Red herrings, decoys, and dummies.

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This week, the Office of the Prime Minister announced the appointment of a Commission to Investigate Sale of Assets.  The trio charged with this urgent and important task are Chairman E. Andrew Marshalleck S. C., Public Service Union representative Mr. Luke Martinez and Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Mr. Marcello Blake.  The scope of the investigation covers the procedures and processes for the sale of assets.  It will also seek to verify whether procedures, rules, regulations, and best practices were observed or if there were any irregularities or wrong doings in the sale of assets.  This Commission has been given the mandate to identify those instances of abuse, waste, mismanagement, fraud or corruption and the parties responsible with a view of recovering assets and in pursuing criminal or civil action.  The past administration has understandably become increasingly alarmed and have come out with smoke screens going at full blast and their full assortment of red herrings, decoys, and dummies.

There was a frantic nervous vibe at the press conference hosted by the Opposition on Friday 21st January 2021.  It was full out deflect and divert mode as the LOO flat out separated himself from his party’s previous administration.  In his haste to assume his new role in government, he must have become forgotten that not so long ago, he too formed part of the Cabinet which bears collective responsibility for any and all decisions, botches and blunders.  It seems then that rejecting one’s own is a favourite play in the UDP Rule book, having long been a tactic used by the former leader of the UDP.  This would also explain the huge boulder on the shoulder of the Mesop Area Representative.  Belizeans have no more patience for reminiscing the Area Rep’s melancholic and melodramatic family history on the People’s time.  Shyne claims deep emotional strife at his personal family history.  He has, as a matter fact, been able to capitalize quite handsomely by channeling it into his Grammy winning, platinum record getting, million dollar earning career, as he is wont to remind us quite frequently.  It would be far more beneficial that he would engage the services of a therapist instead of venting and projecting his feels, in Belmopan, about his latent daddy issues.

The issues at hand are far more pressing.  Covid-19 came to render our already ravaged economy to bits and pieces.  Our situation has been made more vulnerable because the past administration was intent on providing cosmetic and superficial fixes for the sake of optics.  There was more effort and energy in bloating the contracts than in ensuring value for money spent or for the safety of the users of the substandard facilities built.  Over the past thirteen years, we had many more sporting complexes than hospitals built, and our only referral hospital has not been adequately staffed or maintained.  The KHMH and other hospitals are either overrun by wildlife and pests or falling around our ears.

Belize’s agriculture industries and food security were not a priority, and so there were no resilience building measures implemented against climate change or market forces.  There has been in the last administration almost non-existent support to the farmers in this country.  The previous Minister of Works, it has been alleged, put the resources of that ministry at his personal disposal, using the machinery, staff, and fuel on his extensive estates.  The state of our feeder and rural roads is deplorable, and our farmers struggle to bring out their harvest.  The works that are now on-going are to aid the agriculture sector in their deliveries and production.  This investment will help to stimulate our economy and help farmers to put food on their table and ours.  Borrowing one million a day to squander and borrowing it to invest judiciously and prudently is just one more lesson daddy failed to teach you.