The facade has been lifted
There are a few questions I’d love answered, since for more than a year, the Grenada Prime Minister has not made himself available to be seriously questioned by any members of the media except for the Government Information Service and the extra-friendly MTV News.
(The one other time he was publicly cornered, Glen Noel pulled him away).
I noticed Wednesday's statement from the Prime Minister's Office said the Grenadian leader received in his account US$50,000 – I take it that you were just rounding it up – which is fair.
But will you confirm, to avoid approximation, that it was actually 56,000 – which makes it nearly 150,000 EC dollars (which is where the opposition might have gotten their currency numbers mixed up)?While you accurately said it was a donation from a “corporate resident” in the British Virgin Islands – well Road Town, Tortola to be exact – can we clarify what “corporate resident” means?
It’s an offshore company, right?
Does that “corporate resident” have business interests as well in Saudi Arabia and Oman and Switzerland?
Was that January 4, 2012 payment, the first, second or third?
I know you said the donor asked for nothing and nothing was promised. (I’ll take your word for it).
But just to clear my mind….
What is the field of interest of the donor?
And how did the Prime Minister come to know the donor?
Is that donor involved in any citizenship programmes anywhere?
And is the fact that the government - through the Minister of Finance - floated one recently just a mere coincidence?
You said the declaration is a matter of public record. Really? So where can we find that again?
Are you outright denying that what was declared to the bank was “legal fees?”And for an avoidance of doubt, can we have documentary proof of that, even while you try to “hide” the donor, since he does not want to be identified?
Was this a donation for the Prime Minister personally, or for his party?
And if it’s for his party, has that money been officially transferred to the party’s account?
If it was done; when and how?
“The Prime Minister and Political Leader is of the firm belief that the donation is entirely legitimate and the attendant transaction was completely above board,” the statement said.
Fair enough. His view is his view.
I want to be of that same view too; but I need some clarification to come to that conclusion.
“Furthermore, in the absence of any illegality, the question as to how those funds are handled and used by the party is strictly an internal matter to the party and will not be discussed with political opponents,” it further stated.
So, ok. I get that. It’s your damn money too?
And on the question of “in the absence of any illegality”, then can we forever drop the briefcase issue, since “no wrong doing was proven”?
PS: Maybe I have been around politics too long; but truthfully I don’t believe anything criminal happened; and in some ways a lot of it is no big deal to me really.
What I suspect, it is a level of hypocrisy, after this government held itself to a “higher standard”.
My further take: What this is, is the PM being just another politician – who will do what it takes – short of illegality, to survive politically.
Sandra Ferguson and company might have a problem with that. Frankly, I don’t.
All I’d’ say finally is that, with this episode, the façade has been lifted.