Party politics dominate COVID-19 food supplies, says St Lucia opposition leader

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By Caribbean News Global contributor

CASTRIES, St Lucia – During this extraordinary time, it is my greatest hope that you are trying to keep safe and practicing physical distancing, opposition leader Philip J Pierre, Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) said in a statement Sunday.

Extraordinary measures for extraordinary times

However, the government of Saint Lucia politically arranged, “care packages” from a monopolized food source, carefully arranged advertising blits, product placement and questionable distribution networks revealed a recognized political network accompanied by ministers of government, in keeping with the state of emergency and 24 curfew.

“Over the last few days,” opposition leader Pierre, said, “I have received numerous calls from constituents concerning the distribution of “care packages” as promised by the government of Saint Lucia. I was under the impression that such packages were being delivered by The National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO) through the local Disaster Preparedness Committee to residents.

“To my utter shock and amazement, defeated United Workers Party (UWP) candidates and their operatives are personally delivering packages to their perceived supporters in Castries-East. To add insult to injury, when confronted by residents in dire need of assistance, these individuals were referred to me, the parliamentary representatives and falsely told that I could help with packages.

“I want to publicly state that I am not, nor have I ever been in possession of NEMO care packages. To the best of my knowledge, these packages should have been handled by the Disaster Preparedness Committee to ensure fairness and balance. It is heartbreaking that desperate politicians are using this COVID-19 pandemic to peddle cheap political gimmicks hoping to enhance their political fortunes.

“Rest assured that I will continue to advocate on your behalf and fight against any unjust treatment, discrimination, and stigmatization. Let us remain strong, we will overcome this crisis together,” opposition leader Pierre said.

The constrains in which the country finds itself weeks before the 2020/21 fiscal budget, yet unable to construct a COVID-19 fiscal stimulus was tragically predictable – underpinned by tourism, trickle-down economics and consumerism has vanished.

Unfortunately, weak institutions, corruption, and submissive mendicancy underlines the country’s distribution of COVID-19 “care packages” in a very disgraceful manner. This situation was avoidable had the government sourced best practices and acquired tried and tested personnel, specific to healthcare, disaster and risk management, logistics, communication and national security competence.

The predicament of this was evident on account of enlisted quarantine relief supplies coordinators in the city, towns, and villages flexing their temporary superpowers on who gets food (a basic human right) and who submits to political authority.

The ethics was evident on account of the member of parliament from Dennery North Shawn Edward that, “After much lobbying, NEMO supplies finally reached Mabouya Valley. The Dennery North Disaster Management Committee will distribute packages tomorrow Sunday, April 5, 2020,” the Dennery North MP said. “Thanks to all who made it happen. “Going all out for my people all the time,” Edward declared.

St Lucia’s government COVID-19 ‘relief packages with essential supplies’ a national disgrace

 

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