Belmopan Mayor Addresses Controversy Surrounding Finance Director’s Hiring

Belmopan Mayor Addresses Controversy Surrounding Finance Director’s Hiring

Belmopan Mayor, Pablo Cawich has commented on the hiring of Flavio Tzalam as the Finance Director at the city council.  Tzalam was hired shortly after the March 6 elections which came with criticisms due to a 2018 incident where he was accused of misappropriating some two hundred thousand dollars from Santander.  Mayor Cawich spoke firstly on how Tzalam was hired in the first place.

Pablo Cawich, Mayor, Belmopan City: “The previous financial director was, he had submitted his resignation in January and it took effect the week that we moved in. So Mr. Melvin, who was the former director, he was with us for a couple days. He thankfully decided to – he was one of the senior officers who was still around from the previous administration. Most of the other senior officers had already resigned and vacated office. But in his case he decided to stay on and thankfully he managed to transfer a little bit of information to us. So with the post being vacant we needed to find someone that we believe was capable of filling and executing the roles that were needed. With regards to Mr. Salam, he is a qualified individual. His background is in accounting. So we did our due diligence as we do with any employee and once you pass the due diligence checks, you’re good to go.”

Once it was made public that Tzalam was hired at the Belmopan City Council, he and the mayor came under heavy criticisms. Despite the naysayers, Mayor Cawich has expressed confidence in Tzalam as the Finance Director.

Pablo Cawich, Mayor, Belmopan City: “Yes, they did come across – we did come across that information. We sat and interviewed Mr. Tzalam regarding those allegations. We also required some documentation from him as part of his application process. The council itself expressed a little bit of concern due to the allegation, we received the documentation from the police and the Supreme Court clearing Mr. Tzalam’s name. In our view he is a good standing citizen of the country. Obviously you will have political entities trying to attack any movement that an opposition does. As far as the council is concerned we did our duties when it comes to the attacks being placed on him indirectly on us as well. We believe that that portion is something more for Mr. Tzalam to address which he has already started defamation of character approaches to deal with.”

The Finance Director post was formerly held by Melvin Edenojie.

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