Ladies and Gentlemen: I join my Political Leader and colleagues to address you on a number of issues facing our country at this time. I will specifically address the crime situation and the matter relating to Hon. Jimmy Henry.
You will recall that during the election campaign, a key issue was the state of crime and in particular the number of homicides in Saint Lucia. The UWP was persistent in its criticism of SLP administration policies and programs relating to law and order.
You will also recall that it was a favourite pastime of the UWP to blame Dr. Kenny Anthony and Philip La Corbinere for every homicide in Saint Lucia.
In their final appeal to the electorate, Prime Minister Chastanet stated categorically that he will make Saint Lucia safe again. He made a promise to the people of Saint Lucia that homicides will be curtailed and crime will be reduced. It was announced that Hermangild Francis would be appointed as Minister to deal with the crime situation.
Ladies and Gentlemen, what has happened since June 2016? We have seen an escalation of homicides 19 between June 2016 and December 2016 and 30 since January 2017.
For the period January to June 2016, there were 12 murders! Compared to January to June 2017, that’s 250% increase! And that’s only for homicides. We have seen an increase in robberies, rapes and violence.
We are yet to hear of any new policy or witnessed any new program to reduce the crime situation in the Country.
The Minister and the Government seem to be clueless, incompetent and confused. Worse there is a growing insensitivity from the Minister and Government to lawlessness which is pervading the country. The rising fear of our citizens is being totally ignored.
We cannot allow Government to be indifferent to our cries for a more robust response to the frightening situation. The Saint Lucia Labour Party does not want to seem to be politicizing the desperate situation in the country but we cannot continue to be silent and patient.
Ladies and Gentlemen it is not only with the worsening situation with homicides, robberies and rapes that Saint Lucians are expressing their dissatisfaction.
Last week it was announced on a local talk show that a Minister had been under surveillance for illegal activities and was actually searched at the George Charles Airport. This is a serious claim which must be addressed by the Prime Minister.
It is either true and the Minister fired or the Prime Minister must assure the people of Saint Lucia that this is not true! The response cannot be that the Prime Minister proceeds on 21 days’ vacation. The people need answers.
Every time we have a crisis in Saint Lucia, the Prime Minister must not respond by traveling overseas! Upon taking office, Prime Minister Chastanet has treated Saint Lucia with an accumulation of contemptuous but subtle unconcerned gestures.
The Saint Lucia Labour Party calls on the Prime Minister to account to the people of Saint Lucia immediately or face the wrath of the people. This approach to governing must not be tolerated.
I thank you.