by Donella D Hosten
Political Leader of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Senator Nazim Burke during the party’s weekly press conference on Monday, 23 October 2017, has challenged Prime Minister Dr the Rt Hon Keith Mitchell to show how his many appointments are benefiting Grenadians.
Prime Minister Mitchell currently sits as the President of the CDB, Chairman of CARICOM and the Chairman of the Small States Forum. According to Senator Burke, these appointments are all rotational. He is, therefore, calling on Dr Mitchell to stop leading the public to believe that his appointments have anything to do with his economic management abilities.
Dr Mitchell, according to Senator Burke continues to boast and beat his chest claiming that the international and regional media are impressed with him “…as an economic manager.” However, to discredit the PM’s gloating, Senator Burke referred to the many issues plighting the nation at this time, such as deplorable working conditions of workers at the Ministerial Complex, youth unemployment, overworking of healthcare professionals, lengthy waiting times and costly medicines and tests. “The people of Grenada’s health is too precious to treat it as a gamble.” According to him, this shows that “these appointments do not put food on the table…” and, the “claims by the Prime Minister that these appointments are translating into economic benefits, are simply not true.”
In recent times, public officers have been complaining tirelessly about their pensions and salary increases and their occupational health and safety hazards. “I do not believe that the people want to hear about whether or not the Prime Minister is the Chairman of the CDB…”
Burke went on to question the expected grant monies which the government anticipated would be collected from January to July 2017. He reported that to date only $36 million of the estimated $86.4 million of the grant monies was collected. With this being said, the senator queried why investors are not giving the grants if they are so impressed with the PM’s management of the economy.
The fundamental concern of the NDC lies with the creation of sustainable jobs that can create economic activity, especially for the youth of Grenada, which does not appear to be a main focus of the government. Senator Burke implored the media to probe deeper into these issues, and question the priorities of the government.