Thinking Out Loud

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I must start by addressing two particularly heinous crimes which occurred this week, although heinous crimes seem to be the order of the day now. I send my condolences and that of the Council to the Andrewin family, and to the family of the two other persons who were killed in a shocking triple homicide just outside Belize City. It is a tragedy, and a travesty, and I was glad to see that the Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams, seems to be taking it seriously, with the appointment of a special task force to investigate.

There was another disturbing crime this week – the killing of a two month old baby in Camalote, allegedly at the hands of his own father. I am truly shocked by that one. I can’t even comprehend how a father could contemplate harming his own child, if indeed he did. I can only hope that justice is effective, and swift. We should be nurturing and cherishing every moment we have with our children. And any person who would deliberately harm or kill a child is a monster in my book.

We cannot only talk zero tolerance to crime when it is convenient. We must show criminals that if they do the crime, they will serve the time. Like all law-abiding Belizeans, I pray that the Government is taking note of what is happening, and allocates the proper resources to deal with a situation which is affecting our daily lives, and the nation’s growth and development. We need a bi-partisan approach to crime with input from all social partners and every stakeholder who wants the best for the country. That hasn’t happened. And I don’t know that it will under this government. That is the truth.

There are so many things which have gone so wrong under this UDP administration. I feel, many times, that instead of moving forward with the years that pass, and showing positive growth, sometimes we seem to be moving backwards. Instead of getting better, things are getting worse. Everything is getting more expensive. Neither access to healthcare nor education have improved. Crime is out of control. Our people cannot access the many opportunities available only to a select few. We cannot get land for ourselves and for our family. Our farmers struggle to make ends meet, without any assistance from those in power. These are our realities today, because the best that we were told was yet to come never reached.

In three weeks, we will start our round of Village Council elections. As I tell my people in the East every day, and as I will keep telling you, this is your chance to take control, to have a say in your own governance, to access the service that you deserve, and must demand.

Carmelita is a prime example of a community which has suffered because it has not been represented by people who are interested to serve, and who have the capacity to do so. I have heard the complaints of my people. They have been abandoned. The only time you hear about the Chairman of the Village Council, is when there is talk of another land hustle. There is no accountability and no transparency. There is no integrity in office. The resources of the people have been abused, because those who were elected to serve are instead serving themselves, and serving their political masters. This is the perfect opportunity to change this, and to ensure that things are done right.

Carmelita needs a slate which will work, and I am confident of our slate in that community. I have served my entire political life with honesty and integrity. In my entire three terms at Town Hall, there is not one scandal which has come out, not one hint of any corruption. We have used the money of the people wisely and responsibly, and we have worked hard. We continue to work hard.

That is the spirit of service which is needed in Carmelita, and that is what our slate will bring. I ask you to give them the opportunity to work, because it is time to do things differently in Orange Walk East. I am counting on you, because if we are to develop and grow our communities, we will need people who are not afraid of hard work, and are not afraid of service. Together, we will get it done.