We are exactly one month post general election. There have been many setbacks on various fronts but finally the new House of Representatives has been sworn-in. Several Members of the House, like thousands of Belizeans, have been affected by Covid-19. The simple truth is that illness is indiscriminate, and every Belizean family has been touched by this sickness and experienced first-hand not only the symptoms, but also the psychological, emotional, and socio-economic effects. The wheels of government under the UDP had been moving slowly for some time now, victims of the economic distress caused by corruption, mismanagement of the public purse, and an ever-growing public debt.
That legal maxim that states the “Justice delayed is justice denied” is the basis for the shaking up of the judiciary and the changes that have been a long time coming. Supreme Court Judges will now be legally required to deliver judgments within a time limit. This measure has been in practice across the Caribbean, and so, this brings us up to par with the standards in the region and is a much needed measure to ensure that Belizeans regain confidence in our Judicial System. Another point of contention for Belizeans has been the raging corruption that has been the norm for the last thirteen years. Our Prime Minister Hon. John Briceño has instructed that forensic audits must be carried out in all statutory boards and all the utilities. The prime objective of the investigation is to identify and recover public assets which have been misappropriated and to deliver justice to those guilty of the offences.
The work of the people has begun now in earnest. Already, we have seen the partnership between ministries for the benefit of the people. The ministries of Health and Wellness with Agriculture have teamed up and used resources to expand the testing capacity for covid. This collaboration has completely depleted the backlog of tests and allows for speedy and timely delivery of test results. Although initially, there seems to be an explosion of cases it is expected that the identification of cases and hotspots will lead to a flattening of the curve. The pinpointing of cases ensures timely treatment for those infected and then allows even those who are asymptomatic to enforce quarantine and self-isolation protocols. The spreading of the virus is then slowed because of the expanded testing that is now happening.
Finally, it cannot be left unsaid that women will be well represented in this government. Already, there much excitement because the AG, the President of The Senate and The Speaker of the House are all women. This government has ensured that half of their appointed senators are women. Indeed, we can already see the shift and feel the changes. These women individually are powerhouses in their own right, but collectively they are a force that will bring about the kind of positive change this country needs. That crisp, clean, cool breeze we feel is a sign of more than the approach of Christmas… it signals good tidings.