Dominica last week: Top five stories you may have missed
By Ronda Luke
A missing man turns up dead
Eleven days after being reported missing by family members, the Commonwealth of Dominica Police Force (CDPF) believes that an advanced decomposed body found in the York Valley area is that of David Aries Esprit. According to the police, since the report was made of the 58-year-old disappearance on February 27, 2022, the CDPF has been conducting an intense investigation. On March 10- a few days after his vehicle was discovered- the authorities note that a search was conducted in the York Valley area and a body that appeared to be that of the Campbell resident was found. Two individuals were recently in police custody assisting with the investigation as foul play is suspect. Anyone with information is urged to contact the authorities.
19-year-old charged for murder
What was initially thought to be a motor vehicular accident which claimed the life of Brian McPherson of St. Aroment, Goodwill, is now being ruled a murder, with 19-year-old Samuel Nicholas of Fond Cole facing charges.
According to the police, on the evening of February 27, 2022, McPherson and his wife were en route to their home when they were struck by a passing pick-up truck registration number TP778 driven by Nicholas. Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), Belgrove Charles who heads the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), reported that following investigation by his department, Nicholas was charged with the murder of the 36-year-old security officer.
Nicholas appeared before the Roseau Magistrate Court, on March 8, 2022, where the charge of murder was read to him. He was not required to enter a plea since this is an indictable offense. The accused is remanded in custody.
Historic village council election takes place in Salisbury
Breaking a 59 years hiatus, on March 9, 2022, residents of Salisbury went out in large numbers to elect five councilors for the re-establish Salisbury village council. The last time such was done was back in 1965. When the results were announced, from the 11 nominated candidates, the five individuals who found favour with the voters and who will serve on the council were Russel Felix, Selma Louis, Ned Toussaint, Sylvia Vidal, and Vincent Langlais.
According to local Government Commissioner Glenroy Toussaint, the council of Salisbury will be reestablished on or before the 9th of April 2022. He also pointed out that the Salisbury village council will be very similar to that of other communities in Dominica where there will be five elected members and three nominated by the government which will make up the composition of eight members on the village council. A chairman will be elected among the eight to serve on the Salisbury village council.
The summary of the results are as follows: Russel Felix: 313 votes; Selma Louis: 311; Ned Toussaint: 276; Sylvia Vidal: 251; Vincent Langlais: 233; Dirk Frederick: 212; Ridge Vidal: 160; Franklyn Georges: 114; Jesma Paul-Jeans: 95; Eurilia Thomas: 51 and Benoit Lecointe: 38.
Nearly 1 million made available at AID bank for Kalinago people
On March 9, 2022, the government of Dominica officially launched the Kalinago Development Fund (KDF) which is geared at providing access to credit for the indigenous people for residential, commercial, cultural, and enterprise development as well as crop production and processing, education, climate resilience and renewable energy development.
An amount of EC$ 860,000 has been disbursed to the Agricultural Industrial Development (AID) Bank to provide easier access to credit for lending to people of Kalinago ancestry at a concessionary interest rate of 2%. As part of the arrangements, borrowers will be granted a grace period of a maximum of six months on the payment of the principal and interest and the maximum term of the loans shall be up to 10 years exclusive of the grace period.
During the ceremony, prime minister Roosevelt Skerrit said that the government intends to have the fund operate as a revolving fund and gave his commitment to place in the budget over the next five years a yearly amount of a minimum of $1 million beginning in 2022-2023.
Loan facility launched for MSME's
Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Dominica now have access to a $27,431,000 loan facility at the Agricultural Industrial and Development (AID) Bank to provide access to capital for business investment and expansion. As highlighted during the signing ceremony on March 7, 2022, the funds were loaned from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) for on-lending to the MSMEs, through the AID Bank. The loans are offered at an interest rate of three and a half percent (3.5%) per annum on the reducing balance and borrowers will be given a grace period of six months on the payment of the principal and interest. The maximum term is up to ten years exclusive of the grace period. The business must be registered with the Inland Revenue Division and the Dominica Social Security and the owner must be a citizen or a permanent resident of Dominica, operating on the island for 10 years or more.