2019 Independence Message from Bishop Gabriel Malzaire

Independence & Hope

“Saluting Resilience and Rejuvenation … Two Years On”

 

In the humdrum of everyday life, every individual and every group of persons need objects of hope to sustain them on the journey towards their particular vision of ultimate fulfilment. This is no less true for a nation. Forty-one (41) years ago our nation, Dominica, took the major step towards self-determination out of a conviction that we have what it takes to chart a course towards development in keeping with our deepest sentiments regarding our needs as a people. A retrospective glance at the socio-cultural and socio-political climate of 1978, one is certain to conclude that it was a great risk.

In addition to the turbulent seas on which the Nation had set itself, the breaking from the “safe” administrative and defence ties with the Queen, came Hurricane David in its first ten months. It was no less than a Baptism by fire, as put in biblical parlance. However, here we are, forty-one years hence, having traversed countless trials and challenges, whether by natural causes, like Misses Erika and Maria, or those caused by our many human inadequacies. Thus, the applicability of this year’s national Theme: “Saluting Resilience and Rejuvenation …Two Years On” (or rather 41 Years On).

Every year we gather as a nation around this historic occasion to celebrate achievements and to recommit ourselves to nation building with the tacit intention to avoid the errors of the past. In that regard, therefore, every Independence celebration is at one and the same time a moment of festivity and reflection.

This year, 2019, is of particular significance, in that, we are on the eve of another very important event in the life of our people. I am referring to the upcoming General Elections, in which every eligible Dominican voter is afforded the opportunity and privilege of having a say in the governance of this beloved country. Like Independence it is one of the greatest symbols of the maturity of a nation. As such, therefore, we are duty bound to act accordingly. While enjoying the full benefit of this festive moment, I wish to invite every patriotic national, to take some time to ponder deeply on the future of our country, as it prepares to engage in this “sacred act”.

Therefore, I challenge all citizens: Government, Parliamentary Opposition, the religious community, the Media Association and the entire civil society to take a conscientious look at the Election Code issued by the Dominica Christian Council and which has served throughout the years of Independence, to guide the conduct of the various persons and groups during this pre-election period. It is as follows:

E L E C T I O N   C O D E

 

PREAMBLE

Recognizing that the People of Dominica, through the Constitution, have affirmed their belief in principles that acknowledge the supremacy of God and faith in fundamental rights and freedoms;

Acknowledging that men and institutions remain free only when freedom is founded upon respect for moral and spiritual values and the rule of law; and

Desiring the continuance of a democratic society in which all persons may, to the extent of their capacity, play some part in the institutions of national life and thus develop and maintain due respect for lawfully constituted authority;

 

WE AS POLITICAL PARTIES, POLITICIANS AND PARTY SUPPORTERS AGREE:

  1. To address issues and to avoid character assassination and/or mud-slinging (“mepuis”) about our opponents;
  2. To avoid half-truths and mis-representations which confuse issues and mislead the electorate;
  3. To avoid language or behaviour that is intolerant of others on account of their colour, sex or creed;
  4. To uphold the laws of this country regulating the conduct of elections;
  5. To vigorously resist the temptation to use bribery or the threat of victimization in any form or fashion in order to gain votes or to intimidate the electorate;
  6. To avoid all forms of violence and to do everything possible to defuse any situation which might lead to violence;
  7. To discourage all persons from using walls and buildings for offensive inscriptions and graffiti; and
  8. To remember that those elected to office as parliamentarians are called to be faithful stewards and that accountability in office should be their prime commitment.

 

WE AS CITIZENS ELIGIBLE TO VOTE AGREE:

  1. To recognize that every adult citizen has the privilege to vote according to his or her conscience, and therefore the duty not to neglect to exercise this precious right;
  2. To make an effort to know the parties, their aims, objectives and policies in order to make a reasonable choice;
  3. To vote as free persons and not to debase ourselves by selling our votes for money or any personal favour;
  4. To oppose and reject any candidates who use bribery, intimidation or threats of violence to win votes;
  5. To reject any invitation to join in the harassment of those whose political views are different from ours;
  6. To consider that integrity, impartiality, good character and sound judgment are qualities required of those to be chosen;
  7. To remember that no political or economic system is perfect; and
  8. To accept the verdict of the majority, even if this differs from how one has voted in accordance with one’s conscience.

 

WE AS PERSONNEL OF THE MEDIA AGREE:

  1. To remember the tremendous influence, we wield over the public;
  2. To discharge our responsibility in reporting the news and views with bias toward none and in fairness to all;
  3. To avoid the temptation of sensational reporting;
  4. To be scrupulous in the search for what is true and honest; and
  5. To remember that the freedom of the Press is one of the pillars to build up the community rather than to destroy it.

 

WE AS PASTORS AND PREACHERS AGREE:

  1. To recognize that our basic obligation is to promote unity in our communities, and therefore to refrain from saying or doing anything likely to be interpreted as partisan politics; and
  2. To recognize our responsibility to give, at all times and especially during the period before and up to election time, moral and spiritual guidance to our flocks.

 

It is my hope that in the days to come the representatives of the various groups: the Dominica Labour Party, United Workers Party, Freedom Party, Dominica Christian Council, Dominica Association of Evangelical Churches and the Media Association will meet to affix their signatures to the document as a sign of their commitment to work for Justice, Love and Peace in this great country, thus continuing on the trajectory of hope for the future that we all deserve. May the good Lord take us safely through this important time of decision-making.

 

Happy Independence to everyone!

 

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16 Comments

  1. analy thomas
    November 4, 2019

    The Good Lord is Jesus Christ!

  2. Hope Alive
    November 3, 2019

    Only now I endorse you and accept you as my bishop and bishop of the nation. For the first time your independence address dealt with the real issues and not the usual Skerrit umpire that always defended him. So now I promise to listen to you again because honestly speaking, it got to the point that I couldn’t listen to any priest, ant bishop, any pastor and as for that Evangelist? Thank God we slowly starting to put God before Skerrit again and that to me is a good sign of hope for the country

  3. Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
    November 3, 2019

    ” Forty-one (41) years ago our nation, Dominica, took the major step towards self-determination out of a conviction that we have what it takes to chart a course towards development.”

    Guy I do not know where the hell you came from, nevertheless; you seems not to know the history behind the islands of the Caribbean.

    If you do not know just shut up; because a lie in any form is a lie!

    Dominica, nor any of the islands from Jamaica to Guyana, did not chose to brake away from British Colonial rule; this crap you talking about breaking away from some Queen, is a lie!

    The British decided to cut all of the colonies loose, by first coercing us into Statehood in association with Britten, for five years to deal with our internal affairs, while they remain responsible for our external affairs and defense!

    The the British, made it abundantly clear that after five years, ready or not for our Independence they were cutting us loose that is what the did!

    • viewsexpressed
      November 6, 2019

      Fet, that’s not necessarily so, because a number of islands are still under the British as Colonies. For example: Montserrat, British Virgin Islands (BVI), Anguilla (I may be wrong on this one), Turks & Caicos?. Subject to correction. Anyway, you got the picture.

      • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
        November 6, 2019

        Here is the issue Viewsexpressed:

        I believe you have somewhat missed interpreted  me. 
        ” Forty-one (41) years ago our nation, Dominica, took the major step towards self-determination out of a conviction that we have what it takes to chart a course towards development in keeping with our deepest sentiments regarding our needs as a people.” (Malzaire).
        That’s the fallacy (lie) number one!
        “In addition to the turbulent seas on which the Nation had set itself, the breaking from the “safe” administrative and defence ties with the Queen,”(Malzaire). 
        In that first paragraph he said ” Dominica, took the major step towards self-determination. “That would be true if the infinitive was the brain child of a Dominica government, he would be correct; unfortunately the British Government told us they were no longer able to support us as children therefore we must fend for ourselves!
         Where he said our nation set itself on turbulent sea, is a lie!
        None of the islands of islands in…

      • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
        November 6, 2019

        If we look at the history of the African British Colonies on the continent of Africa, we will find that the situation was different! 
        The Africans actually forced the British out of Africa, demanding their independence.
         Kwame Nkrumah, Ghanaian nationalist leader who led the Gold Coast’s drive for independence from Britain and presided over its emergence as the new nation of Ghana. He headed the country from independence in 1957 until he was overthrown by a coup in 1966. 
        Jomo Kenyatta 1897 – 22 August 1978 was a Kenyan anti-colonial activist and politician who governed Kenya as its Prime Minister from 1963 to 1964 and then as its first President from 1964 to his death in 1978.
        He was the country’s first indigenous head of government and played a significant role in the transformation of Kenya from a colony of the British Empire into an independent republic.
        Ideologically an African nationalist and conservative, he led the Kenya African National Union (KANU) party from 1961…

  4. Deliver us Lord
    November 3, 2019

    I have always disagreed with the Bishop on just about everything but today I fully endorse everything he said, though I believe he should be bold enough to say in his own spiritual way, that Dominica is halfway down a precipice, as every single one of Election Code he referenced has been been either severely compromised, corrupted or just flat out destroyed. It’s time that men of God stop speaking in tongues and just be bold enough to call out Evil and close every statement and sermon with the part of the Lord’s prayer that says ” And deliver us from the EVIl One’ Matthew 6:13. Right now we are badly in need of deliverance from the Evil because I see trouble ahead. So Lord my little prayer for Dominica is “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one” Satan, comes to steal, kill and destroy

    • viewsexpressed
      November 6, 2019

      Well said Bishop Malzaire. Worth reading. However a reader commented:
      “I believe he should be bold enough to say in his own spiritual way, that Dominica is halfway down a precipice, as every single one of Election Code he referenced has been either severely compromised, corrupted or just flat out destroyed.”
      I agree with this comment, but in a way which addresses concerns of good governance and not really seen as directly political. Politicians needs to listen to our professionals who are linked one way or another to our people, for example: Welfare Officers, Social Analysts, Community/social workers, teachers, academics, retired professionals of all fields.
      This Labour government has lost direction and has undermined & disrespected our governance and government, meaning the sitting PM and ministers. We need to see collective, decent, professional behaviour within our government structure and the Prime Minister as leader must set examples, but he, Skerrit has failed us. He must…

  5. %
    November 3, 2019

    The basic reform, to include a cleansing of the bloated voter’s list, and Voters ID card are required before the next election! We cannot allow any corrupt leader to highjack our democracy!

    Skerrit
    Whey is di money?
    Whey is di money
    Whey is di cry

  6. November 3, 2019

    Happy Independence back you, the Bishop.

    As I was reading this article something came to my mind, which is a lot like your last line which said:

    “May the good Lord take us safely through this important time of decision-making.”

    That is what I was thinking about. Everyone wants success but is anyone concentrating on the fact that nothing good can happen without the “Good Lord’s approval.

    That is why we need to stop with all of those expressions of self-pride, pomposity, and most of all “rudeness, which does not glorify God in our practices, but that is what He wants us to.

    If we depend on His guidance, He also is expecting us to demonstrate humility and trust in His Authority and obedience to His commands.

    As the God-fearing people, we claim to be, how well are we showing God, the characters and virtues that we must display before Him so that He can appoint us to the “role” which He has planed for us, to serve our Nation to His delight?

    • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
      November 4, 2019

      As usual Elizabeth your comments are nothing more than sweet sounding you
      I don’t even understand how you can call a man like him bishop.

      You claimed to know the world of God but you have forgotten that God said a bishop must have his wife and children and rull over his own house.

    • viewsexpressed
      November 6, 2019

      “He also is expecting us to demonstrate humility and trust in His Authority and obedience to His commands.”
      Elizabeth, now I feel that you are now awaken to the issues of bad and corrupt governance that we have spoken of, and you have commented well on. For example, I quote: “demonstrate humility and trust in His Authority and obedience to His commands.” Please go tell failed Skerrit and his failed Labour Governemnt. Too much abuse of states resources and obviously the failure of this government under failed Skerrit. Tell us where specifically is the soci-economic development taking place that our people and country is gaining on financial resources. Under Skerrit we no longer have bananas off to the UK. But sadly we are selling passports to all kind of old teeth nefarious people all over, and who is accounting our sales and money based on these sales. Who on earth trust Skerrit who has reduced our people to beggars, quing up at Financial Centre. Shame on Skerrit that we see…

  7. Shaka zulu
    November 3, 2019

    Mr. Malzaire i like what i read above. I will say when things right they are right. When things are wrong they are wrong. What i read above sounds like what should have been said 10 years ago and not just in words but actions. But hear is what i want you do to show you serious. Return the 500k publicly because it was not given in good faith, 2. It was given begore elections for one purpose only, 3. The funds belong to every dominican Catholic and non Catholics and was not approved by parliament, 4. Giving Catholic church all this money is unfair to other denominations whos members pay taxes, 5. You were used. I am a Catholic like i have said many times and only request it be done soon and publicly because it was given publicly. We all make mistakes and i belive you did in accepting those funds. Skerrit needs to account to the people where the 500k came from. He is not a private self made millionaire. Do this befor elec. is anounced and you will add credence to what i read above.

  8. Dominican
    November 3, 2019

    Dear bishop, there is no need for ambivalence. It is not the code of the Dominican Christian Coucil that applies to our elections. I would respectfully point out that this has no legal basis unlike the parameters set out clearly in our Constitution and which apply to all those Dominican citizens wishing to cast their voters, regardless of political persuasion.

    I appreciate you mean well and do not wish to offend but it would have been helpful if you had made this clear.

  9. Hedda
    November 3, 2019

    If I could curse on DNO I would curse that Bishop so much.. My brother so much things happening your mouth shut! You are a fake currupt bishop..every year you coming and read a script.. go to hell!

    • %
      November 5, 2019

      @Hedda
      So many things like what Hedda? Be specific. I don’t know if the bishop condemned the foreign mercenaries who attempted to plant false evidence at patriot Linton’s home. Did not hear him when evil Skerrit asked his people to throw hot water on opposition people. Did not hear him when Skerrit police goons teargassed peaceful protesters.Did not hear him when Skerrit said the country does not need opposition, etc, etc.
      Agree he needs to speak more because Skerrit is evil!
      Skerrit
      Whey is di money?
      Whey is di money?
      Whey is di money?

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