A non-stimulus, non-stimulating, non-address
By Ulric West Peter
Prime Minister Skerrit addressed the nation at about eight o'clock on Saturday night. He spent all of 20 minutes doing so. It was an "I and I" address.
The sum total of the PM's message was that he was aware of what's going on in the rest of the region and the world and all that was required to beat back the Covid -19 virus was for Dominicans to take responsibility for their actions and get vaccinated.
In a cunning and self-serving way, he blamed Dominicans for the current Covid situation. We let our guards down he said while overlooking the fact that it was he and his colleagues who led the way in this regard.
It was an address that showed contempt and insensitivity for the concerns of the people of Dominica.
Over the past several months and particularly during the last few weeks, there has been much discussion among citizens about the cause of the sharp spike and spread of the virus.
Concerns have been expressed about the general management of the pandemic by the authorities.
People want to know whether the State of Emergency and the curfew will be continuing in force.
Very importantly, affected citizens are calling for compensation, as provided for by law, for losses suffered as a result of the lockdown of their business.
Mr. Skerrit addressed none of those issues. For many therefore it was a Non-Address! The continued refusal by the Skerrit administration to provide Dominicans with a stimulus or compensation package is, to say the least, shameful. This is so for many reasons:
Almost all other countries have given such support to their citizens; the law makes provision for compensation; various countries and institutions have provided funds for Covid relief support; most significantly, Dominica has over four billion dollars of its own money from which a stimulus or compensation package could be paid to its struggling citizens.
Regrettably, the people's money, over four billion dollars of it, is stacked away in the hands of Anthony Haiden, an Arab man living in Dubai.
It is noted that ever since the disclosure by Lennox Linton of the missing billions, Skerrit has never denied the truth of the misappropriation of the money. In fact, he has confirmed it.
He is in mortal fear of the audited accounts of the State being disclosed. It is for this reason that, contrary to the provisions of the Constitution, he and Speaker Joseph Isaac have refused to present to parliament the audited financial report for the last two years.
In the meantime, the enablers are making good use of our money for their own personal benefit. A question that must be asked of those who know is: "Is it true that an amount of over eighty-three million dollars ($83,000,000) has been misappropriated through untendered contracts on five projects which are now under construction?"
It cannot be forgotten that $170,000,000 (170 million) was shared by two 'developers' in the Kempinski project!
At this time of such immense economic and financial crisis, it is unconscionable that Dominicans should be denied the use of their money in this way.
The call for all hands on deck to fight the dreaded Covid-19 virus must not stop there. All hands are required to combat this Covid-21 thieving virus.
During his budget address, the Minister of Finance thanked three senior members of his ministry (Miss Edwards, Mrs. Henderson, Mrs. Joseph) for their assistance.
They in turn should call on the assistance and guidance of some of the retired Cab. Secs, FS, CPOs of old to help them resist the machinations of Skerrit and Anthony Haiden.
So, Skerrit has now left us in the hands of Blackmore and Boney (Pampalam) Alfred to explain the details of how we go forward from here. Heaven help us because they both have speech impediments. But according to Karessah… We go see!
The government has lost the confidence and trust of the people in this Covid matter. The Cabinet is unsure of the section or subsection under which it is operating and the PM descends to silly unfounded accusations of people rejoicing over the one Covid-related death.
At this time government must stop speaking TO and AT the people but rather must speak WITH the people, including the Parliamentary Opposition which, after all, has been most constructive in the past.
Let us all stay safe.