This article is not a scholarly discourse, but rather a record of events as
experienced by the writer over a period of time – say from 1940 to the
present (2021), which could serve as a “beacon marking the way”, so that
others coming after may avoid the hidden and unsuspecting pitfalls in order
to find a way to an uplifting future.
Before “political” independence from the British in 1974, Grenada could
have been described as an idyllic agrarian (farming) society, in so far as
living conditions were concerned. Although a small and poor third world
country, it was accorded “privilege” status by the British, in that it was the
seat of Government (headquarters) for the Windward lslands (Grenada, St.
Lucia, St. Vincent and Dominica), and the residency of the Windward lsland
Governor and Chief Justice.
Poverty was managed by a caring community, there were few if any, who
went to bed hungry – in a country of fertile soil with bounteous agricultural
and marine harvests. Citizens could leave their front door unlocked during
the night, as burglary and crime in general were almost unheard of – while
murder was a traumatic national occurrence, almost unknown in that era,
as the hangman was seldom ever called to action.
The dispensation of justice, especially for the poor – appeared to be
transparent and citizens did not seem to be apprehensive of the justice
system, as fair play and integrity among its practitioners appeared to be the
order of the day.
Free education was provided from Kindergarten (Day Care) to the primary
level, while secondary schooling was available only to the few annual
scholarship WINNERS, who did not exceed about six-island wide, and the
majority (of these students) were required to pay a nominal fee. Although
the system was far from perfect, as it catered mainly for producing clerks
for the public service and the commercial houses, it did however produce a
small academic elite, who became professionals and technocrats.
Agriculture and fishing were the mainstay of the economy – and nutmeg,
cocoa and bananas with spices playing a minor role, provided a comfortable
livelihood for the farmers and those connected to the farming and fishing
industries – trickling down to the market vendors. With the collapse of the
preferential treatment agreement (higher prices) for West Indian – as
opposed to Latin American bananas in the European market, the industry
was no longer viable and tourism became the new economic savior.
On February 7, L974 Grenada obtained its “political” independence from
Britain and became a sovereign state. The colonial system and
administrative structure left by the colonizers, although designed mainly to
benefit the “mother country” was performing reasonably well and Grenada
was regarded as a good example of a viable political, social and economic
system in the Caribbean.
After saying all of the above, we were then given a ceremonial Governor
General, who is a creature of the prime minister – as it is he who makes the
recommendation to the Queen. The holder of this office has no authority
and real independence. This together with a Westminster type
constitution, with loop-holes for corrupt practices by the political
directorate, who exploit this anomaly by denying the will of the people in
hijacking the democratic process in the participation and governance of
their country – without any consequences; save by removing them from
office every five years, providing a free and fair election could be executed,
which has not been compromised by rigging devices (by the incumbent)
such as hijacking the independent function of the Chief Election Officer as
required by the constitution.
LOCAL LEADERSHIP (The Black Massa Eral
What has become patiently obvious in the years after 1974, is that the local
politicians who inherited the pre-independence system were not prepared
for political leadership. They pick and choose what was in their personal
interest, in a get-rich-quick scramble, then begin tinkering with the
administrative structure in a hit and miss scenario for which we are now
The post independence era – from Gairy to Thomas to Mitchell, especially
the latter who has been in office for over 30 years, half of which as prime
minister, has not provided a Vision, of ideology, a philosophy for
GRENADA of the 2L” century – so much so that we have become a country
of beggars in a day to day scramble for survival.
The coronavirus pandemic has exposed the leadership deficit, in what has
become a crisis to retain political power by any means necessary – in what
we are now experiencing as a country that has lost its way in the swamp of
political survival (THE CHTNESE ERA)
It is said that money is the oxygen for political survival. As the NNP
administration is strapped for cash, it has became necessary to explore all
possible sources, and the Chinese has proven to be a willing and
The government of China is a communist dictatorship which has a plan
for overtaking the United States as the leading global economic power. It
is now a well established fact that 3’d world countries are prime targets
for economic dominance, by providing loans for large projects which
become onerous to service, as the borrower subsequently get trapped
in a financial quagmire. This situation is now applicable to Grenada in this
pandemic era, as current secret deals begin to unfold.
Two recent examples of the above are the so called airport expansion
project, while the other – in the absence of an NNP credible and truthful
disclosure to the nation via parliament, regarding the ECS200 million
payment to acquire GRENLEC; speculation is rife that another secret deal
have been reached with this country in one form or another.
Although the latter has not been acknowledged by the government, the
explanation given by Messrs. Bowen and Oliver Joseph regarding fiscal
prudence by the government from 2013, and the unspent approved
allocations from capital projects – together, were able to muster the
USS63. Million to purchase the GRENLEC shares from WRB, has been
debunked by former Attorney General – Cajeton Hood on the GBN Beyond
the Headlines program of January 4’h 2021, and confirms the speculation
that a foreign entity is involved in the acquisition of a prized national asset,
now owned by the Grenada government – which has no competence in
running an electricity generating and distribution plant. Mr. Bowen has
already warned of a return to load shedding and black outs as was the case
when he was manager of GRENLEC many years ago.
The payment to GRENLEC as explained by the ministers goes contrary to
the government repeated claim that it is unable to pay the 25% gratuity
and pension entitlement to teachers, unable to upgrade a crumbling health
service, and its inability to pay the 4o/o 2O2t increments to public servants
and teachers, among other financial “inabilities” – There are lies, domn lies
We have had “political” independence from the British in 7974, then the
take over by the local massa politicians, who have reduced us to a beggar
nation, and now seek redemption by recolonizing us to the Chinese. This is
the quality of our post independence leadership which keep us grounded in
a 3’d world – begger status.
This therefore, is another clarion call to WE THE PEOPLE and more
especially the YOUTH to come to the rescue of our country from the evil of
a black neocolonial government, and to initiate with Urgency the passing
parade, in order to usher in a new dispensation which empowers our
people in an equitable and just society.
Norris Mitchell 22nd January 2021