Thursday, 28 November 2019
The Belize Times has been reliably informed that UDP contractor Imer Hernandez, infamous NOT because he is the nephew of the disgraced, worthless, corrupt former Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega, but because he is the worst, most inept contractor in the history of Belize, has been given the contract to replace the Haulover Bridge.
Our newspaper is also reliably informed that Hernandez was given the contract, worth $49MILLION, over other contractors who bid – contractors with many years of experience in building roads and bridges. Our investigation has revealed that Hernandez has never built or replaced a bridge. In fact, our investigation has revealed that Hernandez has not even mastered the art of replacing a culvert.
Readers will recall Hernandez’s many, many failures, even as he keeps getting millions and millions in contracts from the Barrow Administration. One of his most notable failures, and gross corruption, was the awarding of $8M for a one-mile stretch of Faber’s Road. Before the contract was even completed, the road was already cracking, with shoddy markings and crumbling sidewalks. Yet, he was paid in full, and the people of the city are left with a bitter taste in their mouths, while Hernandez and the UDP laugh all the way to the bank.
But Hernandez’s distasteful and disgraceful history goes way back. Years ago he was contracted and paid by the Ministry of Works to pave the San Antonio Road in Orange Walk Town. Except that Hernandez never paved San Antonio Road. He took the money and used some of it to pave the street in front of Gaspar Vega’s house – a street which broke up soon after, in supreme irony.
Hernandez was also given the multi-million dollar contract to pave the road through Orange Walk. Before Phase 2 of that works started, Phase 1 was already in terrible condition, with the hot mix sinking. Residents of Orange Walk were left with a travesty of construction, but they have not forgotten Imer Hernandez. He did the same in Corozal, at the border. Another multimillion dollar contract with roads which broke up weeks after completion.
And then the Government decided that Hernandez should get approximately $18 MILLION to build a new runway at the Municipal Airstrip. That lasted about a year before it sank, and the Airstrip has already had to be shut down once for repairs to be made. Then he got the $7M contract for the runway on Caye Caulker. Within weeks of completion, pilots were complaining of sinkage which put their planes and lives at risk.
There are many more stories of bloated contracts and incompetence, but still, faced with all that evidence, the Prime Minister has maintained that he is a good contractor. Belizeans will understand that election season is fast approaching, and the UDP is filling its war chest so it can attempt to buy the elections as it did in 2012 and 2015 with Petrocaribe money. Sources within the UDP say that whenever Hernandez and other select contractors are given jobs, portions go into pockets and a portion goes into the war chest. We are reliably informed that in addition to the Haulover Bridge contract, Hernandez will get millions for work on the Coastal Road and the road to Caracol. Again, Belizeans will be left holding the crappy end of the stick.
It is time to put an end to corruption, and an end to the UDP. The fat hogs keep getting richer, while ‘normal’ Belizeans struggle to survive. Enough is Enough!