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Belize City Council terminates half dozen employees

Several persons were fired by the Belize City Council today. About six persons were let go and those include the City Administrator, Candice Miller, Whitney Waight, Shana Whyte, Wayne Samuels, Lisbeth Butler and Cecil Jenkins Senior. According to Jenkins, he reported to work as usual and was called in by the Director of Administration, Sherlene Rudon and consequently fired. Jenkins says that the letter does not state the reason he was fired and the only answer Rudon gave him is that the orders came from the ‘higher-ups’. Jenkin says he was unfairly terminated and a victim of political discrimination.

Hipolito Novelo:  Is it something that you expected to be laid off but this PUP Belize City Council?

Cecil Jenkins Sr. Terminated: “You know something, it’s something that has been going around, and even the whole council are at edge because they have mentioned on countless times that they have a list of names that they want to get rid of the employees but not withstanding I could recall that when meeting with the Mayor, when the staff met with all employees City Council he mentioned that they are here not to do anything to any staff. It doesn’t matter if you are UDP or PUP, NIP, NAP, not matter which P you were he said ‘keep the politics at the door but when you reach here it’s time to work.’ so everybody was like in an awe. He said that he was a real man, a man of his word, he even went as far and said that he will extend his hand with an olive leaf, that means peace so then why today day, why today day this happen?”

Hipolito Novelo: Sir I have to ask were you doing your job to the best of your abilities?

Cecil Jenkins Sr. Terminated: “I di tell you my brother anybody who know Cecil Anthony Jenkins Sr. know Cecil Jenkins have always been a professional person when it comes to do his work. I don’t have problem with anybody, I don’t even have a problem with this current City Council so you can ask anybody and they will attest that Cecil Jenkins is a hard worker, diligent and always willing, he serves everybody it no matter which party you are, UDP, PUP it don’t matter who you are.  I work for the people, I work for the betterment of this city and I have always worked to make this city a more peaceful and a more livable area that everybody can live within you know so questioning my professionality in doing my work, that is not here or there so that is one thing I can say they cannot hold Cecil Jenkins accountable of.”

Hipolito Novelo: Okay so without and official reason being given on this official letter, do you believe deep down, do you truly believe that this is politically motivated. That you were fired because you are a UDP supporter?

Cecil Jenkins Sr. Terminated: “To be honest everybody know Cecil Jenkins and who don’t know I am Cecil Jenkins. I am Cecil Jenkins and I have always been supporting the United Democratic Party but that doesn’t take away from my professional standard. I work for the people so it doesn’t matter who I am. He as a Mayor say put the politics aside so why now today day Cecil Jenkins is terminated without even a cause, a valid reason, I question the Human Resource Director, she couldn’t even give me and answer as to why. She said it’s higher up so this is a victimization.”

Jenkins is a member of the Christian Workers Union which represents more than one hundred and eighty persons employed by the Belize City Council. He says he will be seeking advice from his union.

Cecil Jenkins, Terminated: “And I was made to understand that they have a long list of other personnel who will also be getting their letter. I am hoping by me coming up on the media that that list decease or stop because people have family, people have children, and people have everything. They campaign on a platform that they will be here for the people of this city. They campaign on this grounds my brother so why today day the grounds have changed. I could understand Michael Gooden mentioned that the Mayor has changed when receiving power I can understand your power Mayor Wagner and you have that power.”

Hipolito Novelo: Are you apart of the union sir the CWU?

Cecil Jenkins, Terminated: “Yes I am a part of the union, I am an active member of the CWU and I also have a meeting to engage with them and also a meeting to meet legal advice so after this I may go over there and I will seek my legal advice and sit down with the members the, executive of the CWU.”

Hipolito Novelo: So they know about the situation do you know whether or not Mose Hyde has reached out to any of the fired or terminated employees of the Belize City Council?

Cecil Jenkins, Terminated: “To be honest I cannot say that Mr. Hyde who is also family members of Mayor Wagner. He is the president of the CWU but he is also the brother in law of Mayor Wagner so I will not take anything from Mr. Hyde. I know Mr. Hyde is a very professional man and we just have a recent meeting that held Friday and he stands up and say no unjust will happen to any employee once you are in your right so I will seek further advice from the union members. I have to still go and see Mr. Neal who is the general secretary and see what will be the outcome of this because I don’t think this is fair.”

According to President of the CWU, Mose Hyde, two of the persons terminated are members of the union. Hyde told Love News that he has been informed that quote “as a result of a 2011 amendment to the law, there is no need for a reason to be stated for a termination, only a dismissal.” End of quote. Mayor Bernard Wagner has not responded to our request for a comment.