Former Prime Minister of Grenada Tillman Thomas has given a tongue lashing to media practioners in Grenada over what he dubbed their failure to engage politician by asking the hard question, and exposing questionable behavior across the board.
Addressing members of the media during a press conference called by the National Democratic Congress on Monday aimed at shedding light on a recent Al Jazeera investigative documentary report linking Caribbean politicians including Grenada’s to corrupt trade and sale of diplomatic passport through the Citizen by Investment (CDI) programme, Thomas in a no nonsense mood, told journalists it is time to act responsibly and report the news.
The former prime minister accused the local media of joking around and eating food at press conferences rather than asking the hard questions. He described one media house as being an embarrassment to him as a Grenadian the way they handled the Al Jazeera report, he noted that rather than reporting on what affects Grenada, that media house was reporting on the issues as it relates to Dominica.
The recent Al Jazeera report accused politicians in Grenada and Dominica of accepting underhand campaign finances from wealthy foreign business people in exchange for diplomatic passport through under the country’s CBI programme.
The report went on to say that in the case of Grenada, a number of well-known questionable characters were granted ambassadorial status to countries around the world.
In holding the media responsible for not being outspoken when it matters Thomas said this is not about eating a food, it’s about responsible behavior, and it’s time he said that journalists perform their roles rather than fooling around.
Meanwhile, responding to a question pertaining to the NDC, having won the 2008 general election on the premise of alleged corruption by the Keith Mitchell led New National Party (NNP), is on a similar hunt using that the same strategy to score political points, the NDC team said, it was not a case where the NDC did not have the evidence in 2008. The issue they claim was sufficient time to bring those responsible for alleged corrupt practices to justice.
The former prime minister noted that it was a known fact that the NDC had the machinery in place to find the evidence to support the allegations surrounding the briefcase. Government officials he said flew out of Grenada in search of information and while they never got the tape they never stopped searching. NDC Public Relations Officer, Claudette Joseph noted that they were well on track to bringing those allegedly involved in corrupt practices to justice when they were voted out of office in 2013.
Contrary to what transpired in 2008, Joseph said what is before the Grenadian people is an investigative report from an independent media house, making certain allegations that seem to tarnish the very integrity and image of Grenada and should not be taken lightly. She noted that irrespective to how people feel, a number of items of the information cited in the document are factual some of which were accepted while others are there to be seen.
Former Prime Minister Thomas said the NDC as a responsible political organization, is well within its rights to call upon government to account for the thousands of dollars destined for Grenada but never made it into the Consolidated Funds of the government.
That being the case he said the government is duty bound to account to the people who entrusted the governance of the country into their hands.