Dean Barrow is, without any doubt, the worst Prime Minister the country has ever had. It is possible that no other Prime Minister, in the future, will ever be as worst as he is.
Three major areas easily prove the point. Governance, poverty and rising crime.
The governance of the country is done through Cabinet and the public service Ministries and departments. Barrow has carried out no reforms or improvements in the way the cabinet operates and he and his Ministers have destroyed the functions of the Ministries and departments.
Every U.D.P. politician, whether they won or lost in the general elections, was made a Minister of government. They have contributed nothing to the development of their Ministries. In fact under Ali-Baba and the thirty thieves, the Ministries have gone from bad to worse. Just check lands, passport, immigration, police, works, customs, transport and others.
Poverty when Dean Barrow became Prime Minister was around 42 percent. Today 2019, poverty is over 51 percent and rising. Never have so many Belizeans been struggling to survive. Medicines, food, fuel, education, building materials and clothing have become a heavy burden on Belizeans. Mr. Barrow has done nothing to reign in the cost of living and provide jobs and reliefs to the people. He operates a pantry program that gives out some groceries. It is strictly party political and is controlled by his U.D.P. hacks.
But it is crime which easily exposes how cold hearted and callous Mr. Barrow really is. Murder, for every year Mr. Barrow has been Prime Minister, results in the brutal slaying of over 100 persons each year. That is more a thousand persons whose lives have been cut short under Barrow’s government. Many of the cold bloodied executions have been done by the George Street gang which was in his constituency. Worse than that, these killers were children years ago, who now in their teens and twenties could have been saved had Barrow put in place programs for the little youths by getting them to be educated, skilled and leading productive lives.
Rather than boasting how he is three times Prime Minister someone should ask him to answer what exactly he has done for Belizeans other than manipulating their poverty in order to get votes.
Imagine if Barrow had focused his attention and the millions from Petro Caribe on fighting crime and the root causes of crime; reducing poverty and bringing prosperity.
Imagine if each year Barrow had forced his government to reduce poverty by even one or two percent. In eleven years from 2008 to 2019 poverty would have gone down by twenty two percent. Just imagine the huge benefits of that.
The man just could not care less about people.
Nobody would be so cold hearted to build a thirty million dollars useless road from airport in the North to mile 8 on the Western Highway; while so many citizens are poor and suffering, and crime is wrecking the country.
Worse than that, the road builder has borrowed 180 million dollars for an even useless road for a handful of tourists. With 180 million dollars every young Belizean would have college, sixth form and university training which would create the most educated and dynamic work force in the hemisphere. Creating their own jobs and introducing manufacturing and exportation so all Belizeans can be prosperous.
180 million dollars would also give Belize a first rate medical hospital.
Prime Minister Barrow also made himself the Minister of Finance since 2008. He has sole dictatorial powers over one billion dollars every year.
As Prime Minister it is his duty to be the guardian of the public purse. Public monies are exactly that, the public’s monies. Not for politicians. Especially crooked and corrupt ones.
No street, road, bridge, or sport stadium can be built without monies approved by Minister of finance Barrow. So if stealing, waste, corruption and bloated contracts involving bribes and kickbacks are taking place; who is to blame?
Let’s review some examples of Dean Barrow’s failure as a Minister of finance who is posturing while Belize goes down the drain.
CONTRACTOR GENERAL: This position is an important check and balance set up by law. Every government contract should be subjected to thorough scrutiny. This has never happened for the eleven years of hundreds of millions of dollars wantonly spent and misspent by Barrow. The office has no staff or access to quantity, controllers, engineers, and so on. Worst, hundreds if not thousands of contracts have no annual Reports made to the Financial Secretary, Minister of Finance or the National Assembly. What a way for Barrow to run the government. The question is, is it deliberate?
CUSTOMS DEPARTMENT: Some 200 million dollars are collected by the Customs Department which are part of the Ministry of Finance under Dean Barrow’s portfolio. Customs suffers from endemic corruption. Since Dean Barrow became Prime Minister and Minister of Finance not a single reform on improvement has happened at customs. The incest between some customs officers and merchants have deepened, resulting in revenue loss of millions of dollars. Some customs officials owns six, seven mansions valued in three figures. Their bank accounts are bulging. Barrow could not care less. Sources tell us, the current Comptroller of Customs has retired and is re-employed. He is the son of a long time employee of Barrow’s law firm.
On this business of Barrow employing retired UDPs and party hacks. Some years ago George Frazier of the National Trade Union Congress obtained official figures from the public service. Re-employed persons and political “contract” employees were costing 17 million dollars. Imagine what it is today. We are told it is against the law to re-employ persons who reach the age of 55 years. Barrow, as everyone knows, may be operating outside of the law.
PUBLIC SERVICE JOBS: Public service jobs must be advertised to the public. Applicants must be interviewed by a panel of impartial persons. The best candidate is selected based on qualification and merit. All this is done under the public commission, by law. This is how the country is assured of a competent and impartial public service, serving all the citizens.
Under Barrow no such thing has been happening. It has become so bad that his family members is widely accused of personally giving jobs in the government departments.
The Public Accounts Committee has been sabotaged. This is a body set by the National Assembly as the ultimate watch dog over public finances. To the everlasting shame of Dean Barrow, John Saldivar and Patrick Faber, Belize has a sham for a Public Accounts Committee.
The question is, is it deliberate?
The answer is, Hell YESS.
So too for the Integrity Commission.
Likewise for the Financial Intelligence Unit. Reduced to a lame duck department which dare not investigate the Prime Minister, his favourite son, Ministers and especially the greedy cronies who are enriching themselves and may be up to their eyeballs in money laundering.
Next week we will tell you about the 560 million dollars paid by Barrow under a secret Miami deal and how he most likely committed a crime in regards to the Finance and Audit law and the Petro Caribe millions