The tragic fires of Sunday should have been used as an occasion for national cohesiveness and unity of efforts to stamp out all acts of violence in our Federation. Instead they were used sadly to further divide our people and to insert old tribal politics into a very serious matter. This speaks to the desperate mindset of a political leader who at present presides over the systematic demise of our democracy, the erosion of our human and civil rights and the ushering in of ruthless dictatorial rule in this country.
Many nationals and residents have described Dr. Douglas’ baseless innuendos and accusations as “pathetic, cowardly and a sinister attempt to silence the voices of the large majority of the people of this country”, and they fear that it is part of a “diabolic plot” by Douglas to use this serious incident to manipulate the police into denying our citizens their rights to assemble and organize.
In my view, the minority leader’s reckless and cavalier handling of this matter has compromised the investigation into these fire incidents and this is regrettable.
I, like everyone else, want to know who or what is really responsible for those fires. But if we are to be assured of the reliability of the findings and outcomes of any investigation, such inquiry must, from the very start, be impartially and professionally conducted and must never be directed from the Office of the Prime Minister. Politics should never play a role in our response to national tragedies.
As the investigation proceeds, the national, regional and international communities may well ask the following questions: 1) Who stands to benefit from any distraction from the minority leader keeping in abeyance for more than one year, a motion of no confidence in his administration? 2) Who has more to gain from taking the country, the region and the international community’s attention away from the minority leader’s threat to do bodily harm to a citizen and his imprisonment because of his political views? 3) Who but the incumbent benefits from the deliberate undermining of our democratic principles and erosion of our fundamental human and constitutional rights?
We all want to know, who stands to benefit from these fires? Who has on their political advisory staff, professionals with the expertise and experience in destabilizing countries? Who among national leaders has professed to be an expert at incitement and could repeat the incitement of 1993? Who has the means, the motive and the opportunity to turn our people’s attention away from the long overdue motion of no confidence vote and to use this to silence Opposition voices by labeling those that seek justice as criminals and terrorists?
A distinguished Florida A&M University Professor, Dr. Keith Simmonds, reminded us recently that an illegitimate, minority regime can become so obsessed with staying in power that it doesn’t care whether everything else has to suffer once government’s survival is assured.
It is a pity when any leader, especially after nearly twenty years in office, would stoop to the lowest level of political desperation.
We in Team Unity are about building a better St. Kitts and Nevis in which all our citizens and residents can be assured of the highest levels of safety, security and prosperity. In our programs for taking our country forward, there is neither space nor time for violence. We are a peace-loving people and we shall always condemn any act of violence unreservedly.
It is we in Team Unity who have been championing the cause for upholding the rule of law, for respecting our constitution and all the protocols relating to our Westminster model of democracy. We do this because we love our people and know that our people will thrive best in an atmosphere of peace and an environment in which democracy triumphs and the government of the day is truly representative of the majority of the people. It is we in Team Unity who have been advocating for free and fair elections so that the people of this country can get the government which they choose and they deserve.
The minority leader’s insertion of political venom into a very serious situation at this time is clearly a calculated and mischievous effort to tarnish Team Unity without evidence. It shows us again that our minority leader has no respect for the cardinal principles of the rule of law such as, a person is innocent until proven guilty. It confirms that he will do anything, no matter how irresponsible, irrational and unjust it may be, to hold on to the reins of power.
Team Unity will not be distracted by desperate acts of trickery. Our resolve is strong and we are focused on bringing democracy, good governance and prosperity to the people of St. Kitts and Nevis. We will not be swayed by the subterfuge and evil agenda of the minority leader. Recoiling from our quest for true democracy and prosperity for all our people is not an option for Team Unity. We will fight for our beloved people and country no matter the cost to us because the future of our Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis is at stake and we will not allow the minority leader to desecrate and destroy it.