Covid, Flood and Corruption-Disaster Management in Belize     

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Belizeans were expecting that the new government would uncover many surprises when they took office after the landslide win on the 11th November 2020.  However, the deep-rooted rot that had taken a chokehold of Belmopan and all the government departments has even the most cynical and jaded of us positively agog at the sheer magnitude of the corruption.  The sad news…the investigations have not even started, we have merely scratched the surface.  There are allegations of the fire sales of vehicles worth hundreds of thousands for ridiculous sums.  These vehicles are being flipped on local buy and sell pages for whopping profits all at the expense of the hard-working Belizean taxpayers.  If that was not enough the land grab that allegedly netted a former Senator acres of prime land for peanuts has just been uncovered.  These shenanigans apparently happened just six days before the election and cannot be justified under any circumstance.

We must next put emphasis on the contracts worth millions that were signed with political appointees who refuse to vacate their posts.  Clearly it is too much to expect that these political flunkies who aided and abetted the fleecing of the country’s resources and pillaging of the public coffers would now grow a conscience and leave having received a clear message from the Belizean people.  Can they be so obtuse that they have trouble reading the writing on the wall?  Is a written memo informing them of their persona non grata status needed?  More than likely this is a scheme that blackmails Belizeans into paying for their removal.  We are still being held ransom by these shameless rouges beyond the election.

Word from Cabinet is that already the People’s Government has launched a formal investigation into the selling off of government assets, representatives from the Public Service Union, Ministry of Finance and Attorney General’s Office as well as the Private Sector will work together.  The Cabinet also authorized the forensic audit of Belize Infrastructure Limited and all the overpriced and substandard contracts they administered.

There are many issues that need immediate attention from our leaders.  Systemic corruption is but one, natural disasters and especially the COVID-19 pandemic and the myriad of health and socio-economic difficulties it brings require urgent and careful attention.  The Prime Minister and his Cabinet are working diligently to bring about relief from hardship and to re-ignite our economy.  We must do our part as well by taking care of ourselves and each other.  We must adhere to the social distancing and health protocols in order to slow down the pandemic.  Non-essential movement and travel must be restricted, we must wear our masks and make every effort to comply with the quarantine protocols.

Belize is a small country already our resources and health system are strained.  The Minister of Health is already collaborating with the Minister of Agriculture to use the BAHA laboratory as another test processing center.  This is just another way in which this new Belize government uses all available resources for the benefit of all Belizeans.  Collaboration and the pooling of every available resource to fight this pandemic on every front, from the health to the economic hardship it causes is the only way we can move forward.  The People’s Government is working to deliver a Belize that works for everyone!