be asked did Nazim feel impotent about his own ability to manage the economy and as such felt the need to keep Mr.Antione in place. Either way it’s a reflection of both his leadership and competence or lack thereof.
A close look at other countries Grenada’s size would reveal that in order to grow and manage an economy at any time but especially during tough times requires economic policies and initiatives that your people can first understand, then buy into them while taking ownership of the situation. None of these qualities were present during the NDC time in office. Those things require both leadership and vision both of which I question as far as Mr. Burke is concern. In fact I believe the jury has rendered its verdict on that issue. If Nazim is to lead he must change his entire approach to people and governing in order to succeed, something we all know is very difficult to do at his stage in life, but anything is possible. However with history being our guide the odds are against him and in this case it includes Grenada and its future.
Look at the record of the NDC and ask how much of it Mr. Burke’s responsibility. The new market in Grenville was poorly constructed. Grenville needed a better constructed building with the understanding of what role it would play in the continued development of the parish. The refurbished St Joseph convent, the new NIS building, the so call emergency shelter in River Salle built in a location that is one way in, the same way out, that’s the first no in building such structures. The construction of side roads into different villages while many small bridges paramount to the nation’s economy and commerce was left in a state of critical disrepair. The zero initiative taken in the parishes of St. John’s, St. Mark’s and St Patrick’s and the total lack of a plan or his inability to speak to those and other issues is quite telling. Mr. Writer where is the leadership and vision you are talking about. The saying never waste a bad situation comes to mind. The NDC administration and Mr. Burke in particular wasted the chance to bring systematic and deep structural changes to the Grenadian economy and the way we do business and for that and many more reasons he doesn’t deserve to be leader.
I conclude by saying that contrary to your baseless accusation I have no hate in my heart for Mr. Burke or anyone else. For me this is and would always be about Grenada and its future. My hope therefore is that this response would help to elevate the debate, improve the discourse, keep it professional and make us all better equipped to help build our beloved country. The people who I lead at work have yet to find rust or filth around my brain and they know me a lot better than you do, please let’s focus on what is important because like you I also love my country and want the best for it, plus it isn’t helpful at anytime to label anyone as unpatriotic. It adds nothing to the debate and only pulls us further apart where solutions are even more difficult to find.
We agree that the evils, mismanagement, cronyism, total lack of compassion and corruption of the Mitchell Government are well documented. However repeating known and accepted facts is in no way an excuse for his lack of leadership and vision we saw during his time in office. He should not have been rewarded for poor performance. You seem to excuse Nazim because Keith was so horrible at his stewardship of Grenada and its economy. In fact he had an opportunity to completely change the entire paradigm and on that score sheet the Grenadian people give him a big F written in bold red.
Finally writing in caps is considered to be the same as one screaming at the top of his or her voice. When you have the facts there’s no need for such display, plus writing in caps is so twentieth century.
Anthony I maintain that you have a personal issue with Nazim Burke. Nazim Burke performed exceptionally given the state of the economy he inherited from Keith Mitchell. NNP. The first solution to any fix to Grenada economic problem is to get rid of Keith Mitchell and disband the NNP. The NNP is a very destructive political organisation.
The reason why I believed that Burke should have fired Timothy Antoine is because I believe he is a NNP stooge. he is a very sinister individual who undermined confidence in the ministry i of finance. He should have been transferred to another ministry.
An economy don't get ruined in a few years. Keith took 13 years to completely wrecked the Grenadian economy and you expect Burke to fix it in four. Get real and wake up from your dreams. The damage done by Keith and the NNP will take decades to fix. Biurke did his best given the circumstances. You crying don't attacked you personally but you are attacking Burke personally . I don't care what you say about me. Who cares what you think .? The fact of the matter is NNP destroyed the Grenadian Economy and Burke tried his best to fix it.