The Prime Minister of Chaos
When the NNP published a poster titled ”Jonah is back” just before the 2013 elections campaign, even Dr. Mitchell himself never catered for 15- nil. Contrast that with 1999 when the NNP bellowed “not a damn seat for them” egged on by Joan Webley. From then on the door to chaos was flung wide open. Dr. Mitchell was hard pressed to “allocate” Tobias Clement, Yolande Bain- Horsford and Clifton Paul. True to form, the Prime Minister broke all protocol and instructed that all MPs must get ministerial salaries. I guess that back bench is good for England but not for Grenada.
The traditional NNP front bench came back in full force. Bowen, Bhola, Modeste – Curwen and Nimrod. The new kids on the block were given much of the limelight to the annoyance of the traditionals. The emergence of Delma Thomas as a significant minister left the nation shaking his head at what appeared to be cheap theatre. Many citizens could only muster a laugh when in fact tears for Grenada would have been more appropriate. A photograph which depicted Minister Thomas, a UN representative and longtime Mitchellite, Denis Antoine highlighted the issue. Mr. Antoine’s body language depicted a man wondering where on earth did the chief find ‘this one’.
The feisty Minister of Tourism had to be put in her place, so cabinet changes became a capricious act of vindictiveness. Interestingly, the position that was handed out to her was Minister of Implementation thereby joining eminent folks like Jos Whiteman and Kenny Lalsingh in this nondescript concoction. The hall of shame was brought to her front door.
The bungling continued at break neck speed. Gregory Bowen, an engineer, was appointed to act as Attorney General. These shenanigans tried to hoodwink the public by saying that the constitution does not say that the AG must be a lawyer. Dummy James will not accept that foolish explanation even if he was raised from the grave.
Dr. Mitchell dumped Kenny Lalsingh for Chester Humphrey, a move which left many Grenadians gasping for breath in disbelief. This treacherous political maneuver required some massaging; Lawrence Joseph was identified for a position of Deputy Governor General, a post unknown to Grenadians. The convention is that when the GG is out of state, the President of the Senate is automatically appointed to act in that capacity. To foist this atheist as acting head of state was an affront to the nation and as a result Dr. Mitchell created another first, Sir Daniel Williams, former GG was appointed to act as GG. Chaos has now become normal routine.
Prime Minister Mitchell, the longest serving Prime Minister of Grenada, shocked the country when he admitted in an interview that ‘He did not know” who is the strategic partner for the Grenada Postal Corporation. It may seem that Minister Bowen is doing his own thing.
Meanwhile, the vast majority of Statutory Bodies are tottering on the brink of financial collapse. Long standing General Manager of the Grenada Ports Authority was hounded out of office by a Board chaired by close confidant of Peter David, Dr. Wayne Sandiford who incidentally was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank. So too the privatization of Gravel and Concrete Corporation remains a secret and uncertainty rules the roost.
The Police Force has not been exempt as the mere act of defending the welfare of police officers in active duty has landed a senior officer into trouble. The much touted savior of the islands Tourist Industry, the Grenada Tourism Authority has been neutered by resignations, dismissals and widespread employee dissatisfaction with the Chief Executive.
The country’s Health Sector seem to be in major crisis as back to back scandals are the norm and an embattled Minister is slipping deeper and deeper into disrepute.
A dysfunctional Cabinet, a one sided parliament, an incompetent public management team and a divisive and vindictive leader only prolongs the country’s agony. The term ‘Institutionalized Chaos’ may be the best description. But who cares; if the buck stops with Dr. Keith Claudius Mitchell, then he doesn’t.