The Rain Wets the Leopard’s Spots but Does Not Wash Them Off

by Brian JM Joseph

I’m throwing coins in the fountain making good wishes for Grenada’s deliverance from the evil eyes. In Ancient Greek mythology, it is believed that spitting chases the devil and the misfortune away.

The mirror has been broken and we’re being faced with bad luck here in Grenada under past and present administration. Track records are there to prove that they have failed miserably, regardless of the infrastructures and development that we have seen over the years, they’ve ‘failed the people.’ I don’t think we should put ourselves under those circumstances again because we deserve much better representation from our custodians. I believe the time has come to give the new comers a fair chance to show us what they can do. Newcomers operating under old masters will never work for us here in Grenada.

It’s time for drastic change, but I don’t think the old guards can be trusted anymore. Time for us to drop the mentality of saying ‘we know what we have, we don’t know what we are getting’ — to me that’s a cowardly statement.

Ever so often we have to keep reminding ourselves of what has transpired over the years and still is happening. The past administration had Grenadians on a wild goose chase. When they said evidence was available in regards to video footage of PM receiving funds from Eric Resteiner, the former Grenada diplomat with the ruling New National Party (NNP) government. Resteiner is presently serving a 7–year sentence at a US penitentiary on charges of defrauding. How many years have gone past and we’re still awaiting conclusive evidence on ‘The Briefcase Saga.’ The opposition has not presented us with not one shred of evidence up to this present day. There were a number of flaws that followed and I firmly believe they’ve allowed it to slip through the crack because they’ve not done enough while in office especially when they should’ve been going after the perpetrators.

The briefcase inquiry that followed to me was a big sham, there were lots of doubts on my mind. Furthermore, there was an issue with conflict of interest as it relates to the sole commissioner, Barbadian Lawyer Sir Richard Cheltenham and they failed to recognise those flaws and loopholes. My concern has always been, how can a local government representative to be precise the Economic Adviser recommend his business associate to conduct an independent inquiry? Didn’t anyone question that strange anomaly? The then Prime Minister Dr Mitchell was supposed to step down from his position while allowing the inquiry to be conducted with evenhandedness and without impartiality. I know former Prime Minister Tillman Thomas went to court seeking the right to cross-examine witnesses who appeared before the commission and he had won the right but somehow the commission appealed, and the process was stalled. Everything ended abruptly and that was the end of ‘Solomon Grundy.’ The Cheltenham report should’ve been challenged on basis of conflict of interest. Those are issues that will never go away from my mind because they’re unresolved and we haven’t had any answers. I may seem to be paranoid, but I’m with a cause because ‘I care for my country and my people.’

The present administration and its figurehead have done more nonsense than any other because theirs spanned a long history too numerous to mention, and it began with deception and backstabbing from its leader. I’m sure many Grenadians remember the GNP (Grenada National Party) and the merger that took place in 1984 campaign that formed (NNP) New National Party after Herbert Blaize won the election that year; can we recollect who pulled the rug from under the feet of the then Prime Minister Herbert Blaize? I will say no more but allow memories to be. There are too many rogue and corrupt leaders that are misleading and confusing Grenadians over many important issues. Have Grenadians forgotten about what Minister Bhola did when he hacked a young man that he allegedly said was found stealing? Whatever came out of that? I was the sole ranger calling for a code of ethics to be introduced for public and civil servants since after the incident.

Let’s take a look at the Pension Disqualification Act of 1983 that was installed by the Revolutionary Government and it reads as follows: Establishes that any person who is appointed to a post in service of Government of Grenada on or after 4 April 1983 shall not be entitled to any pension, gratuity or other allowance under the following enactments: Pensions Ordinance, Pensions (Prison Officers) Ordinance, Pensions (School Teachers) Ordinance, and Police Pensions Ordinance. We all know the ’79–’83 revolution was short lived, so why weren’t there amendments to reintroduce the act that was existing before the PRG enacted its own.

Why wasn’t it done in the last referendum? Government saw the need to introduce everything else and not address the hot button issues of Pension Disqualification Act. Government ministers are enjoying big gratuity and pension, but the hard-working Grenadians who has to sacrifice so much are entitled to nothing. The previous and present administration had the opportunity to change it all and yet they did nothing. This was not on their to do list of priorities. While politicians were eating steak and potatoes, public and civil servants as we would say in local parlance ‘catching hell.’ I’m guessing retirement was a big headache for the majority of them facing so much uncertainty. Why weren’t past and present governments sympathetic towards public and civil servants? Do you think it’s right to give those incompetent individuals another chance again in creating more havoc and embarrassment to the Grenadian people?

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