See also THE NEW TODAY editorial of Feb. 28, 2020 entitled “The Heart is not beating”

The caption above came about when a few weeks ago, before the Publication of THE NEW TODAY editorial, I was at a government office-where in the waiting area, I sat next to an NDC parliamentary caretaker representative from one of the four St. Andrew’s constituencies.

In conversation, I inquired how is the party progressing post convention in Nov. 2019. The response was: “The party is ENERGIZED.” I was about to continue the conversation when I was called by the public servant to address the concerns of my visit. It was my intention to continue the dialogue on completion of my business, but the NDC caretaker had already departed.

I was however, a bit intrigued by the words “energized” – so I looked up the meaning in my Webster’s dictionary and the short meaning of ENERGY is given as “vitality of expression, capacity for action, vigour, capacity for performing work.”

I live in Grenada and my apprehension like a large percentage of Grenadians regarding the future of our country, under the umbrella of our hijacked institutions – (a living reality), which is inconsistant with democratic governance, together with the flagrant abuse or misuse of political “power” – have become routine occurrences, which remain unchallenged by the official NDC opposition.

The most troubling of these concerns is the current Registration and Electoral process which have begun with the issuing of a new Voter Identification Card. There have been several misgivings in the media as to the need for a new ID card and the process (now) involved in producing a new one, as put forward in the critical analysis of J.K. Roberts in his Feb. 24, 2020 circulation, and quoted in part as follows:

“To what extent has the NDC grasp the technicalities and intrigues and intricacies of an elections’ machinery, and the political implications? Has the NDC dedicated itself to understanding the contents and complications of the Representation of the People Act (RPA), of its host of amendments and any regulations, and of the associated statutory instruments such as the Magistrate Act, involving the role of Justices of the Peace in the voting process; and The legislative framework for updated information to be effectively and aptly transferred from the particular Registry to the PEO, regarding the names of dead individuals on the voters list, is of equal importance for attention and action. “

“Is the NDC mindful of all the strategies which could be involved in the so-called Replacement process, and the political and legal ramifications? Does NDC has any interest in the veracity and rationale as to why the Canadian 3M company or its new owners, developer of the Voter Identification Card system, is not responsible anymore for the system, and in the nature and profile of the local AZITS software company now maintaining the system?”

In related imminent matters, it should be carefully considered at this juncture, as to why Grenada is now regarded as a CORRUPT country. In order to clarify and to engage the attention of Roberts’ circular by the NDC, the following glaring examples which remain unchallenged, require serious consideration: Planning permission given – despite technical misgivings, to construct a huge building on unstable ground which has caused the slippage and collapse of the Molinerre Public road resulting in the involuntary and sudden displacement of dozens of citizens (in their own country), together with the loss of property and being deprived of making a living. Would the State (adequately) compensate?

Additionally: The shady reputation of most of our developers resulting in the unexplained disappearance of millions of CBI dollars from the failed shrimp plant project in Victoria, St. Mark. The failed Levera hotel project – resolution of which is now referred to the High Court in Grenada; the unaccounted millions of dollars from MNIB; the cellphone squandemia of an NNP surrogate; also in St. Mark the failed chicken farm project on two occasions, and now we have witnessed the wanton destruction of the ecosystem in La Sagesse St. David, by the SIX SENSES developers who have raped the physical and natural environment for the provision of low paying jobs in the construction of a hotel. No doubt they would say that permission has been granted by the “competent” authority as in the case of SILVER SANDS hotel on Grand Anse beach, which has violated the high water mark of 50 meters, thus depriving Grenadians of unobstructed access to the beach.

In this litany of incompetence and corruption, our compatriots in the Northern parish must not be forgotten. Reference is made to the Breakwater Project at Sauteurs, which was constructed without the study of a Marine Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). This uninformed political expediency has resulted in the INTRUSION of the sea with loss of beachfront properties and the abrupt and unplanned relocation of impoverished home owners.

And that’s not all: The refusal by the state to provide adequate and suitable physical accommodation for the dispensation of justice – the recent confusion at, and relocation of the mould-ridden Registry and its historic records – bears testimony; emasculation of the Public Service Commission; denial of teachers and public servants 25% gratuity and pension and the secret arrival in Grenada of a plane with passengers from China on two occasions, at the peak of a Chinese coronavirus that has been declared by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a global pandemic which has now invaded Grenada, and the “reappointment” of the head of the Physical Planning Unit (PPU) – not by the Public Service Commission as required by our constitution, but by the prime minister in the person of a former fired officer of the PPU for corrupt practices.

It is now going on six months since the NDC’s November 3, 2019 convention, when a new slate of party operatives were elected including a first time female political leader. To date I have not heard of a press conference, a Town Hall meeting or a public outdoor constituency meeting(s), to demonstrate an “energized” organization which is capable of taking the government to task and to agitate on behalf of we the people. If the NDC continues to be silent/ reticent in communicating with the electorate, and the absence of a robust response to the ills of an undesirable one party country without a vision, the electoral process would continue to be manipulated (rigged) in favour of the encumbant and the NDC would forever remain in silent opposition.

This foreboding is not an acceptable proposition for a free, prosperous and progressive Grenada, and April 2020 is not too early to begin an awareness and educational campaign/ programme, and putting appropriate systems and structures in place, in convincing the nearly 20,000 uncommitted electorate who did not vote in the last election to exercise their franchise in favour of the NDC in preparation for the next general election in 3 years time, in order to ensure victory in a free and fair election, expressing the WILL OF THE PEOPLE. This is the challenge for an “ENERGIZED” NDC opposition party.

Eternal vigilance is the price for democracy. A vigilant citizenry is the (current) call to action, anything short of this appeal would be a “cause fatal.” The crisis bells are ringing for the urgent reconstruction and remedial action for a political change for the better, in the unacceptable state of Grenada’s “democratic” affairs.

Norris Mitchell April 3, 2020